AVID: Jump-start To College


By Avani Chhaya

More than 4,500 students across all grade levels are provided with AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) services in Austin ISD. AVID is a national program that the district implements to increase post-secondary readiness and to create a college-going culture among some elementary, middle school and high school students. The foundation of the program is around WICOR, writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization and reading. The goal of AVID is to have students succeed and graduate from college, yet this is not a district-wide program.

At the national level, 72 percent of AVID seniors in 2015 enrolled in either a two-year or a four-year college after high school compared with 69 percent of seniors in the United States. From Fall 2015 to Fall 2016, 85 percent of AVID graduates continued into the second year of college compared with 78 percent of students in the country.

At the elementary level in Austin ISD, AVID is built on the same learning foundation as the program at the secondary level. With a focus on the early grades, AVID is designed to embed daily instruction in classrooms across all grade levels, providing students and teachers with common language for particular skills. This program leaves elementary teams with flexibility around setting goals and implementing initiatives. According to the Multi-Year Report of AVID Elementary Site Data, there are 66 AVID elementary classrooms with the majority of trained teachers at the 3rd through 5th grade level.

AVID Elementary Students By Grade in 2017

Source: AVID Data from Austin ISD

Grade Number of Students in Each Grade
Kindergarten: 33
1st Grade: 23
2nd Grade: 64
3rd Grade: 350
4th Grade: 539
5th Grade: 500
Total Number of Students: 1,509 Students


At the middle and high school level, there is an AVID teacher at each participating AVID school, possibly with more than one instructor. College-level tutors come in twice a week at the secondary level to host tight-knit socratic seminars, taking a student’s question and dissecting it in an open discussion during the AVID Elective.

Bedichek Middle School, an AVID national demonstration school, has an application-based method for students to participate in this elective program. AVID is implemented school-wide with all content teachers implementing WICOR strategies in their lessons. Eligible students are in the 75th to 95th academic percentile, understanding the workload and demands of this program and are eager for resources to help them on their path to college. With 18 sections of the AVID elective and three full-time elective teachers at this campus, this program at Bedichek serves 340 students out of its total student population of 883 students.

Main Takeaways from 2016-2017 AVID Secondary Data* | Source: AVID Data from Austin ISD

  • The average number of AVID middle school students per school is 106
  • The average number of AVID high school students per school is 166
  • 77 percent of AVID students are Hispanic or Latino, 11 percent of AVID students are Black or African American, 8 percent of AVID students are White and 2 percent of AVID students are Asian
  • There are 170 AVID elective sections
  • 13 percent of AVID 9th-12th gradeers are taking a college course for college credit

*Secondary data above includes both middle school and high school students

At the high school level, students are recruited into the AVID program through multiple pathways: through their middle schools, through their teachers identifying eligible students in high school classes and through school-wide events. The AVID curriculum has a specific focus on test preparation, college admission and marketable skills at the high school level. At 10 AVID high schools in the district, seniors can opt into a program through the AVID center to be tracked for the next four years after high school, in order to measure the impact of AVID services on students. Despite AVID starting in Austin ISD in the 1999-2000 school year, the district is not at the 100 percent benchmark of AVID seniors applying to a four-year or two-year college.

AVID Senior Data for Austin ISD* in 2016-2017

Source: AVID Data from Austin ISD

Applied to a four-year college: 89.4%
Planned to attend a four-year college: 57%
Accepted to a four-year college: 77%
Planned to attend a two-year college: 35.1%
Will be attending tech school or the military: 0.4%
Took SAT & ACT: 72.5%
Taking College Courses / Dual-Enrollment: 46%

*10 high schools and 265 AVID seniors are represented in the data above

Do you have a curriculum? Do you have socratic style tutorials? Who has access to AVID?
Elementary Everyone – all elementary students are in AVID
Secondary* Elective – secondary students must select this elective

*Secondary encompasses middle and high school