AVID Teacher Preparation Initiative at the UTPB College of Education
The Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) Teacher Preparation Initiative (TPI) is a fairly new venture for both AVID and UTPB. What has been traditionally a teacher training program in the college of education, to prepare teachers in AVID classrooms to support students develop study skills, has now expanded to include the preparation of all teachers prepared with AVID strategies.
AVID TPI prepares university students interested in becoming teachers with the tools to be ready to meet the needs of students from day one. When UTPB students are interviewed for teaching positions, they already have the practice and experience in a numbers of methods and strategies needed to be successful with their students.
The College of Education professors, along with their student-teachers and teacher interns develop and practice strategies related to Student Success, English Language Learners, Math, Language Arts, Critical Reading, and Social Studies, to name a few. The professors are trained to incorporate AVID methods and strategies into the Teacher Preparation Program courses. The professors and students also have the opportunity by AVID staff on a variety of fun activities and strategies that are proven to engage students for successful learning in the classroom.
History of Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID)
AVID, began as a college readiness program started during the early 80s when inner city students were bused to suburban schools following a federal court decision to desegregate city schools. Mary Catherine Swanson, who was a teacher and head of the English department at Clairemont High School, an all-White school in a privileged area in San Diego, began her quest to help these students. Her way of providing assistance to these underprivileged students was by means of academic and social support without minimizing student standards and expectations: students were accountable to the highest standards. Later, this became the AVID’s philosophy. Presently, AVID uses research-based methods of effective instruction and provides meaningful and motivational professional learning. AVID strategies focus on enhancing learning and providing support, transforming struggling students in public schools into college-bound success stories.
The AVID Teacher Preparation Initiative at UTPB
During the fall of 2010 at a faculty retreat, UTPB’s President, Dr. David Watts, approached the College of Education with a proposal to pilot the AVID Teacher Preparation Initiative. As a Hispanic Serving Institution, and preparing university students to be successful already using support strategies from AVID, the intent to collaborate more intently with school districts to prepare teachers seemed like a fantastic opportunity for the improvement of education in the Permian Basin area.
The faculty embraced the vision, and thus began UTPB’s aspiration to become a national AVID teacher preparation center. The pilot program challenged UTPB’s College of Education professors to define, design, and implement a meaningful approach to prepare college students to become effective teachers. A group of nine professors served in the initial AVID Site Team to spearhead this initiative and begin plans to design courses with AVID strategies and philosophies for pre-service teachers.
The AVID TPI Site Team
Through the AVID TPI site team, UTPB’s College of Education has created a model of pedagogy through exemplary faculty practice. The Site Team composed of professors of multiple educational foci, meets monthly to design courses, practice new strategies, and dialogue about the preparation and training of future teachers. A guidebook generated by the site-team containing ways to map the courses, and build plans of action. The guidebook has presently been disseminated nationwide, providing exemplary approaches and pedagogies to be used by other higher education programs.
Creating Communities of College Access and Success
The College of Education at UTPB is generating a unique circle of support for future teachers. These teachers have the important mission to close achievement gaps and prepare K-12 students for college readiness. AVID perceives TPI as designed to be holistic, and generating systemic support. It is a program that is sustained throughout the educational pipeline, and has the power to transform the expectations for students. In addition, students in K-12 public schools aspiring to enroll in college—can aspire to be teachers—and receive our invitation to join UTPB’s teacher education program.
As a college student and now future teacher—these individuals receive the support not only to complete their courses, but also to learn how to teach best. The College of Education’s goal is to provide the best experience to college students, and the best preparation to become an effective and successful educator.
The UTPB College of Education AVID Teacher Preparation Initiative continuously develops research and presents about this distinctive approach preparing our teacher candidates. We hope you can join us in learning more about being part of this unique program investing in future generations of the Permian Basin region.