What is Avid
AVID, Advancement Via Individual Determination, is a college readiness system for elementary through higher education that is designed to increase school-wide learning and performance. The AVID College Readiness System (ACRS) accelerates student learning, uses research-based methods of effective instruction, provides meaningful and motivational professional learning, and acts as a catalyst for systemic reform and change.
Mary Catherine Swanson started working as a high school English teacher in 1966, teaching remedial to advanced English classes and began teaching at Clairemont High School in San Diego in 1970. In 1974, she and two fellow English teachers developed an academically rigorous English elective course called “Project English” that included academic rigor and an individualized approach to each student’s unique interests. In 1977 Mary Catherine completed her Master’s thesis in education. In her thesis, she identified the key components of a program that could help all students succeed in rigorous English classes. These components form the foundation of AVID, including its philosophy, practices, and curriculum and include:
- A non-traditional classroom setting meeting the academic and emotional needs of individual students
- The teacher as advisor/counselor/student advocate
- An emphasis on objective data
- The student at the center of decision-making regarding educational goals
- A student contract outlining willingness to work and setting learning goals
- Student support from teachers and skilled, trained tutors
- A curriculum emphasizing academic reading and writing
- Reliance on the Socratic process.