In another Australian first, Victoria University will train its own educators in a program that has had remarkable results around the world.
AVID (or Advancement via Individual Determination) has helped thousands of secondary-school students and educators since VU introduced the program to Australia in 2011. It works by helping both students and teachers develop explicit learning and teaching skills in areas such as critical thinking, note-taking, peer presentations, critical reading, and writing strategies across all disciplines.
Many of the 40,000 students at 50+ schools across Australia now using the AVID program are flourishing, taught by 3,000 AVID-trained teachers, and hundreds of university students who act as AVID tutors.
VU educators to receive training in the USA
VU Chancellor George Pappas announced at last week’s annual AVID Australia Summer Institute that VU has been so impressed with AVID results that it will provide 10 travelling scholarships to its own First Year College educators to join in professional development and networking with AVID educators from the USA in Colorado next year.
The scholarships will help expand VU’s professional learning community and the repertoire of high engagement teaching and lifelong learning strategies that VU’s own first-year teachers can pass along to VU students.
“VU has long been engaged to improve education in this country,” Chancellor Pappas said. “We see ourselves as innovators in education and a force for changing education.”
The AVID story
AVID started nearly 40 years ago in the USA to help under-achieving, and often disadvantaged, students not only aim for but also thrive at university and in the workplace.
Last week’s Summer Institute hosted at Victoria University featured two AVID students from California as keynote speakers: Vanessa Gonzalez and Sayra Cacho, the children of migrants who never had the opportunity to finish school.
The winner of AVID Australia’s first national Student Speaker Competition, Central Coast student Logan Losurdo, recounted his journey with AVID, describing how it is helping him overcome family troubles, engage with his learning, and reimagine his future as a lawyer.
Program complements successful VU teaching model
The AVID scholarships program complements VU’s introduction of a block model of teaching and learning introduced for first year students this year, in which students completed one unit at a time in smaller classes with specially trained teachers.
Students grades, satisfaction, and retention showed such improvements that VU will roll out the model across all undergraduate and postgraduate courses by 2020.