Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) is a global nonprofit organization that operates with one guiding principle: Hold students accountable to the highest standards and provide the necessary academic and social support, and they will rise to the challenge. AVID’s College Readiness System helps schools move to a more equitable, structured, and student-centered approach to teaching and learning while bringing research-based curricula and strategies to students each day that develop critical thinking, literacy, and math skills across all content areas.
AVID is organized around a two-track approach to serving schools and students by focusing on infusing the AVID curriculum in every classroom through school-wide implementation and providing an AVID elective to select students.
The AVID curriculum, based on rigorous standards, was developed by middle and high school teachers in collaboration with college professors. It is based on best teaching practices in writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading, and it is supported by state and national content standards. AVID curriculum is used in the AVID Elective and content-area classes in AVID schools to guide teachers and students, while planning strategies for success, by focusing on time management and study skills.
AVID is schoolwide when a strong AVID system transforms the Instruction, Systems, Leadership, and Culture of a school, ensuring college readiness for all AVID Elective students and improved academic performance for all students based on increased opportunities.
- Instruction: Entire instructional staff utilizes AVID strategies, other best instructional practices, and 21st-century tools to ensure college readiness and improved academic performance for all students.
- Systems: Systems are in place that support governance, curriculum and instruction, data collection and analysis, professional learning, and student and parent outreach to ensure college readiness and improved academic performance for all students.
- Leadership: School leadership sets the vision and tone to promote college readiness and high expectations for all students in the school. Students are encouraged to see themselves as leaders in the classroom and community, as well.
- Culture: School’s beliefs and behaviors which reflect and demonstrate an increase in the number of students meeting college readiness requirements.
AVID at the secondary level starts with an elective class for one period a day, where students learn organizational and study skills, work on critical reading/writing/thinking/speaking skills, get academic help from peers, and participate in enrichment and motivational activities that make college seem attainable.
The AVID elective is not for everyone. Students who excel in academics and organization may find the elective redundant, while those who require a lot of extra support and individual attention may find that the class moves too quickly. Students who wish to join AVID must submit an application that includes answering several essay questions and getting a teacher recommendation. The level of competitiveness is determined by the number of spots available and the number of applications received. When applications exceed available spots, admission is weighted towards students who come from economically disadvantaged groups and/or would be first-generation college graduates.