It’s not difficult to understand why high school students that are academically engaged and successful have greater access to a college—and are more likely to attain a degree. But what can be done to help create more of these students?
AVID/TOPS is a program created by the partnership between Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) and the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County (BGC). AVID/TOPS is a high-intensity, in-school and out-of-school partnership focused on supporting students to develop the writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization and reading skills needed to be college and career ready. AVID/TOPS students will increase their GPAs, attendance, high school graduation and college acceptance. Through the AVID/TOPS partnership, students receive the AVID college readiness curriculum, in addition to tutoring, college field trips, mentoring, summer internships and career exploration. The goal of AVID/TOPS is to close the achievement gap by ensuring that students who are typically underrepresented on college campuses graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge needed to be successful for college and career.
Through a two-pronged approach, the program is generating real results. AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) is a nationwide initiative. For BGC’s AVID/TOPS Program, it provides a crucial classroom component that involves participating in a challenging four-year elective class that is also accompanied by plenty of academic support.
TOPS (Teens of Promise) involves activities outside of the classroom that help students become more prepared for college and includes real-world experiences like summer internships at area businesses and organizations.
Helping students and exposing them to the insurance industry
Students enrolled in the AVID/TOPS Program take part in site visits at M3’s Madison office before their junior year. These students are often unaware of the potential opportunities that the insurance industry has to offer. M3 welcomes the opportunity to provide insight on the insurance world and broaden students’ perspectives on potential career paths.
Additionally, M3 conducts summer internships for AVID/TOPS Program participants. This enables students to gain professional experience in a corporate environment. M3 staff also play a direct role in coaching and mentoring interns, helping them to build on their existing skills and gain confidence as they prepare for pursuing a college degree.
Pictured are M3’s 2017 AVID/TOPS interns:
Deonte Seroy (West High School) & Noelle Koontz (La Follette High School).