Friday, February 28, 2014

AVID - Helping College Dreams Come True

In 2006, the Boise District initiated a pilot of a program called Advancement Via Individual Determination - AVID - at Fairmont Junior High School. AVID is a college preparation program which started in San Diego in 1980, with the express purpose of preparing students from the "forgotten middle" - kids who might not otherwise attend college - for post-secondary opportunities.

In the AVID Program, students are identified in elementary school as having potential to go on to college, and provided with organizational and study skills, and with a belief that they can, oftentimes, be the first in their family to pursue college studies. Then, beginning in 7th grade, these students are enrolled in Accelerated Math, Reading, and English classes, and in a supporting AVID elective class during the school day. Tutors, usually from Boise State University, provide help during the AVID period with math and language arts, and students use critical reading and questioning techniques to develop skills in presenting their work and asking questions.

From its beginnings at Fairmont, AVID has expanded across the Boise District, and is now in place at each one of Boise's 8 junior high schools and 5 high schools. The chart below illustrates the growth of AVID in the Boise District.

Three AVID classes have graduated from Boise District high schools. Of 124 AVID grads, 101 (81%) enrolled in college the semester after high school graduation. 96 (77%) are still enrolled in college. The "Direct to College" rate for the Boise District class of 2013 was 60%; the statewide rate in 2010 was 45%.

Here is a pie chart showing where AVID grads are going to school.

Most AVID grads attend in-state colleges; however, among the "other" destinations are Northwest Nazarene University, Pepperdine University, Baylor University, Seattle University, and Northern Arizona University.

Three other Idaho districts are participating in AVID. Vallivue District in Caldwell is in its third year, and Mt. Home and Emmett Districts are in the initial phases of AVID implementation.

Here is a great video about the AVID program in Boise, and a powerpoint presentation about the history of Boise's AVID program can be found under "Current Highlights and Events".