In July 2019, it was officially announced that EDGE is no longer a required project for Southern Utah University students with specific guidelines.
SUU has been a school that encourages experiential learning, which is the reason EDGE was created. What the EDGE program encourages students to do is still present at the university, but the guidelines have been changed dramatically.
The EDGE program used to require every SUU graduate to participate in extracurricular learning or service opportunities that would prepare them for their future careers, whatever they may be. These experiences were accompanied by three consecutive one credit courses that needed to be completed before receiving a college diploma.
Academic Advisor Magnum Morgan stated that the new focus lies within the individual colleges. Most colleges require experience in their field of learning. The goals behind the EDGE program are still being completed, but with more freedom and possibilities for the students within their own degrees.
“The university has put it into the hands of each college and department chair to make sure that they [still] have experiential learning built into their curriculum,” said Magnum. “This was born out of the idea to get our students connected and gain real-life experience. [This] will make them more marketable when they leave instead of just having a degree.”
The Dean of the College of Education, Shawn Christiansen, also shed some light on the subject. Within the education department in particular, most students are already participating in this through practicum, student teaching, internships, etc.
“It has allowed us to build those credits that were part of EDGE into our curriculum,” said Christiansen. This allows students to still seek and gain those experiential learning experiences.
The outcome of this change is now left in the hands of the students and their professors.
“The hope is that the students can connect with their professors who are pretty savvy to what is out there in their field,” said Magnum. “They can help get connected and say ‘you need this kind of work experience.”
Although the EDGE program is not specifically still in action, SUU administration encourages students to continue using this program to gain experience in their fields and to be more career ready.
For more questions regarding the changes with EDGE, students can email the Dean of their college.
Story By: Moriah Spainhower
Photo Courtesy of: suu.edu