CSUMB AVID encourages elementary students to aspire to college

March 6, 2020

Elementary students from two Monterey Peninsula Unified School District (MPUSD) schools — Foothill Elementary and Dual Language Institute — visited CSU Monterey Bay in February as part of a new program called CSUMB AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination).

Activities included attending an Otters Athletics game to experience the atmosphere and energy of a college campus. The goal is to encourage and motivate the students to pursue higher education.

CSUMB AVID is a collaboration between CSUMB’s Pre-College Department, Otter Athletics and MPUSD. AVID is a national college-readiness nonprofit for low-income students. The organization currently serves 2 million students in 7,000 schools nationwide.

“It is important to us to prepare students for success in postsecondary as early as possible. Though it may look different than middle and high school preparation. It still prepares them to get excited about college,” said Kim Barber, director of CSUMB’s Pre-College and Early Outreach Support Programs. AVID programs normally focus on middle and high schoolers, but the CSUMB program is for younger students.

"When elementary school students and their parents have access to and are welcome on a college campus, it enables them to learn to navigate a college environment. It builds an early connection between the student and the institution and can create a pathway for the student's future college attendance,” said Carli Peck, MPUSD’s College and Career Readiness coordinator.

Experiencing a game day at CSUMB engages elementary students in a fun way and promotes a sense of belonging, Otter Athletics Director Kirby Garry said.

“Introducing them to our student-athletes allows us to build a stronger connection and gives them role models to look up to. The kids can see themselves in our student-athletes and continue to aspire to attend college,” Garry said.