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

Why AVID for  Higher Education

There are hard truths regarding the college completion crisis by which AHE can deliver results:

  • The percentage of high school graduates enrolling in college is increasing for all racial and income groups (National Association of System Heads & Education Trust, 2009); however, these gains in college access rates are not being matched by gains in college success rates (Hunt & Carruthers, 2004).
  • The United States has one of the highest college-going rates in the world, yet its college-completion rates (both 2-year and 4-year) rank near the bottom half of all industrialized nations (College Board, 2008a; National Governors Association, 2008).
  • Only 35% of America’s college students graduate with a bachelor’s degree in 4 years and just over half (52%) graduate within 6 years (College Board, 2009). For students who attend college part-time, the completionrate is even lower: Less than 25% graduate within 8 years (Complete College America, 2011).
  • Viewing America’s current college-completion rates from an international perspective, the United States has dropped from number 2 in the word to number 12, and is in the process of dropping further (Complete College America, 2010). If this trend continues, the current generation of college-age Americans will be the first in U.S. history to be less educated than its parent generation (Community College Survey of Student Engagement, 2010).

Watch a short video about AVID for Higher Ed at the Minnesota School of Business- Brooklyn Center below.

In 2009, AVID Center created a pilot program to systemically support structures at the college level for aspiring but underprepared students. Six institutions of higher education from four states (California, Minnesota, Texas, and Washington), representing 2-year and 4-year institutions, participated in the pilot. The AVID for Higher Education pilot identified several key conditions necessary for AVID to effectively address student success at an institution of higher education:

  • There must be strong campus leadership, vision, and support.
  • Students must have access to rigorous credit-bearing coursework rather than remedial, developmental coursework.
  • There must be coherence in student experiences. This coherence can be achieved through structures such as cohorts, academies, learning communities and linked classes, or innovative online options.
  • Instruction must be learner-centered and engage students in AVID’s WICOR components.
  • Students are supported in their learning by their participation in an AVID or AVID-like course during their freshman year.

Resources for more information:


College Board (2008). Coming to our senses: Education and the American future. Report of the Commission on Access, Admissions and Success in Higher Education. Retrieved August 5, 2009, from www.http:advocacy.collegeboard.org/.../coming-to-our-senses-college-board-2.

College Board (2009). How colleges organize themselves to increase student persistence: Four-year institutions. Princeton, NJ: Author. Retrieved January 18, 2010, from http://professionals.collegeboard.com/profdownload/college-rewtention.pdf.

Community College Survey of Student Engagement (2010). The heart of student success: Teaching, learning, and college completion. Community College Leadership Program. Austin, TX: The University of Texas at Austin.

Complete College America (2010). Boosting completion at community colleges: Time, choice, structure, and the significant role of states. Policy brief submitted by request to the White House Working Group of the President’s Summit on Community College. Washington, DC: Author.

Complete College America (2011). Time is the enemy. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved, December 11, 2011, from http://www.completecollege.org/state_data/.

Hunt, J. B., Jr., & Carruthers, G. (2004). Foreword. Measuring Up 2004: The National Report Card on Higher Education. San Jose, CA: National Center for Public Policy in Higher Education.

National Association of System Heads & Education Trust (2009). Charting a necessary path: The baseline report of public higher education systems in the access to success initiative. Washington, DC: Authors.

National Governors Association (2008). Benchmarking for success: Ensuring U.S. students receive a world-class education. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved January 18, 2011, from http://www.achieve.org/files/BenchmarkingforSuccess.pdf.