What is AVID?


Yordanos Tesfa, Staff Writer

When I mention AVID to other students, they give me puzzled looks. Many people don’t know much about the program; students and adults outside of the program don’t understand how beneficial the class really is.

AVID, a class offered at CHS, is an acronym for Advancement Via Individual Determination .The program trains teachers to use reliable practices in order to prepare students for success in high school classes, college, and a professional career. It mainly helps students who are underrepresented in higher education. AVID strives to place academically average students in advanced classes. The program targets students who are minorities and the first in their families to attend college.

“The AVID program helps students develop skill through inquiry, collaboration, reading, and writing in order to make them extra college ready,” AVID 12 teacher Robin Cremen stated.

CHS has four AVID classes across grades 9, 10,11, and 12. Some students were part of the program throughout middle school as well. Three teachers are involved. Cassandra Barber teaches grades 9 and 10, Jay Muhammad teaches 11th grade, and Mrs. Cremen teaches 12th grade. Over 100 students participate.

The class has several requirements. Students must enroll in all honors and/or AP classes during freshman and sophomore years. Then, they must maintain a schedule of  at least two core honor/AP courses in grades 11 and 12. Students must also maintain satisfactory citizenship and attendance in all their classes. Incoming freshmen who are planning to enter AVID in high school  should talk to current AVID students and visit classrooms in order to understand the commitment of being part of the class.

It’s very important that students complete all their homework assignments and commit to studying every night.Students have to maintain the AVID binder with assignment record sheets and daily notes in all their core classes.

According to the AVID mission, the program seeks to prepare all students for college readiness and success in a global society. It exists in 46 states, the District of Columbia, and countries all around the world.  AVID emphasizes access, rigor, high performance standards, and excellence.

AVID targets students who have average grades. The class is great for students who have little knowledge about college readiness information, teaching important skills and behaviors for academic success. Students in the program feel as though the strategies offered in the course can help them with many other classes. One strategy that is mentioned often is Cornell Notes.

“AVID provides Cornell notes which are very helpful for studying for tests,” junior Mykeia Barksdale said.

Another very important part of the elective is the Socratic Seminar. There are four elements of Socratic Seminar. Socratic Seminar texts have to be able to  raise questions in the participants’ minds. The leader knows the text very well and has to keep the discussion focused on the text.

Participants have to study the text closely, listen, share, and ask questions. Participants reflect on the seminars afterwards. In all, Socratic Seminars usually last for 15-20 minutes.

“Socratic Seminars are a great way to interact with other students in your AVID class  and better understand an article,” senior Taylor Craig remarked.

Another important activity in AVID is the tutorial. AVID tutorials have three main participants: students, tutors, and teachers. Students must use inquiry, actively participate, help create a comfortable environment,communicate openly, and show respect. Inquiry is used during tutorial in order to gain a greater understanding of the information the group in discussing. Listening, asking questions, answering questions, and taking notes is crucial during the process.

Students must openly communicate with tutors, the teacher, and group members in the class. Group members share and respect what other students say. Tutors model use of inquiry in order to allow students to gain a deeper understanding, and also communicate with teachers and students about student participation and group interaction.

AVID is helpful in applying to colleges ahead of time. The program also provides students with trips to colleges in order to make it easier for them to make a decision.