For students enrolled in an advanced placement program at Wilson Middle School, the countdown to college has begun. And these eighth- and seventh-graders aren't letting a minute go to waste.
"It is a competitive world out there, and students are needing to be much more aware of the options after high school," said Jolie Augustine, an English teacher and director of the school's Advancement Via Individual Determination program, known as AVID.
The college readiness program, used at hundreds of schools throughout California, including Toll and Roosevelt middle schools and Hoover and Glendale high schools, is designed to assist middle-of-the-road students reach their higher education goals.
At Wilson, AVID is taken as a daily elective. Now in its fifth year, it is open to seventh- and eighth-graders. But admission into the program is competitive. Students are required to apply and interview, explaining why they want to participate, Augustine said.
Among the program's features is training students in organizational skills and time management. Each AVID student is required to maintain a meticulously structured binder that is checked weekly by a teacher. They are also trained to use the Cornell note-taking style, which provides a systematic way for condensing and reviewing information.