AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. It is a college readiness system that prepares students in kindergarten through 12th grade for college eligibility and success. Some colleges and universities have also implemented AVID to help their students. Since it began in 1980 in California, AVID has been adopted by more than 5,600 schools, including 40 colleges and universities, in 44 states and 16 countries, making a difference in the lives of 1.2 million students.
AVID is for all students but targets those in the academic middle and who are usually under-served. Its systematic approach is designed to support students and educators as they increase school-wide/district-wide learning and performance. AVID is not a remedial, niche or college outreach program. It is not a free ride nor is it a study hall. Students must learn and apply the skills they are taught in their AVID elective class as well as do the academically rigorous work required.
AVID’s mission is to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society. It is designed to ensure all students, especially the least served students who are in the academic middle to:
- Succeed in rigorous curriculum
- Complete a rigorous college preparatory path
- Enter mainstream activities of the school
- Enroll in college
- Become educated and responsible participants and leaders in their communities and our society
What AVID Is
- AVID is for middle to upper middle academic students. These students have the potential for Honors and AP (Advanced Placement) work but need to develop the skills needed to be successful in rigorous courses.
- AVID combines rigor with support that includes the student's individual determination and the support of teachers, other AVID students and their families and AVID tutors.
- Students must maintain 2.0 or higher GPA throughout the school year.
Requirements to Be Considered for AVID
- Average GPA
- Must be a hard worker, have a positive attitude and work collaboratively with others
- Must be able to complete four-year university requirements prior to graduation
- Must take at least one honors course while in AVID
- Typically underrepresented in colleges and four-year universities
What AVID Is Not
- AVID is not an at risk program. It is a program designed to support students who would otherwise not attend a four-year university to attend and to graduate from a four-year school.
- AVID is not for students who don't do any of their homework.
- AVID is not for the consistently D or F student.
- AVID is not for unmotivated students. They must have individual determination.
AVID in the Rock Island-Milan School District was first started at the high school in 2014 and now currently serves over 350 students at Rock Island High School, Edison Jr. High and Washington Jr. High. Students are selected to participate in AVID based on a criteria and are given the choice whether or not they would like to enroll in the AVID elective class. It is voluntary. Students who would like to enroll in the class must complete an application and be interviewed before being considered for possible selection for AVID. This process is conducted in grades 7 through 9.
AVID is a challenging elective class held five days a week during the school day. AVID students are required to take at least one rigorous course, such as an Honors or AP course, and through AVID they learn valuable skills, such as writing, note-taking, reading, inquiry, collaboration, organization and critical thinking, all of which will help them succeed in all of their classes. AVID-trained tutors facilitate small group student-led tutorial sessions twice a week during the AVID elective class. AVID students also visit colleges and universities to learn about academic requirements, expectations, classes, programs and collegiate life. They participate in team building activities, enrichment opportunities, and community service. Guest speakers, who are professionals in various career fields, visit our AVID classes to talk about their job, educational background and what they did to prepare for college and their career. In addition, special events are held for AVID students and their families.
The 11 AVID Essentials
These are the key elements to AVID's success.
- AVID student selection
- Voluntary participation
- AVID elective class offered during the school day
- Rigorous course of study
- Strong, relevant writing and reading curriculum
- Inquiry to promote critical thinking
- Collaboration as a basis of instruction
- Trained tutors
- Data collection and analysis
- District and school commitment
- Active, interdisciplinary site teams
Why AVID Works
- Places AVID students in rigorous curriculum and gives them the support to achieve
- Provides a team of students for positive peer identification
- Redefines the teacher’s role as that of student advocate
- Transforms schools by creating a college-going culture throughout an entire school, impacting all students
To learn more about AVID in RIMSD#41 contact:
Ramona Dixon, Director, Grants, Assessment & Accountability