So, I’m on the AVID site team and have been part of it since we brought AVID here over two years ago. Today we had a big meeting with faculty and administration, and frankly, for me, it was so encouraging. I can still remember when Meg, Troy, Regina and I sat around talking about the prospect of AVID–but today (like at Summer Jam, itself) the whole initiative seemed so real, so tangible, so successful.
Everyone in the room was sincerely invested in the enterprise of bringing higher quality to our campus. I’d hazard to guess there were four or five various agendas among us, but we all had that one desire in common: to bring our students our best. However we get around to that is immaterial.
It might be because I was sitting next to a big American flag, but I could not help thinking of our founding fathers. I might have been drifting some after lunch, but I kept thinking, “Man, this must be how John Hancock felt.” There were so many big hitters in the room, so many good ideas. We were all united for something so very good, and we were all intent about it. To a person, every one of us might have had a moment or two in that 90 minutes when we realized this. We’re involved in something big and potent.
In our followup meeting it was discussed that AVID is one of those initiatives that seems to have more staying power than many which have passed in/out of vogue. Yes, it has a 30 year track record in the public system, but higher ed is a shrewd customer. We’ve become calloused against -isms. We wait out the Next Big Thing on a regular basis…but AVID really seems to be authentic. It’s not trying to take over the world. It’s not some federal program we all have to obey. It’s just honest to goodness packaged pedagogy that we can all deploy our own ways.
I was hesitant to throw in my chips on this AVID thing, years ago. I did not want us to be swamped with some program that told us what to do and claimed all the glory. I was particularly leery of a grant, for they can be very prescriptive (and worse yet, here today/gone tomorrow). Fortunately, AVID has proven it’s not some programmatic grant to fear. It’s proven pedagogy we can trust.
I’m glad to be a part of it all. I hope you are, too.