AVID’s mission is to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society.

Advancement Via Individual Determination

AVID National Conference - #AVIDNC15

Proven Achievement.  Lifelong Advantage.

Dec. 10-12, 2015

Hilton San Diego Bayfront; 1 Park Boulevard; San Diego, CA  92101

ATTENTION ATTENDEES: For the latest national conference updates, please text "AVID NATCON2015" to 88202.

About the Conference

The AVID National Conference is a forum to discuss and share best practices on opening access to rigorous curriculum for all to ensure your students are ready for and thrive in college. Sessions will focus on a variety of topics, including:

  • Implementing and Sustaining the AVID College Readiness System (ACRS)
  • AVID and Advanced Programs (AP®, IB®, AICE, dual enrollment)
  • Leadership for College Readiness
  • Schoolwide Strategies for Increasing Rigor and Support for All Students
  • Equity and Access

Concurrent Sessions

AVID Center invited districts, colleges, universities, and organizations to submit proposals on these topics and the response was resounding. This year we will offer more than 60 concurrent sessions focused on instruction, leadership, systems and culture

View a complete list of concurrent sessions and descriptions.
Click here for a printable Concurrent Session Planner.

Featured Speakers

Opening Keynote by Mary Catherine Swanson
AVID Founder

Mary Catherine Swanson taught high school English for 20 years. During that time she was instrumental in developing numerous award-winning language arts programs. In 1980 she developed AVID, a secondary school program which prepares underachieving students for four-year college entry. Today 95 percent of AVID graduates enroll in college. Mary Catherine created the AVID Center in 1992 to support the in-school system.

Among the awards and recognition Mary Catherine has received are the A+ Award for Reaching the Goals of America 2000 from the U.S. Department of Education; the EXCEL Award for Excellence in Teaching; the Salute to Excellence from the American Association for Higher Education; the Headliner of the Year from the San Diego Press Club; Cable’s Leaders in Learning Award for General Excellence, a recognition of her innovative leadership; University of San Diego Remarkable Leader in Education; and University of California Outstanding Alumnus.

CNN/Time Magazine named her America’s Best Teacher in 2001, and she was one of three 2001 recipients of the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education. She is listed in Who’s Who in America and has been the commencement speaker at numerous universities, earning three honorary doctorates.

Swanson is the only public school teacher ever to have won the $50,000 award for Pioneering Achievement in Education from the Charles A. Dana Foundation in New York. In presenting that award, the Foundation cited her for “heeding the teacher’s calling at the highest level of professional dedication in developing AVID, an imaginative restructuring of the school day that has given thousands of students the skills, support, and guidance that they need to fulfill their potential—far too tragically overlooked—to prepare for a college education.”

Keynote by Dr. Pedro Noguera
Distinguished Professor of Education
Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles 

Pedro Noguera is the Distinguished Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Prior to joining the faculty at UCLA, he served as a tenured professor and was a holder of endowed chairs at New York University (2003–2015), Harvard University (2000–2003), and the University of California, Berkeley (1990–2000). He is the author of 11 books and over 200 articles and monographs. He appears as a regular commentator on educational issues on CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio, and other national news outlets. His most recent books are Excellence Through Equity: Five Principles of Courageous Leadership to Guide Achievement for Every Student with Alan Blankstein (Corwin, 2015), Schooling for Resilience: Improving the Life Trajectory of Black and Latino Boys with Edward Fergus and Margary Martin (Harvard Education Press, 2014), and Creating the Opportunity to Learn: Moving From Research to Practice to Close the Achievement Gap with A. Wade Boykin (ASCD, 2011).

From 2009–2012, Dr. Noguera served as a Trustee for the State University of New York (SUNY) as an appointee of the Governor. He serves on the boards of numerous national and local organizations, including the Economic Policy Institute, the Young Women’s Leadership Institute, The After-School Corporation, and The Nation magazine. In 2013, he was appointed to the Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society, and in 2014, he was appointed to the National Academy of Education. Noguera recently received awards from the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and SAGE for outstanding achievement in advancing the understanding of the behavioral and social sciences as they are applied to pressing social issues, the National Association of Secondary School Principals for distinguished service to the field of education, and from the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at the NYU Silver School of Social Work for his research and advocacy efforts aimed at fighting poverty.

Breakfast with Student Panel
Opening Guest Speaker and Moderator
Nyla Fritz
Principal, Einstein Middle School, Shoreline, WA

Prior to joining the Shoreline School District, Nyla was a high school administrator for four years and spent eight amazing years as a middle school teacher. She has been involved with AVID in schools as an AVID Elective teacher, district coordinator, site team administrator, staff developer, lead writer for the Implementation strand, and currently serves as a lead writer for the Leadership for Implementation strand.
Nyla received her bachelor of arts in sociology from Whitworth University in Spokane, her master’s degree in teaching from Seattle University, and her educational leadership degree from the University of Washington’s Danforth program. Nyla is a National Board Certified Teacher.

Student Panel
Students from
The O’Farrell Charter School, San Diego, CA
Poinsettia Elementary, Carlsbad, CA


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