Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) for Higher Education (AHE) Teacher Preparation Initiative (TPI) program was implemented at The University of Texas—Pan American (now UT Rio Grande Valley) in 2012 to impact teacher candidates through their teacher preparation programs. AHE TPI at UTRGV has been infused with the institution’s UTeach program, which prepares and certifies math and science majors for the field of secondary education. TPI uses AVID's frameworks, methodologies, and research-based strategies in UTeach teacher preparation courses. Each year, AVID provides professional development on campus to students, local school mentor teachers, and university faculty, and facilitates planning sessions. Topics have included strategies for English Language Learners, reading, inquiry, writing to learn, metacognition, and Culturally Relevant Teaching. Strategies are taught in TPI classes and then implemented by their students in field lessons. Students are in the field as early as their first year.
The mission of AVID's Teacher Preparation Initiative is aligned with AVID's mission to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society. The goal is to transform the culture of teacher education by engaging key campus members, including faculty, staff, administrators, and teacher candidates, and programs in the change process. AVID tracks teacher candidate performance through graduation and induction.
A total of 486 students are currently enrolled in the UTeach / AVID TPI program that began in August 2012. Over 90% of AVID TPI students are Hispanic.
- Since 2015, AVID TPI instructional strategies were taught to over 700 university students, university faculty, and local school K-12 school district teachers.
- The Brownsville campus graduated its first UTeach / AVID TPI graduates in May 2014 and then each academic semester thereafter; the Edinburg campus graduated its first graduates in December 2015.
- There have been 92 graduates to date, 92% of whom are Hispanic.
- 100% of graduates have passed both teacher certification exams required by the state of Texas.
- 79% of graduates are currently employed by school districts as teachers.