Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) is an elective class offering rigorous curriculum to promote student achievement. The class is offered for elementary, middle, and high school students, and was created to help students be successful in school and to plan for college after high school graduation. The program focuses on students who are passing their classes, but may lack the necessary support to pursue a college education.
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 and Martin Luther King 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
Vancouver iTech Preparatory
“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 three middle schools: McLoughlin, Gaiser and Jason Lee; and two high schools: Fort Vancouver 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 one 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