By Dr. Fernando Valle, Asst. Professor, Texas Tech University College of Education
In West Texas, AVID’s college readiness efforts can be compared to a 4 x 4 relay race where AVID skills are handed from elementary, to middle, to high school to the university AVID student finishing the College Race. In the fall and spring semesters, Lubbock ISD and Texas Tech University partner to have K–20 West Texas AVID Roundups/Summits featuring networking sessions, showcasing AVID best practices in schools and a Family AVID night hosted at Texas Tech University with 500+ attendees. The partnerships have allowed us to pass the baton of college readiness from one school and learning space to another across the educational pipeline. What does this look like and sound like in West Texas? Thought you would never ask!
In Lubbock elementary schools, campuses are implementing AVID skills campus-wide, hosting professional developments and inviting rural schools to see AVID in action and recognize how college readiness is more than a poster and pennant on the wall. In essence, they are working hard across grade levels and the campus to prepare the future AVID middle school community to have the skills they need to excel. The continued work of developing a college-ready student to persist in middle and high school AVID is a collaborative effort in West Texas. Lubbock ISD and TTU share tutors and workshops, support each other on AVID site teams, and continually share college knowledge in various forms to prepare the next crop of college students.
So, you have AVID at Texas Tech University? A surprised response when high school students visiting the Texas Tech campus find out we “speak” AVID. As an AVID for Higher Education University Campus entering our third year, building off Summer Institutes and making AVID professional development work for our campus has allowed Texas Tech to create a niche for AVID to support first and second year students. The IS 1102 AVID for College Success course refines college skills, connects students to the writing and learning centers at Tech, and recommends TTU AVID students for tutoring positions in LISD schools.
We invite you to come to our session at the AVID National Conference and be part of the College Readiness K–20 West Texas relay. Come listen to and meet Marissa Gutierrez, a former AVID high school student, who is a math/engineering major at Texas Tech University. Marissa took AVID for College Success as a first year student. She volunteered to reach out and talk to AVID students in local high schools about college and now is an AVID tutor and part of our professional development and national conference presentations. We continue to build partnerships, find creative ways to support students’ college readiness skills and would love to have you in our extended network of AVID schools. Come join us as we discuss our training models and how we are strengthening the links of K–20 college readiness.
Fernando Valle is an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at Texas Tech University and has been the AVID for Higher Education Liaison for 3 years.