AVID began in 1980 by Mary Catherine Swanson, then-head of the English department at San Diego's Clairemont High School. The federal courts issued an order to desegregate the city's schools, bringing large numbers of inner city students to suburban schools. While applauding the decision, Swanson wondered how these underserved students would survive at academically acclaimed Clairemont High.
Her answer was AVID, an academic elective. But it's more than a program - it's a philosophy: Hold students accountable to the highest standards, provide academic and social support, and they will rise to the challenge.
Beginning with one high school and 32 students, AVID now impacts more than 700,000 students in more than 4,900 schools and 28 postsecondary institutions in 46 states, the District of Columbia and across 16 other countries/territories. The AVID College Readiness System spans elementary through higher education.
Although AVID serves all students, the AVID elective focuses on the least served students in the academic middle. The formula is simple - raise expectations of students and, with the AVID support system in place, they will rise to the challenge. What distinguishes AVID from other educational reform programs is its continuous success rate. Of the 33,204 AVID seniors in 2012 who reported their demographics, academic achievement data and future plans, just over 98 percent indicated they would be graduating from high school, with 90 percent planning to attend a postsecondary institution: 58 percent to a four-year college and 32 percent to a two-year institution. Seventy-three percent reported taking at least one rigorous course, such as AP®, IB® or Cambridge®, with 61 percent taking the corresponding exam. Additionally, Hispanic/Latino and African American/Black AVID students take AP tests at rates that exceed their peers (AVID Hispanic/Latino - 57 percent, U.S. overall Hispanic/Latino - 14 percent; AVID African American/Black -14 percent, U.S. overall African American/Black - 8 percent)
Policymakers and school administrators now consider AVID an essential strategy for closing the achievement gap and making the college dream accessible to all students.
Courses Offered at ECV
Advanced Via Individual Determination (AVID)
This is a college preparatory elective course for students in grades 9 through 12. AVID provides academic instruction and other support to underachieving or under represented students to prepare them for admission to the University of California and California State University Systems. AVID uses writing as a tool for learning, college tutoring, collaborative study, seminars in note-taking and organizational skills, and emphasizes mastery of concepts in all subject content areas and preparation for college admission. This course is not included in the 20-credit limit for non-departmental (Y) courses. Prerequisite: Students must qualify and meet teachers’ selection for program criteria.
AVID Junior Seminar 1C/2C
AVID Junior Seminar is a preparatory course for AVID Senior Seminar. The yearlong course involves substantial critical reading, writing, and research in preparation for external exams for a course in which the student is enrolled, such as Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate. As with all AVID courses, Junior Seminar features tutors, college students who lead discussions and analysis of the academic subjects in which the students are enrolled. The prerequisite is one year previous enrollment in AVID prior to the junior year. Concurrent enrollment in an AP, IB, or college transferable course is required. This course is a prerequisite to AVID Senior Seminar 1C, 2C. This course does not meet any of the University of California requirements.
AVID Senior Seminar 3C/4C
The AVID Senior Seminar is the culmination of a student’s years in the AVID program, and the course involves substantial critical reading and writing, preparation for external exams such as Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate, and weekly Socratic Seminars. Students enrolled in the Senior Seminar are required to complete weekly timed writings and analytical discourses in subjects across the curriculum. In addition, students are required to make oral presentations to the class on topics related to college entrance, contemporary issues, and social concerns. As with all AVID courses, the Senior Seminar features tutors, college students who lead discussions and analysis of the academic subjects in which the students are enrolled. Senior Seminar students, working with the tutors, are expected to participate in and moderate Socratic Seminars. These discussions move beyond didactic instruction and assist students in gaining multiple perspectives on texts, supporting arguments with clear reasoning and evidence, and developing their critical thinking skills to the degree necessary for success in college. This course meets one year of the University of California “g” elective requirement if both AVID Junior Seminar 1/2C and AVID Senior Seminar 1/2C are taken.