By Aurora Hoffman
Special to The Alpine Mountaineer
The AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program at Rim of the World High School is designed to help the students – many of whom will be first-generation college students – through the admission process and supply them with useful tools for the challenging college curriculum.
Currently, Rim’s AVID seniors are diligently preparing for college application season.
According to tutor Kailey Provost, students enrolled in AVID courses learn organization skills, critical thinking, note taking skills, persistence and how to seek help in the academic environment.
Teacher Jessica Erlanger facilitates the curriculum and pushes students toward college. She reports students often feel more confident pursuing a college career after completing the AVID program. “[AVID] students tend to be more savvy than the average Rim senior when it comes to college applications,” she said.
One element AVID utilizes to help students reach their academic goals are Tutorial Request Forms (TRFs), which they complete every Tuesday and Thursday. TRFs break down a subject the student is struggling with and pinpoints the questions and problems they have within that subject.
“[TRFs] asks questions to help students think about questions using a Socratic method. Students then reflect and take notes on future questions,” Provost said. Students then split off into groups where they may ask their peers questions and help each other with difficult curriculum. One student said her favorite thing is getting to talk about classes, while another added, “This is a class where you don’t feel stupid asking questions.”
Another student noted that “this is a good program for college-bound students. It helps with FAFSA, college prep and organization. I didn’t know any of that before AVID.” According to Erlanger, a college admissions officer assists students once a month with the application process and helps students navigate the tricky process. In past years, financial officers helped students with the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application process and enlightened students on how to fill out each section.
Not only does AVID help students with college applications; it gives students the opportunity to visit and tour college campuses. The class is scheduled to visit 11 Northern California colleges this month. Students expressed a mix of nervousness and excitement about touring the college campuses. Students reported they are particularly excited to visit Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Channel Islands, Fresno, Sacramento and East Bay. One student said, “I’m anxious to see which college is The One.”
The AVID community is devoted to helping each other succeed and finding the tools to push themselves down the college path. According to the school’s website, 100 percent of AVID students were accepted into colleges last year; some students even received multiple offers.
Provost has helped these students since they were in seventh grade and is excited to see these seniors reach their goals and flourish in college. “I love helping the kids and it’s cool to watch them become adults and go to college,” she said. As the only tutor, Provost is spread thin between the class of AVID scholars.
“There is only so much I can do in so much time. Dividing myself between students and groups is difficult,” Provost said. Although students will help their fellow peers during sessions, the class faces a lack of tutors. “With more tutors, they help keep groups on task,” she said. She also reports students are always appreciative of the help they receive and enjoy interacting with tutors.
According to Erlanger, AVID tutor positions are listed on edjoin.org/rimsd and are available to those pursuing a college degree or recent college graduates who are looking to give back to the community.
Editor’s note: Contributing writer and AVID student Kayla Carroll will be going on the college field trip and reporting on it in an upcoming issue.