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What is AVID?

AVID is a fourth- through twelfth-grade system to prepare students in the academic middle for four-year college eligibility. It has a proven track record in bringing out the best in students, and in closing the achievement gap. AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination.

The Mission of AVID is to ensure that ALL students and most especially the least served students who are in the academic middle:

  • will succeed in rigorous curriculum;
  • will complete a rigorous college preparatory path;
  • will enter mainstream activities of the school;
  • will increase their enrollment in four-year colleges; and 
  • will become educated and responsible participants and leaders in a democratic society.

AVID’s systemic approach is designed to support students and educators as they increase schoolwide/districtwide learning and performance.

AVID in its first 27 years has proven that, when given a program of academic rigor and support, every student can be academically successful.

Our vision is that by 2030, AVID’s systemic approach will prove that entire school districts can prepare every student with the opportunity to enroll in colleges and universities, providing college by design rather than college by chance.

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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.