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Numbers tell a story of student success

By Jim Nelson , Executive Director, AVID Center

AVID data for the 2010-2011 was officially released last week, and as always, I am impressed, thankful, proud, and hopeful … all at the same time.

I am impressed because AVID continues to impact more students - despite tough economic times.  Schools and districts see the value of implementing AVID to reach and teach students who need the additional support and academic skills to prepare them for college. We emphasize expanding AVID schoolwide and districtwide so that every student has the opportunity to learn AVID strategies that are important to academic success.

I am thankful.  During every Summer Institute, AVID students tell stories about the obstacles they’ve overcome to achieve not only academic, but personal success.  In every case, the student talks about their AVID teacher, and how that teacher has made a tremendous impact in his or her life.  AVID educators know it’s tough work – it takes guts, determination, patience, brains, flexibility, and a love of all kids to be an AVID teacher.  AVID curriculum and strategies are the tools; AVID teachers make it happen.  I am forever grateful to those who go the extra mile to become AVID educators.

To say I am proud of the work we do at AVID Center and in our division and state offices would be an understatement.  I believe we have some of the brightest thinkers and most visionary folks working on our AVID strategies, curriculum, data analysis, IT and professional development  … including all of the support personnel that it takes to keep us on track.  We take our business very seriously and work very hard to provide the best resources and research available to those who implement AVID in schools and districts.     

While things aren’t looking hopeful for school budgets – I am hopeful because more schools are investing in AVID, which means they are focusing on reaching all students, closing gaps, and stepping up the emphasis on college readiness.  We trained close to 20,000 teachers this summer, up about 2,000 from last year, and we’ve added more schools and another state (AVID is now in 48 states). Because AVID is a proven system that works, we want to continue to add and deepen AVID in more schools, train even more educators, and persist at closing the achievement gap. The quality of our future is dependent upon the kids that are in schools now, and the investment in AVID has a very high return rate.

In a field that has relatively few good news stories, AVID is definitely a good news story, and one that I’m happy to report.


  • 27,891 AVID seniors reporting
  • 89.7 % completed four-year college entrance requirements
  • 57.6% planned to attend a four-year college/university
  • 33.1 % planned to start off at a community college
  • 72% reported taking at least one course of rigor, like AP® or IB®,
    • 60 % of those taking the corresponding exam
  • Of the 27,891 seniors who reported their information, 98.8 % graduated from high school
    • Details:  69.1% of those seniors were eligible for free or reduced lunch 

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