Academics » Advancement Via Individual Determination

Advancement Via Individual Determination


The Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) system targets students in the academic middle who have the desire to go to college and the willingness to work hard. AVID places academically average students in advanced classes and provides them with an elective class that prepares them to succeed in rigorous curricula, enter mainstream activities in school, and increase their opportunities to enroll in four-year colleges.

AVID's mission is to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society. The AVID system levels the playing field for minority, rural, low-income, and other students without a college-going tradition in their families. Developed in 1980 by Mary Catherine Swanson, AVID has seen steady growth throughout California, nationally, and internationally in the last 30 years.

  • More than 3,386 schools in 48 states and 15 foreign countries offer the AVID system.
  • More than 220,000 students have graduated from AVID programs.
  • 77 percent of AVID students were accepted to a four year college in 2008.
  • Approximately 14.8 percent of AVID students in California plan to attend a University of California (UC) campus.
  • Approximately 41.4 percent of AVID students in California plan to attend a California State University (CSU) campus.
  • Approximately 88 percent of AVID students complete the a-g requirements for UC and CSU.



The purpose of AVID is to prepare students for college eligibility and success. As AVID expands to a school-wide and district-wide program, it impacts educators by increasing best practices for engaging all students and increasing college readiness across the school and district. The California Department of Education (CDE) works with the AVID regional offices and the AVID Center to expand and support the AVID program in local middle and high schools by:

  • Supporting AVID in existing schools and districts
  • Expanding AVID to more schools and students
  • Providing essential support to the expansion of Advanced Placement courses
  • Providing adequate statewide professional development support
  • Maintaining the high quality of program and student outcomes

AVID regional offices also encourage (1) improved student access to rigorous academic curriculum, including honors, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate courses; (2) effective articulation and feeder patterns that enable students to be served by AVID programs in grades 6 through 12; and (3) increased adoption of AVID strategies on a school-wide and district-wide basis.


If you would like any additional information regarding AVID, please contact Carlos Avila at [email protected].