At the secondary grade levels, AVID is an approved elective course taken during the school day. Students are usually selected to enroll in an AVID class after an application process. For one class period a day, they learn organizational and study skills, work on critical thinking and asking probing questions, get academic help from peers and college tutors, and participate in enrichment and motivational activities that make college seem attainable. Students enrolled in AVID are typically required to enroll in at least one of their school's toughest classes, such as honors or Advanced Placement®, in addition to the AVID elective. As students progress in AVID, their self-images improve, and they become academically successful leaders and role models for other students.
The AVID curriculum, based on rigorous standards, was developed by middle and senior high school teachers in collaboration with college professors. It is driven by the WICOR method, which stands for writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization and reading. AVID curriculum is used in AVID elective classes and in content-area classes (English language arts, math, science, and social studies) in AVID schools.