AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination)

AVID targets students in the academic middle who have the desire to go to college and the willingness to work hard. These are students who are capable of completing rigorous curriculum but are falling short of their potential. Typically, they will be the first in their families to attend college, and many are from low-income or minority families. AVID pulls these students out of their unchallenging courses and puts them on the college track: acceleration instead of remediation.

The AVID Elective -— AVID students enroll in their school's toughest classes, such as honors and Advanced Placement, and also in the AVID elective. For one period a day, they learn organizational and study skills, work on critical thinking and asking probing questions, get academic help from peers and college tutors, and participate in enrichment and motivational activities that make college seem attainable. Their self-images improve, and they become academically successful leaders and role models for other students. Visit http://avidonline.org for more information on the AVID program.

Teacher Professional Development -- The AVID elective class is led by a teacher who has been trained in the program's methodologies. Teachers and administrators from throughout the school and district attend AVID's Summer Institutes, where they learn techniques for bringing out the best in average students. In this way, AVID students are supported in content-area classrooms as well as in the AVID elective, and even more students can benefit from the AVID program. Curriculum -- The AVID curriculum, based on rigorous standards, was developed by middle and senior high school teachers in collaboration with college professors. It is driven by the WIC-R method, which stands for writing, inquiry, collaboration, and reading. AVID curriculum is used in AVID elective classes, in content-area classes in AVID schools, and even in schools where the AVID elective is not offered.

Los Compañeros

Los Companeros is a long-term initiative aiming at improving retention rates for middle schools and high schools. The program provides undergraduate mentors with both leadership and professional development while working with the middle and high school students in an effort to establish supportive relationships and improve graduation rates.

ENLACE Family Centers

Family Centers encourage involvement of parents in their students’ education by increasing parental knowledge about their rights, authority and roles within a school as well as creating healthy families. Services include translating of notes from teachers, providing transportation for families to and from trainings or meetings, community resource access, providing food baskets, coats for children, school supplies or uniforms, and parent/ teacher conference attendance.


EXITO! is a class focused on academic excellence and development for first generation Latino students entering the university with an ACT score of 17 and below. Exito! modifies the Freshman Year Experience to be culturally responsive to the Latino student by concentrating on the use of mentoring strategies and the integration of Latino curricular concepts, cultural identity and the campus climate. This program mirrors various aspects of the A.C.E. curriculum in order to ensure a successful university environment. The relationship between time management and academic success, familiarity with college culture, comprehension of study skills/test taking strategies, application of outside materials for enhancement of academic excellence, development of an academic life-plan.

Action Research

Students learn to not only apply research skills to study in-depth, real-life problems which affect their school/community but to simultaneously think critically and creatively while developing a plan of action to help solve the problem.