Students who come from families who have not had a member attend college are getting the benefit of college prep in middle school, and their classmates are reaping the benefits as well.
At Serrano Middle School in the Ontario-Montclair school district, the long-standing AVID program (Advancement Via Individual Determination) has encouraged students to aspire to continuing their education beyond high school and enabling them to achieve the goal.
Previously, about a quarter of the students opted into AVID electives. Teachers believed that all students could benefit from aspects of the AVID program, and began incorporating it into all classes. When students opted in, they were frequently high achievers. But students who might need additional support for getting into college were not occupying the slots in the program.
“It’s for those middle-of-the-road students,” said English teacher Sam Sager. Those students “otherwise on their own merits wouldn’t get to college because they don’t otherwise have the skills to succeed.”
“AVID just brings a lot of good strategies,” said Brad Holtan, a math teacher at Serrano. “It definitely helps.”