Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) is a college and career readiness system which works to ensure all students are equally prepared for post-secondary opportunities. AVID is an elective class at our secondary sites, offering rigorous curriculum to promote student achievement. AVID strategies are embedded into existing elementary curriculum to help students be successful in school and to plan for college and after high school graduation. AVID’s readiness system focuses on students who are passing their classes but have potential to achieve even greater success with added support and a college focus.
Three main components of the program:
• Rigorous academic instruction
• Collaborative tutorial group support
• Motivational mentorship and college-going culture
The goal of AVID is for students to challenge themselves with rigorous curriculum, to join school activities, and help them to achieve the goal of going to college. The potential AVID student would attend school regularly, be prepared for class, be self-motivated and be willing to work hard. Students learn to research, take notes, and work in groups.
A unique aspect of AVID is the tutorial. Tutors work in AVID classes twice a week to help students in study groups and individually in all academic areas to ensure their progress.
AVID is offered at:
Marshall, Martin Luther King, Roosevelt, and Peter S. Ogden elementary schools
Alki, Discovery, Gaiser, Jason Lee, McLoughlin, and Thomas Jefferson middle schools
Columbia River, Fort Vancouver, Hudson’s Bay, Lewis and Clark, and Skyview high schools
“Where are we going? College! How will you get there? Hard work and determination!”
That’s the chant of nearly 400 students in the AVID program. Advancement Via Individual Determination is an elective class aimed at students who are motivated, have good attendance, and are passing all of their classes, but who may lack the necessary support to pursue a college education. The goal is to make college accessible for every student.
The program is offered at six middle schools: McLoughlin, Gaiser, Alki, Thomas Jefferson, Discovery, and Jason Lee; and five high schools: Fort Vancouver, Lewis and Clark, Skyview, Columbia River, and Hudson’s Bay. Teachers, counselors and administrators nominate students to be invited into the program. Once they’re in AVID, students are strongly encouraged to stay.
AVID teachers offer support to their students much like a parent would. Teachers build on the strengths the students already possess, and help them develop the skills necessary for success. Students are encouraged to take rigorous classes—pre-AP (advanced placement) in middle school and AP in high school. The assumption is that these students are going to college. For most of them, they will be the first in their families to do so.
The program works. After the first year, proven results can be found in comparing grade point averages (GPAs). Fort Vancouver freshmen enrolled in the AVID program and taking AP classes have a slightly higher GPA than their non-AVID counterparts. In addition, as more AP courses are added at Fort Vancouver and Hudson’s Bay, the overall level of rigor increases, resulting in improvement for all students.
“It’s hard work, and it’s a commitment on the part of the student,” says the program’s coordinator, Courtney Yinger. “But these kids will be prepared not only to apply for college, but to be successful once they get there.”
For more information, contact Courtney Yinger, AVID Coordinator, Vancouver Public Schools, 360-313-1022, firstname.lastname@example.org