Advancement Via Individual Determination (or AVID) is a college readiness system that includes an elective course focused on organizational strategies, study skills, critical thinking, tutorial support, and career and college awareness. In MMSD, AVID is partnered with the Teens of Promise (TOPS) program through the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County. TOPS provides full-time student coordinators in each of the four high schools, summer internships, after-school mentors, funding for more than 100 tutors during the elective course, and a variety of college and career field trips. 

AVID began as a pilot program with the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County in 2007 at Madison East High School. Since then, it has been implemented throughout the district in 4 comprehensive high schools. In the fall of 2012, AVID expanded to 11 of the district's middle schools.

The mission of AVID/TOPS is to assist students in developing the habits, academic skills and personal attributes to successfully graduate from high school, enroll and graduate from a post-secondary institution.

Below you will find some additional information about AVID/TOPS: 

WISCAPE Partnership.  The Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (WISCAPE) has partnered with MMSD and the Boys & Girls Club to conduct an assessment of AVID/TOPS. The research team examines the impact of the program on students’ preparation for postsecondary education, focusing on three key areas: academic preparation, student engagement, and college knowledge. The team also works closely with AVID/TOPS staff to identify areas of interest and continuously improve the program. WISCAPE produced the initial cohort report in October 2010 and has since produced three program reports. In 2013, WISCAPE began conducting an evaluation of the AVID middle school program.

AVID/TOPS 2014-2015 District Findings: Annual Report

AVID/TOPS 2013-2014 District Findings: Annual Report

AVID/TOPS 2012-2013 District Findings: Annual Report

AVID/TOPS 2012-2013 Actual Data Findings (reported according to What Works Clearinghouse standards)

AVID/TOPS 2011-2012 District Findings: Executive Summary

Accolades.  In 2013, Madison East High School was honored as a National Demonstration Site for its implementation of AVID/TOPS and success in raising student achievement with minority and low-income students. While AVID is used in over 4,000 schools nationwide, only the top 2% are named as National Demonstration Schools.  

Wisconsin State Journal article

District Press Release

Additional information about the AVID program can be found by visiting their website at

Additional information about the the TOPS program can be found by visiting their website at

Applying for an AVID Program
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