Program overview

  • Training, resources, and guidance for schools and school districts: AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is a non-profit organization that provides a variety of support services to schools with the goal of closing the achievement gap for minority and low-income students by strengthening their college preparedness.

  • Flexible program implemented by schools: The AVID model can be implemented in elementary, middle, or high schools, and may be adopted either in an individual school or across an entire district. AVID layers onto existing curriculum, reshaping school culture and providing teachers with tools to facilitate inquiry-based, student-centered learning.

  • Providing schools with professional development, resources, and data: AVID offers extensive professional development opportunities for teachers to learn instructional techniques that can be incorporated into any classroom, as well as a suite of professional learning modules and materials that administrators can deliver. AVID also provides teachers with classroom activities, lesson plans, and relevant current articles for students. Finally, AVID offers schools data tracking, planning guides, and self-assessments to help schools identify and understand areas of success and potential areas for growth.

  • Helping students build college readiness skills: AVID provides teachers with grade-level specific materials to support them in explicitly teaching college readiness skills to students. These materials focus on key skills, like note-taking, studying, and organization. In addition, AVID prioritizes social-emotional learning, providing teachers with lessons and instructional techniques to help students grow their critical thinking, self-advocacy, emotional regulation, and decision making abilities.

  • Promoting rigorous course taking in high school: AVID recognizes that the courses that high school students take play an important role in the college application process and in preparing them for the academic rigor of a college education. Consequently, AVID schools encourage high school students to take more challenging courses (e.g., honors and Advanced Placement). To help students succeed in advanced courses, participating middle and high schools offer AVID Elective courses, which provide students with additional academic, social, and emotional supports.

One study with a less rigorous design suggests that AVID is a promising strategy for increasing enrollment in advanced secondary courses.

  • A 2018 pre-post study found that students who participated in AVID increased their enrollment in advanced courses (i.e., honors and Advanced Placement) and earned more credits in these courses after participating in the program.
  • Ensure buy-in from teachers and administrators: To be fully implemented, AVID requires buy-in from school staff across multiple roles. This buy-in can be earned by hosting “question and answer” sessions with staff and families during early implementation stages and sharing existing evidence of the model’s effectiveness.

  • Establish an AVID Site Team: In order to coordinate the implementation of AVID, schools should create an AVID Site Team. Typically, the team is made up of administrators, counselors, teachers, and other school staff. This team leads efforts to develop program goals; collect and analyze data on program performance; proactively address equity issues; and promote high expectations for students, faculty, and parents.

  • Identify and secure funding: Schools interested in implementing the AVID model can leverage a variety of funding sources. These may include COVID-19 recovery funds; district general funds; federal Title I, II, III, and IV funds; philanthropic dollars, among others. AVID offers a guide for districts to assist in identifying function sources.

  • Align activities across grade levels and schools: AVID may be most effective when consistently implemented across grade levels and across schools, in the case of district-wide implementation. To encourage collaboration and information sharing, school and district leaders should establish professional learning communities for teachers, counselors, principals, and administrators.