IUSD Does Not Need the AVID Program

The Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) Program is a college readiness class available in many schools across the country as an elective that assists students in academics and prepares them for college.

The program is for students with high academic potential who are experiencing some form of economic strife across Orange County. Although the program is advantageous to many students as it prepares underprivileged students, IUSD does not need to offer this program since it has integrated many aspects of the program into everyday learning within high schools.

“The aspects of AVID such as an agenda are things we try to incorporate during advisement, someone at least watching and seeing how you’re doing,” assistant principal Amy Paulsen said.

As an educator who comes from a district that has AVID, Paulsen explains that Portola High has tried to incorporate some of the program’s strategies for all students through advisement.

In addition, very few students in the district fit the group that AVID primarily targets. Only a small fraction of students in the district are struggling financially or are on track to becoming first generation college students.

“The percentage of kids who are not already on the college track, college readiness or even career readiness is very far and few between,” Paulsen said.

The AVID program is beneficial to many students because it is meant to guide students with high potential towards preparing to attend college after high school. Opportunities to visit different college campuses are easily accessible since the program takes its students on tours. There are also tutorials and agenda checks to ensure students are doing their work and are not confused about their studies. The program uses a lot of collaboration to keep students successful in school.

Although, the program can help all students, the district, Portola High specifically, works hard on integrating aspects of AVID into its teaching. Overall, the AVID program is not necessary to Portola, and the district works hard to make sure all students are pushed to reach their fullest academic potentials.                                                                                                                            

“Irvine does a great job at telling students ‘Hey, this is a great option for all of you, we’re not leaving anyone behind, we want you to push yourself,’” Paulsen said.