Advancement Via Individual Determination
At the secondary grade levels (7th-12th grades), AVID is an approved elective course taken during the school day. Students are usually selected to enroll in an AVID class after an application process. For one class 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. Students enrolled in AVID are typically required to enroll in at least one of their school's toughest classes, such as honors or Advanced Placement®, in addition to the AVID elective. As students progress in AVID, their self-images improve, and they become academically successful leaders and role models for other students.
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 WICOR method, which stands for writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization and reading. AVID curriculum is used in AVID elective classes and in content-area classes (English language arts, math, science, and social studies) in AVID schools.
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 curriculum, based on rigorous standards, was developed by middle and senior high school teachers in collaboration with college professors. It is driven by the WICOR method, which stands for writing, inquiry, collaboration, and reading. AVID curriculum is used in AVID elective classes and in content-area classes in AVID schools.
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.
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.
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.
Colleges demonstrate their support of AVID programs in many ways. They may provide class speakers, offer college credit courses to AVID high school students, include AVID students in residential, academically-oriented summer bridge programs, and follow and support the progress of AVID students during their college careers. The community supports AVID by providing speakers and summer apprenticeships for AVID student.