AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is a college-readiness system designed to increase the number of students who enroll in four-year colleges. Although AVID serves all students, it focuses on the least served students in the academic middle. The formula is simple - raise expectations of students and, with the AVID support system in place, they will rise to the challenge.
Today, AVID has been adopted by nearly 4,500 schools in 47 states, the District of Columbia and 16 countries/territories, and serves approximately 400,000 students, grades 4-12 (as of school year 2009-2010). Schools and districts have taken methodologies and strategies from the elective course and implemented them schoolwide and districtwide to impact their entire communities and create articulated programs for college success.
At the high school and middle level, AVID students are enrolled in their school's toughest classes, such as Advanced Placement®, and receive support in an academic elective class - called AVID - taught within the school day by a trained AVID teacher. In the accelerated elective class, AVID students receive support through a rigorous curriculum and ongoing, structured tutorials. AVID elective teachers support AVID students by providing academic training, managing their tutorials, working with faculty and parents, and by helping students develop long-range academic and personal plans.
Schoolwide achievement results from the professional development received by subject area teachers, counselors, administrators, district administrators, and especially through the success of the students targeted for the AVID elective. Use of AVID methodologies, such as Cornell note-taking and group collaboration, in all classes helps create a college-going culture across the campus.
What differentiates AVID from other educational reform programs is its astounding success rate. Since 1990, more than 65,300 AVID students have graduated from high school and planned to attend college. Of the 2009 AVID graduates, 92 percent planned to attend college; 60 percent to a four-year college and 32 percent to a two-year college.
The AVID Student
AVID targets students in the academic middle - B, C, and even D students - who have the desire to go to college and the willingness to work hard. These are students who are capable of completing rigorous curriculum but are falling short of their potential. Typically, they will be the first in their families to attend college, and many are from low-income or minority families. AVID pulls these students out of their unchallenging courses and puts them on the college track: acceleration instead of remediation.
The AVID Elective
Not only are students enrolled in their school's toughest classes, such as honors and Advanced Placement®, but also in the AVID elective. For one period a day, they learn organizational and study skills, work on critical thinking and asking probing questions, get academic help from peers and college tutors, and participate in enrichment and motivational activities that make college seem attainable. Their self-images improve, and they become academically successful leaders and role models for other students.
The AVID Curriculum
The AVID curriculum, based on rigorous standards, was developed by middle and senior high school teachers in collaboration with college professors. It is driven by the WICR method, which stands for writing, inquiry, collaboration, and reading. AVID curriculum is used in AVID elective classes, in content-area classes in AVID schools, and even in schools where the AVID elective is not offered.
The AVID Faculty
One key to a successful AVID program is a site coordinator/teacher who is a respected site instructional leader who works well with secondary school personnel and college students and faculty, who can organize curriculum as well as activities, and who is committed to serving the needs of target students. The coordinator also works with colleagues to implement AVID methodologies schoolwide, to place students in college preparatory curriculum, and to work with counselors to guide students through the college application process.
The AVID Tutor
Tutors are essential to the success of the AVID elective class, where they facilitate student access to rigorous curriculum. As students from colleges and universities, tutors receive formal training and also serve as role models. AVID students who continue their education in college often return to the program as tutors.
The AVID Parent
AVID parents encourage their students to achieve academically, participate on an advisory board and in AVID parent and site team meetings, and maintain regular contact with the AVID coordinator. Many parents and students participate in AVID Family Workshops.