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Butler Trains Colleges Across the Nation

ALP, Studenst
Published: Friday, October 19th, 2018

Butler Community College Trains Colleges Across the Nation in Engaged Learning Techniques

Butler Community College is one of 50 colleges across the United States that is employing AVID principles in the classroom. AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) for Higher Education is an approach that promotes student and faculty engagement using exciting and innovative learning strategies. Through these principles, faculty work hard to engage students in the learning process. Because of Butler’s success with this learning style, the college was asked to present a webinar on how to best use AVID in the classroom.

“We have used AVID techniques for the past five years and have seen a difference in student success,” said Phil Speary, Ph.D., Dean of Academic Support and Effectiveness at Butler. “By using a student-centered approach to teaching, Butler is transforming the college culture and placing the student first.”

Butler instructors Mark Jarvis, Director of Faculty Development, Katheryn McCoskey, professor of English, and Cory Teubner, Chair of Personal Development and Leadership Studies presented a three-hour Webinar on Oct. 12 for two- and four-year college instructors – some who are already employing AVID techniques, as well as others who would like to begin this active-learning, successful model.  Just under 100 people participated. Participants came from schools in Hawaii, Washington, Minnesota, Florida, South Carolina, California and Texas. Several Kansas schools participated as well.

“The presenters did a great job of highlighting what Butler has done to advance student success and leverage it with AVID,” said Betty Krohn, Ed.D., Director of AVID for Higher Education. “The content was strong, and the Butler team handled the questions really well.”

Butler’s faculty saw an increase in student success with this highly-engaged way of learning. During the past 4 years, students who took the AVID freshman seminar class were on average 20% more likely to stay in college and progress toward their academic goal than those who did not take the course. Key initiatives and redesigns on the Butler campus include faculty development, guided Pathways (helping students stay on an educational path to completion with their classes) and Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) -- a co-requisite English model.

Butler instituted AVID principles in its first year experience courses. In these classes, students learn crucial study habits, note taking, time management and problem solving skills. Evaluations to determine student persistence and degree completion on this student-focused program are positive and will continue through the 2019-2020 academic year.  For more information on AVID go to: