Group of AVID seniors

What is AVID?

AVID is an elementary through postsecondary college readiness system designed to increase school-wide learning and performances for students. Currently in Sun Prairie, AVID is offered 8th through 12th grades.

AVID targets students in the academic middle who have the desire to go to college and the willingness to work hard. These are students capable of completing rigorous curriculum but who are falling short of their potential.  Follow this link to a brief video about the AVID College Readiness System.


The mission of AVID is to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society. Students will:

  • Succeed in rigorous curriculum
  • Enter mainstream activities of the school
  • Increase enrollment in four-year colleges
  • Become educated and responsible participants and leaders in a democratic society


The objectives of the AVID system are to:

  • Raise the expectations of students in the academic middle who desire to go to college and are willing to work hard
  • Enroll middle and high school students in rigorous courses
  • Optimize students' chances for success in rigorous coursework by providing necessary instruction and a system of support
  • Empower students with critical college preparatory skills
  • Ensure that all students graduate high school ready for college and career


The AVID curriculum is driven by the WICOR method, which stands for Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, and Reading. 

The AVID elective is offered at Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School and Sun Prairie High School as an elective course, through an application and selection process.  Students learn organizational and study skills, work on critical thinking and asking probing questions, receive academic help from peers and college tutors, and participate in enrichment and motivational activities that make college attainable. AVID students will visit several colleges each year to explore the different types of campuses and develop a sense of what they want from their own college experiences.

In addition, AVID strategies are implemented throughout Cardinal Heights and Sun Prairie High School across all subjects, in an effort to support the academic aspirations of all Sun Prairie students.


Kathleen Enstad
AVID District Director
Work:  608.834.6586

Applying to AVID

Each year around February/March, our AVID team starts the recruitment process for our next group of AVID Scholars.  This process includes informational meetings, applications, interviews and more.  Currently, Sun Prairie School District recruits from our 7th grades as we start the AVID program in 8th grade.  We also recruit to fill any openings in the 9th -10th grade classes.  Final selections are determined by the AVID recruitment team.  Acceptance as an AVID Scholar in Sun Prairie carries over from one grade to the next and one building to the next.

Families who would like more information about this program and recruitment process should contact the AVID Coordinator at their building:

  • Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School - Chelsea Ehmke - ceehmke@sunprairieschools.org or 608.318.8030
  • Sun Prairie High School - Rebecca Griffin - email or 608.834.6871

The Tutorial Process

A key component of a successful AVID program is the tutorial process.  This process is used in the AVID elective class twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


  • Create deeper understanding of concepts covered in core content classes
  • Develop skills necessary to become self-directed learners
  • It is not just homework help


  • To push each other's thinking.  AVID tutorials utilize an inquiry process
  • Tutors do not give answers; they facilitate the groups discovery process
  • Students reflect on their learning

How are AVID tutorials different from "tutoring"?

  • Students come prepared with specific questions
  • Questions are high level thinking questions
  • Students work and discuss in collaborative groups
  • Students must reflect on their own participation in the groups and on how the group worked together

Tutors don't teach the answers; they ask more questions; this is called the Socratic Method


We are looking for AVID tutors. 

What is AVID?

  • AVID is an acronym that stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination
  • AVID is an in-school academic support system that prepares students for college success
  • Avid places academically average students in advanced classes
  • AVID levels the playing field for all students

What would I do?

  • Tutors use the Socratic method to help students answer questions. Tutors do not need to be experts in any subject areas; you will not give answers, but help students discover answers. Tutors serve as role models of motivated, organized, successful college students who believe that AVID students will succeed.
  • These paid positions include training and valuable feedback from experienced teachers.

Potential AVID tutor contact letter.

For an AVID Tutor Employment Application, please go HERE.