GEAR UP supports Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), a structured, college preparatory program that creates a college-going culture and pathway to rigorous curriculum. Nationally, AVID is currently in more than 2,200 middle schools and high schools in 36 states and 15 countries.
AVID targets students in the academic middle — B, C, and even D students — who have the desire to go to college and the willingness to work hard. Typically, they will be the first in their families to attend college, and many are from low-income or minority families. AVID pulls these students out of their unchallenging courses and puts them on the college track.
During the 2005-2011 grant period, GEAR UP supported the implementation of AVID programs at 20 low-income middle schools, which catalyzed the growth of AVID in Hawai‘i from one school in 2004-2005, to over 100 schools (40% of the state’s public schools) in 2011-2012.
GEAR UP continues to support AVID at low-income middle and high schools, as each school institutionalizes its program. Working closely with the AVID Center, GEAR UP advocates for Hawai‘i-based professional development with more Hawai'i teachers becoming AVID trainers, thereby creating sustainable local resources. GEAR UP also facilitates the creation of professional learning communities which allow teachers to share best practices and to better align instruction and college-going cultures. These efforts have helped institutionalize AVID’s impact on over 3,750 students each year at Title I schools.