AVID for Higher Education
What is AVID for Higher Education?
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AVID for Higher Education

Increasing student success is one of the major initiatives in higher education today. According to one study completed in 2012 by the College Board Advocacy and Policy Center, only 34 percent of students who enrolled in community colleges had attained either a degree or certificate six years after starting their postsecondary career. There are many reasons why students may not be successful--and now there is a research-based program that is designed to reverse this trend.

AVID for Higher Education (AHE) builds on AVID’s more than 30-year history of successfully preparing elementary and secondary students for college and career readiness. Our strong connections to higher education institutions prompted colleges and universities to ask the AVID Center to extend our efforts to college students and create the possibility of a college support pipeline with grades 4-16.

While pundits may debate the need for college for all, one fact remains clear--some type of postsecondary education is required for six out of every 10 jobs in America's knowledge-based economy (Carnevale & Desrochers, 2003). Whether the goal is a career certification or an advanced degree, reading and understanding sophisticated content, solving complex problems, and communicating those solutions skillfully, are critical skills developed in higher education and essential for citizens in the 21st century. However, while more students are accepting this challenge and enrolling in higher education, postsecondary graduation rates remain frustratingly static.

There are hard truths regarding the college completion crisis to which AVID can bring hope:

  • The percentage of high school graduates enrolling in college is increasing for all racial and income groups (NASH & Education Trust, 2009); however, these gains in college access rates are not being matched by gains in college success rates (Hunt & Carruthers, 2004).
  • The United States has one of the highest college-going rates in the world, yet its college-completion rate (both 2-year and 4-year) rank near the bottom half of all industrialized nations (College Board, 2008a; National Governors Association, 2008).
  • Only 35% of America’s college students graduate with a bachelor’s degree in four years and just over half (52%) graduate within six years (College Board, 2009). For students who attend college part-time, the completion rate is even lower: Less than 25% graduate within eight years (Complete College America, 2011).
  • Viewing America’s current college-completion rates from an international perspective, the United States has dropped from number two in the world to number 12, and is in the process of dropping further (Complete College America, 2010). If this trend continues, the current generation of college-age Americans will be the first in U.S. history to be less educated than its parents (CCSSE, 2010).

What is AVID for Higher Education?

AVID for Higher Education (AHE) is designed specifically to meet the needs of students attending a college or university. It partners with institutions of higher education to systemically address the goals of increased learning, persistence, completion and success in and beyond college. AVID assists higher education professionals in analyzing existing student support initiatives and data, identifying barriers and needs, and establishing and assessing student learning outcomes. By supporting faculty and administrators in their effort to increase student engagement, AVID also supports students in their efforts to earn a college degree and/or certificate. When implemented with fidelity, AVID impacts the expectations and behaviors of postsecondary students, faculty, and administrators through research-driven and ongoing professional learning.

In 2009, AVID Center created a pilot to systemically support structures at the college level for aspiring but under-prepared students. Six institutions of higher education from four states (California, Minnesota, Texas, and Washington), representing 2-year and 4-year institutions, participated in the pilot. The AVID for Higher Education pilot identified several key conditions necessary for AVID to effectively address student success at an institution of higher education:

  • There must be strong campus leadership, vision, and support.
  • Student must have access to rigorous credit-bearing coursework rather than remedial, developmental coursework.
  • There must be coherence in student experiences.  This coherence can be achieved through structures such as cohorts, academies, learning communities and linked classes, or innovative online options.
  • Instruction must be learner-centered and engage students in AVID’s WICOR components (writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization and reading)
  • Students are supported in their learning by their participation in an AVID or AVID-like course during their freshman year.

AVID for Higher Education consists of two initiatives: Student Success and Teacher Preparation. Both initiatives can be described as a holistic, integrated college-success system designed for students with the determination to succeed and for campuses and teacher education programs committed to promoting student success. AHE is predicated on the proposition that college students who have the will to succeed will succeed—if they are challenged and given the academic and psychosocial support needed to meet that challenge. AVID for Higher Education has a distinctive impact on students, faculty, and campus culture.

  • The Student Success Initiative builds on the success of AVID’s precollege system that has effectively promoted high school students’ college access and preparedness of secondary students for over 30 years. By now expanding its scope to span both sides of the secondary-postsecondary bridge, AVID extends its historic mission of promoting college readiness to include college success.
  • Based on the belief and history that AVID impacts the lives of students in such a powerful way, the Teacher Preparation Initiative was born. By preparing future teachers through university teacher preparation programs, we also have the opportunity to bring the AVID system full circle as these teacher candidates leave the universities prepared to teach in a manner that allows all students to be college ready.

Want to Learn More?

Go to the links on the left side to explore each initiative in more depth.

Watch a short video about AVID for Higher Ed at the Minnesota School of Business- Brooklyn Center below.

                                     AVID for Higher Ed ath the Minnesota School of Business-Brooklyn Center