Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Sarah J. Noonan

Second Advisor

Thomas L. Fish

Third Advisor

Chien-Tzu Candace Chou


A study of “at risk” high school youth revealed how student participation in the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program positively affected student achievement and increased college aspirations and entrance rates. The experiences of the students, teachers, and administrators were examined using a case study approach involving two high schools providing the AVID program within the same district. A combination of factors supported student success in the AVID program. Students found a safe place within the AVID classroom to take risks and learn due to positive relationships between teachers and students. The relationships within the “school family system” contained family-like members: teachers took on parental roles, and peer friendships resembled sibling relationships.

Several different components of the AVID program supported student learning, including professional development, rigorous curriculum, and the adoption of a new professional role as an AVID teacher. The AVID curriculum and pedagogy consisted of effective lesson design, strategy instruction, creating conditions to support autonomous learners, informal academic advising, valuing individual differences and diversity, and college readiness: selecting, applying and paying for college contributing to student success. Administrators played a supportive role in the AVID program by selecting effective teachers and providing resources for learning and teaching. Changing students’ academic identities through positive relationships and skilled coaching helped students discover the route to academic success and gain acceptance in college.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

This file may be slow to open due to its size. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."

Included in

Education Commons