To assist students who live a commuter lifestyle, Mt. Hood Community Center’s AVID center provides an avenue for students to find help and tutoring for whatever projects they are working on.

While traditionally the main way the center draws students is by word-of-mouth and teacher referrals, AVID (short for Advancement Via Individual Determination) is working on getting its services better exposure.

In January, the center plans to start a “social media blitz,” according to AVID Coordinator Sarah Aimone.

“We’ve always had social media pages, like a Facebook and (an) Instagram, but we haven’t utilized them very well. What we would really like to do is a promotion, so that students start to really view our pages a lot more.”

While the center currently helps many Mt. Hood students, most of them are repeat students. Aimone hopes to change that.

“We know that there’s a lot of students on campus that either truly don’t know about our services or they truly don’t know about how welcoming we are, or how you could really see us at any stage in the game,” she said.

In the mezzanine level of the MHCC library, the Tutoring Center, Learning Success Center, and AVID are all part of an effort to help students keep up with their education.

“It’s just really helpful to be in a space with other people who are working on the same kinds of things or who need the same kind of assistance,” said Grant Burgess, an AVID learning specialist and unofficial social media coordinator.

Services offered by AVID and the tutoring center include a computer lab, textbooks, calculators, a Zen zone, and different areas to take breaks from studying. “It’s designed to be an artistic space,” said Aimone.

The most successful effort AVID staff has used to help keep students enrolled in school is an effort called Summer Bridge, said Aimone and Burgess.

“It’s called ‘bridge’ because it’s a bridge from where they were, to where they’re trying to get to,” said Burgess. The program is a three-day boot camp that is designed to “boost academic and non-cognitive skills, plus foster a connection to the MHCC campus community,” according to Aimone.

Originally, the program was offered in the summer only, and started with 20 students in 2014.

This year, the program had 152 students, and a ‘Bridge’ is offered for one day during winter and spring.

The AVID center is available for all students, no matter what point they are in their college career.

“(For) people who are really just starting out, and then, (those) people taking calculus… there’s something for everybody there,” said Burgess.

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