What is AVID and What are the Benefits?

Advancement Via Individual Determination

There are various college preparatory programs available to families in schools. But what is AVID? Unfortunately, not enough parents understand the benefits of these programs and are not taking advantage of them.


As parents, we make better decisions when we understand the benefits of available programs in schools. However, this post discusses just one of the many programs available in schools. Next, we discuss the benefits of the AVID program and how to get your child to participate.

What is AVID?

AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. The program website states that AVID is a nonprofit that changes lives by helping schools shift to a more equitable, student-centered approach. For instance, the program begins in elementary instead it is most often available in middle and high schools.

When students participate in AVID programs they are taught by designated trained educators. Most importantly, AVID instruction happens during content area learning in math, science, social studies, and science. As a result, this approach provides students customized instructional routines throughout the day. Hense why students succeed.

Elective Class

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

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

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 postsecondary institutions. 


How to participate in AVID

AVID is currently available in most schools. To participate, families must complete an application that’s available at school. Then the applicant should return the application to the school where a program coordinator will process and inform of the acceptance.

AVID Requirements

There are several requirements that a candidate shall possess. A student characteristic should 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 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 provide an idea of the type of student the program targets. However, not all schools exhaust the AVID student count. Additionally, many parents are also unaware of the program or do not understand the great benefits of the program.

English language learners benefit from AVID

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

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

Registration timelines

Each school year gives student the opportunity to sign up as an AVID student. Some schools tend to promote the program than others and this tends to impact enrollment. Parents can reach out to schools at any time to inquire of the registration timelines.

However, although schools promote the program not many parents are aware of the benefits of the program. Subsequently, enrollment tends to be lower than one would expect. Feel free to reach out to 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 sign up for the program. The ELA teacher connected me to the program coordinator who provided the application. Once I sent the application, it took a couple of days to get a welcome letter.

College visits

One major benefit of being part of AVID is its focus on college 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. These activities foster long term relationships among students making it a place where students want to engage.

Overall there is no question that AVID is a program that benefits any family. All families should consider reaching out to their school to inquire about this wonderful program. Take advantage of a program that will prepare your child to succeed and become college-ready.

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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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