THE HISTORY OF AVID
From one classroom of 32 students to serving more than 2 million students today, AVID has made the dream of college a reality for countless individuals.
See videos of AVID through the years in our YouTube channel.
Teachers at Clairemont High School had low expectations for students bussed in from disadvantaged areas of San Diego, which caused a belief that these students could not succeed. Mary Catherine Swanson, English department head and teacher, believed if students were willing to work hard she could teach them the skills needed to be college-ready.
The AVID system proved to be so successful at Clairemont High School that the California Department of Education granted funds to disseminate the AVID program throughout San Diego County.
Summer Institute was introduced as the core event for AVID professional learning. The first AVID Summer Institute was held at the University of San Diego, with 258 attendees.
Swanson won the $50,000 Dana Award for Pioneering Achievement in Education, the only public-school teacher ever so honored. The award brought national recognition and growth for AVID.
AVID Center was established as a nonprofit to help serve schools across the nation and around the world. AVID Center would help ensure schools had the professional learning and resources they needed to deliver AVID with quality and fidelity no matter the location.
AVID has expanded to all regions of California, as well as many other states and Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS).
Swanson was featured as America’s Best Teacher by TIME Magazine, highlighting her simple philosophy of raising expectations and giving students the support they need. The article noted that AVID had become widely regarded as one of the most effective educational reforms ever created by a teacher.
The College Board co-sponsored the first-ever AVID National Conference. Today AVID National Conference is the premier forum to discuss and share best practices, attracting thousands of thought leaders and educators from across the nation annually.
AVID Elementary was launched nationwide, allowing young students to develop strong academic habits early to provide the academic foundation needed to start on a path for college and career success.
AVID for Higher Education was developed, allowing AVID to reach educators and students at all levels, K–16, through customizable professional learning and by helping colleges strengthen their student services and the freshman experience.
AVID introduces AVID Excel nationwide at Summer Institute to interrupt students’ path to long-term ELL status, accelerate their language acquisition, and put them on a path to AVID and college preparatory coursework.
AVID is implemented in more than 7,000 schools in 47 states across the U.S., plus schools in Department of Defense Education, Canada, and Australia. AVID impacts more than 2 million students in grades K–12 and 62 postsecondary institutions.
To learn more about AVID's history, click here.