Academic support programs for Latino high school students: do they make a difference?

This study used quantitative and qualitative data to investigate the effectiveness of academic support programs for Latino students at one high school in San Diego County, California. Two programs were studied: Academic Success, which supports students to achieve passing grades in their classes; and AVID, which supports students to take rigorous classes and gain entry into four-year colleges and universities. The goals ofthe study were to identify to what extent the academic support programs already in place met students' needs and identify ways to improve students' academic success. Many students attributed their success to parental support, teacher support, connectedness to school, and personal motivation. In addition, students and teachers made suggestions for improvement to the existing programs. The results ofthe study caused the researcher to amend her teaching practices to be more rigorous and inclusive. KEY WORDS: Latino, academic success, AVID, school connectedness, academic support, personal motivation.