School-Based Programs

Partnering with Dane County’s schools for a one-of-a-kind approach to academic success.

Academic success is at the core of everything we do. Our school-based programs uniquely uniquely integrate with local school districts to mitigate opportunity gaps, and help provide youth with the resources and experiences needed to reach their full potential.




AVID/TOPS is a high-intensity, in-school and out-of-school partnership between Madison Metropolitan School District (AVID) and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County (TOPS – Teens of Promise) 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, career and community.


AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination)

AVID is the classroom component. Used in more than 3,000 schools nationwide, AVID is a four-year elective class with rigorous standards and strong academic support.


TOPS (Teens of Promise)

TOPS is the outside-of-the-classroom component. It emphasizes college preparatory activities and real-world experiences like summer internships


Our Impact

AVID/TOPS is making an impact. See the following report from the University of Wisconsin Evaluation Collaborative about how AVID/TOPS is improving high school students’ attendance, GPA’s, access to rigorous coursework, on-time graduation, enrollment into post-secondary, and persistence and degree completion.


TOPS College Success

The TOPS (Teens of Promise) College Success program, a continuation of the AVID/TOPS high school program, supports AVID/TOPS graduates in persisting through the college enrollment process to college graduation. The program monitors student success in college, while assisting students with overcoming major college roadblocks while working to earn their degrees.

Students are paired with a College Success Coach, who checks in frequently with students to answer questions and provide encouragement. Students are provided with opportunities such as summer internships, volunteer opportunities, book stipends, and other incentives. Signature College Success Events include:

  • TOPS Summer Transition Conference for incoming first-year college students
  • Enroll in College Day for students returning to college after time off
  • TOPS Winter Reunion
  • High School Presentations to AVID/TOPS Students including FAFSA night, Best Fit College presentations, and How to Be Successful in College
  • Volunteer Opportunities each month for student experience
  • And more!

To learn more about the TOPS College Success program, visit:

To learn about us socially, visit our Facebook page.

TOPS College Success also partners with Madison College’s Retention Department to support our largest cohort of TOPS Scholars at Madison College. Madison College TOPS Scholars participate in specialized monthly programming to support students in their success and have two dedicated College Success Coaches on campus to support their needs.

TOPS College Success has formalized partnership agreements with Madison College and Edgewood College in support of student success. This provides BGCDC with additional staff supports, early access to course registration, and priority access to enriched learning opportunities, among other benefits. We are grateful for their support and partnership

TOPS College Success Student Emergency Fund

Help support TOPS students who face major emergencies or financial disruptions during the semester so they can focus on staying in school and earning good grades. TOPS Scholars in need can apply for a one-time disbursement of emergency funds to help cover costs of food, utilities, or other basic needs to prevent them from dropping out of school.

You can learn more about the TOPS Emergency Fund or donate by contacting Glenna Scholle-Malone at or calling (608) 661-4762. You can also send a check made out to Boys & Girls Club of Dane County to:


TOPS College Success Team
Boys & Girls Club of Dane County
5215 Verona Road
Fitchburg, WI 53711