The Edge Program (EDGE) provides an excellent opportunity for incoming first-year  Skills4Industry institutions students to get acclimated to campus life, explore a variety of disciplines before declaring a major, experience in the classroom and outside of classroom learning, engage with faculty, business professionals, mentors, other volunteers, and position themselves for future success.

This exclusive integrative competence immersion program is a multidisciplinary learning and living experience, targeting the admission of only 30-45% of the incoming Skills4Industry institution’s first-year class. While the rest students are mostly second or higher-level students from partner institutions on one-year Pledge Programs (work readiness).  The program involves course cohorts with small-group seminars taught by experts through Skills4Industry Foundation’s learning support orchestration Situated Learning Program. The Edge is designed to be special and it is special. Typically, the students take two (of three or four) courses from different disciplinary areas in each institutions’ cohort plus a weekly discussion seminar in which all faculty and students in the cohort participate. The program aims to introduce first-semester students to multidisciplinary learning and intellectual engagement both in and out of the traditional classroom environment. Faculty and students work together to apply multiple disciplinary perspectives on a common theme or topic within a cohort.

Along with the courses, the program provides a unique residential opportunity for EDGE students. First-semester students from each institutions’ cohort are placed in the same group, thus nurturing collaborative study environments. The program also supports non-classroom experiences through service learning, field trips, practical work experience, and other activities that allow students to contextualize theoretical knowledge gained in classrooms in real-world hands-on applications. Finally, the program supports follow-up projects by faculty-student partners who propose research or other creative or service projects after the semester has ended.