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Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) is a college preparatory program for students in the middle who are often economically disadvantaged and underachieving. It enables disadvantaged secondary students to succeed in rigorous curricula, enter mainstream activities in school, and increase their opportunities to enroll in four-year colleges. Developed in 1980 by Mary Catherine Swanson, AVID has seen steady growth throughout California, nationally, and internationally in the last 26 years. 

Mt. Whitney 

The Mt. Whitney AVID program is the largest in Visalia Unified School District with over 220 students in 8 sections, 2 for each class, freshman through the senior year.  The four classes take a field trip to at least one college campus every year as well as cultural destinations to expand their horizons.  The AVID elective class is designed to help students understand how to study and organize themselves so they do not just attend college, but succeed once they get there.

AVID Field Trips 

The Freshman trip at Mt. Whitney High School is to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Hearst Castle and the Elephant Seals at Piedras Blancas State Beach.  

The Sophomore trip is to UCLA and the Museum of Tolerance at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles.  

The Juniors take trips to Fresno State and watch a Fresno State football game and then take a second trip to CSU Monterey Bay and San Jose State.  

The Senior trip is to Sacramento State and CSU Stanislaus.  

AVID Staff

Judy Oto – Freshmen; TBA – Sophomores

Todd Herfurth – Juniors and Coordinator; Randy Nelson – Seniors

Plus an additional 15 other staff members are AVID ready teachers.