What is AVID and What are the Benefits?

There are various college preparatory programs available to families in schools. But what is AVID? Out of all programs, not enough parents understand the benefits of educational programs and are not taking advantage of them. AVID is one educational program that many schools offer however, not enough parents know about.

As parents, we make better decisions when we understand the benefits of available programs in schools. This post discusses just one of the many programs available in schools. I discuss the benefits of the AVID program, why every child should consider joining AVID, who qualifies for the AVID program, and how to get your child to participate.


What is AVID?

The AVID Program stands as a beacon of hope and opportunity for countless students in schools. Originating from a noble quest to bridge the gap between underserved students and higher education, AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. The AVID program website states that AVID is a nonprofit that changes lives by helping schools shift to a more equitable, student-centered approach.

Although, the AVID program begins in elementary school it is most often available in middle and high schools. The elementary program is available in schools that offer AVID as a school-wide program. On the contrary, many middle and high schools offer AVID programming as an add-on to their educational programming.

Components of the AVID Program

Designated trained educators teach students who participate in AVID programs. Most importantly, AVID instruction happens during content area learning in math, science, social studies, and science. As a result, this approach provides students with customized instructional routines throughout the day, hence why students succeed.

The AVID program offers specific components that make the program stand out. Tutorial support gives students educational support in content area classes. Tutorial support is provided by peer-led study groups that foster a supportive learning environment. This academic enrichment aims to prepare students for college entrance. AVID students receive specific college support that aims to enhance their college readiness. A component of the AVID program is its focus on cultivating students’ critical thinking. The AVID program encourages students to question assumptions, explore diverse perspectives, and make informed decisions. Additionally, students receive social and emotional support by offering mentorship opportunities within the program. Such mentorship opportunities offer students valuable guidance and support from educators and community members.

AVID Elective Class

The AVID elective class is one of the core components of the AVID program. In the AVID elective class, students learn how to organize their school work, study habits, think critically, and ask engaging questions. In addition, students receive academic support from former AVID students and trained college tutors. Furthermore, they participate in university-related activities that prepare them for college readiness.

One of the program’s most important features is how AVID teachers inspire students to take control of their learning. As a result, each year, the AVID organization trains educators to empower students in their learning. Relationship building is an important part of the program.

AVID Program Requirements

There are several requirements that a candidate shall possess to participate in an AVID program. A student’s characteristics shall include some of the following:

  • Be a student with academic potential
  • Have intermediate-level assessment results
  • A grade point average of 2.0 to 3.5; a student earning Bs, Cs, and sometimes Ds
  • Have a desire to go to college and are willing to work hard.
  • Attend school with minimal absences
  • Have little or no discipline problems
  • Maybe the first in their families to attend college
  • Low-income or minority families

The above criteria provides an idea of the type of student the program targets. However, not all schools exhaust the AVID student count. Additionally, many parents are unaware of the program or do not understand its great benefits.

AVID is implemented in more than 7,000 schools in 47 states across the U.S., plus schools in the Department of Defense Education, Canada, and Australia.
AVID impacts more than 2 million students in grades K–12 and 62 post-secondary institutions. 

AVID School Program Benefits

One significant benefit of being part of AVID is its focus on college and career readiness. Students are taken on college visits, which get kids excited about college readiness. This exposure allows students to envision and dream more closely about going to college. College visits tend to be local and sometimes out of state. College activities and support foster long-term relationships among students, making it a place where students want to engage.

The AVID program offers numerous benefits to students, contributing to their academic success and college readiness. Some key advantages include:
  1. College Readiness: AVID equips students with the skills and knowledge needed for college success, focusing on critical thinking, writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading (WICOR).
  2. Academic Support: Students receive targeted academic support through strategies like tutorials, study groups, and mentorship, fostering a collaborative learning environment.
  3. Skill Development: AVID enhances students’ essential skills, including note-taking, time management, goal setting, and effective communication, preparing them for the demands of higher education. Learning to organize as a student is a skill that the AVID program targets.
  4. Diverse Learning Strategies: AVID incorporates a variety of teaching methods and learning strategies, catering to diverse learning styles and promoting a deeper understanding of subjects.
  5. Increased Rigor: The program encourages students to enroll in more rigorous courses, challenging them academically and fostering a mindset of continuous improvement.
  6. College and Career Exploration: AVID guides students on field trips by exploring college and career options, providing information and resources to make informed decisions about their future. Students are supported in completing the college application process.
  7. Cultivation of Soft Skills: AVID emphasizes developing soft skills such as teamwork, communication, and leadership, which are crucial for success in both academic and professional settings.
  8. Supportive Community: AVID creates a supportive community where students feel encouraged to excel academically, fostering a sense of belonging and motivation.
  9. Parental Involvement: The program actively involves parents, encouraging participation in their child’s education and college preparation, creating a collaborative partnership.
  10. Long-Term Impact: AVID has a proven track record of long-term impact, with many students becoming the first in their families to attend college and succeed in their chosen careers.

How to Join AVID

AVID is currently available in most schools. To participate, families must complete an application form available at school. Then, the applicant should return the application to the school, where a program coordinator will process and inform of the next steps. Teachers can recommend that students consider the AVID program following the criteria the program follows.

Some schools offer a parent information session about AVID to share the program structure and benefits. Parents learn about the support systems in place, including tutoring and mentorship, to enhance students’ academic success. The importance of parental involvement is highlighted, and success stories illustrate the positive impact of AVID on students. The session also addresses the application process and eligibility criteria and provides resources for ongoing support. The information session aims to foster collaboration between parents, students, and the AVID program to ensure student readiness for college and beyond.

AVID Registration

Each school year allows students to sign up as an AVID student. Some schools promote the program more than others, impacting enrollment. Parents can contact schools at any time to inquire about the registration timelines.

However, although schools promote the program, few parents know its benefits. Subsequently, enrollment tends to be lower than one would expect. Feel free to contact the school even after the school year starts.

For instance, I recently contacted my child’s English language arts teacher to inquire about getting my child signed up for the program. The ELA teacher connected me to the program coordinator who provided the application. Once I sent the application, I received a welcome letter, which took a couple of days.

English language learners benefit from AVID

This program is an excellent option for middle and high school English learners. This is because this program teaches students how to be a student and engage in school. The program’s focus complements some skills that English language learners often lack.

English language learners who participate in the program have been shown to benefit enormously. This is because the instruction provides students with a systematic approach and consistency that prepares students to tackle academics. As a result, many ELL families are choosing to participate more often.

Overall, there is no question that AVID is a program that benefits any student. All families should consider contacting their school to inquire about this wonderful program. Take advantage of a program that will prepare your child to succeed in college and career readiness.

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2 thoughts on “What is AVID and What are the Benefits?”

  1. Javier A. Herrera

    Felicidades Sugely Solano por este grandioso post. Soy estudiante de doctorado en Filosofía de Liderazgo en Educación en Keiser University. He mantenido una constante preocupación por los estudiantes de secundaria, que no son preparados en el periodo de transición entre la escuela y la universidad. Como parte de mi clase de Diseño Curricular desarrollé mis ideas (mi sueño) en el ejercicio de proyecto final que titulé “Camino al Éxito en la Universidad” ante la dificultad de llamar esta clase con una sola palabra, convencido de que no exitía un programa como el que propongo. Cuando mi maestro me deja saber de “AVID”, me emociona, me aporta elementos de mucho valor, y ahora mismo lo cito en mi trabajo, como referencia. Es excelente.

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