AVID’s mission is to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society.

Advancement Via Individual Determination

Student Success Initiative

AVID for Higher Education’s (AHE) Student Success Initiative (SSI) is designed to support students who enter college underprepared. SSI addresses the gaps in student performance and success at institutions of higher education and assists students by developing the skills that enable them to deal effectively with the academic, cultural and financial challenges that college creates.

Research shows student performance and success is impacted by the gap:

    • in college completion rates between low-income and high-income students, and between white students and students of color;
    • between the number of students who intend to transfer from 2-year to 4-year colleges and the number who actually do;
    • in collaboration between schools and colleges/universities;
    • between the amount of teacher preparation received in graduate-school by college faculty and the quality of their professional performance as undergraduate teachers and advisors;
    • between higher education's emphasis on student acquisition of discipline-specific content and the need for students to develop cross-disciplinary, lifelong learning skills;
    • between the current (and urgent) need for higher education to make transformative change to meet the needs of today's growing number of first-generation students; and the reality that postsecondary institutions are notoriously slow to change.

SSI reduces barriers that traditionally limit levels of academic achievement by providing an academic support program to develop college success skills needed for academic success, persistence, and graduation. In addition, the SSI facilitates professional development using student success pedagogies applicable across academic disciplines and student services, and designs a college plan around the AVID for Higher Education Essentials.

System Impact of the AHE Student Success Initiative


Evidence from participating colleges and universities points to the following system impacts of the AHE Student Success Initiative:

  • Impacts on Students: Students in the SSI are more likely to hold themselves accountable for their learning. They demonstrate improved academic behaviors, competencies, and self-efficacy reinforced by peer support and mentoring. They change their beliefs in their own abilities, and apply the learning strategies to rigorous college-level coursework.
  • Impacts on Faculty: The AVID campus planning team identifies institutional barriers to student persistence,  acceleration and completion, develops a vision to remove these barriers, and advocates for and monitors the AVID students. The AHE professional learning opportunities provide faculty with research-based instructional pedagogy and concrete strategies for student engagement and teaching within various disciplines.
  • Impacts on Campus Culture: High expectations for student success and high levels of student support become the campus norm, and belief systems shift to a more positive commitment to student achievement. AHE helps institutions transition from a teaching environment to a learning environment that can lead to positive impacts on campus culture.

Some of the program outcomes mentioned above include: peer-supported learning communities, faculty development more directly focused on student engagement and success, and increased student persistence and successful course completion.

For additional information about AVID for Higher Education's Student Success Initiative, please contact [email protected].

Read full information in the Student Success Initiative brochure