An Analysis of Educational Achievement: An Evaluation of the Advancement Via Individual Determination Program in a Midsized Gulf Coast School District
McCann, Christyn M.
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Students with academic potential often fall victim to the achievement gap. These students show academic aptitude on acheivement test scores, but they lack the unwritten academic skills and practices to achieve success in rigorous curriculums such as Advanced Placement and Dual Credit courses. Academic frustrations can lead to increased absentee rates, higher disciplinary referrals, and increased drop out rates. Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) is a program designed to recognize students who have academic potential. AVID students are enrolled in an elective course that occurs in their daily schedule, and provides students with educational supports to attain academic achievement. Through this program, students are entrenchend in academically rigorous, college preparatory courses and AVID curricula that will lead to completion of four-year college and university entrance requirements. The purpose of this study is to present an analysis of the educational achievement of the AVID program in a midsized Gulf Coast school district through program evaluation. The evaluation of the AVID program was conducted using the theoretical framework of the CIPP Model for Evaluation. Archival data was used to determine what effects four-year enrollment in AVID had on student achievement. Measures of student achievement were defined as average daily student attendance, disciplinary referrals, academic achievement through grade point averages, college credits that students earn in Advanced Placement and Dual Credit courses, Exit Level Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) scores, and graduation rates. This evaluation found that AVID students had a better average daily attendance rate, a lower number of students who received disciplinary referrals, and a lower number of disciplinary referrals received when compared to matched-paired, non-AVID students. AVID students had a higher median grade point average, and subsequently, a more desirable average class rank. AVID students enrolled in more Advanced Placement courses than the matched-paired, non-AVID student group but earned less college credit through Advanced Placement examinations. AVID students earned more college credit through the Dual Credit program. AVID students outperformed the matched-paired, non-AVID student group on the initial administration of the Exit Level TAKS test; however, the matched-paired, non-AVID student group had a greater percentage of students earning commended scores on three of the four assessments of the Exit Level TAKS. AVID students had a higher graduation rate than the matched-paired, non-AVID student group and had more students graduate as part of the Recommended High School Program and Distinguished Achievement Program.