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FHS AVID seniors outperform students nationally in college acceptance
Data from 2018-19 school year shows district leading on preparing students for college
In new 2018-19 data released in early November 2019, Fridley Public Schools’ Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program has outperformed students nationally in the completion of college applications and college acceptance.
AVID is a nationally-recognized program that helps students navigate the college application process, and build the academic and soft skills needed to succeed in college and the workforce. Ninety-one percent of Fridley’s AVID seniors applied to a four-year college, and 83 percent were accepted. Nationally, 81 percent of high school students aspire to earn a bachelor’s degree, yet fewer than 50 percent actually enroll at a four-year university.
Research shows that applying for financial aid is one of the best predictors of whether a student will enroll in college. Through the AVID program, the district hosts regular FAFSA application nights and provides dedicated in-school time for students to work with teachers and staff to complete their applications, providing them with better insight into financial resources available to them.
“Fridley Public Schools has created a culture of supporting and preparing our scholars for post-secondary education,” said Fridley Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kim Hiel. “We are proud to offer college readiness programs such as AVID that give students and their families the tools and resources to think ahead and plan for their post-secondary education.”
According to AVID Coordinator Liz Jensen, the program has seen such immense success due to intentional approaches to study skills, a supportive and inclusive culture within the classroom, and structured expectations of all participants.
“Our AVID student have worked incredibly hard to strengthen their skills and put themselves on a path to success, and I am so incredibly proud of them,” said Jensen. “Many of them are the first to attend college in their families. Our teachers are dedicated to empowering and preparing our students for their post-secondary journeys, and it has been amazing to see the success rate of these students.”
AVID was implemented into Fridley High School in 2011. Since then, hundreds of seniors have graduated from the program and attended two-year or four-year institutions. The students cite additional benefits of the program, including a positive support system among AVID peers and teachers, valuable academic support for advanced classes, and additional guidance as they navigate individual paths to college.
During the 2017-18 school year, Fridley High School became an AVID Schoolwide Site of Distinction. This title represents the highest level of fidelity of program implementation, demonstrates excellence in instructional practice and the promotion of college readiness schoolwide. AVID was also implemented into Fridley Middle School in 2017 for grades 7-8. The class allows middle school students to develop their note-taking, organization, and study skills, as well as preparing for college entrance.
“We congratulate Fridley Public Schools for its demonstrated commitment to ensuring that all students have the opportunity to pursue a post-secondary education,” said Dr. Sandy Husk, CEO of AVID. “These milestones reflect the district’s holistic approach to college readiness -- starting with building a culture of high expectations among teachers and students, and including the delivery of rigorous, student-centric instruction that prepares them for college-level work. We are proud to be part of Fridley Public Schools’ work to ensure all students can reach their fullest potential.”