Our program takes an individualized approach to inclusion and we consider the person rather than the disability. We have a wide range of disabilities represented in our program including individuals who have visual impairments, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, Processing Disorders, Down Syndrome, mental health disorders, and many more. Our emphasis for admissions is on a student’s desire to go to college, to be engaged in the college community, willingness to work hard and be a positive ambassador for the Cutting-Edge Program.
As long as students are at least 18 years of age, they are eligible. The ages of students in our program has ranged from 18-34. The Cutting-Edge Program encourages students to be life-long learners so adults at any age are welcome to apply for the program.
The cost of attending is approximately the same cost as tuition for a general student attending Edgewood College. Upon acceptance, the Cutting-Edge Program requires a $2000 deposit by July 1st; which is then applied towards tuition. In addition, Cutting-Edge students are required to pay an $896 Housing Mentor Fee. Most students in the program take 10-15 credits per semester. Students taking 11 credits or less pay per credit, but students taking 12+ credits pay full-time tuition. Please note that the cost of classes taken for credit vs. audit differs. Tuition rates can be found at: https://www.edgewood.edu/admissions/tuition-and-financial-aid/freshman-tuition-financial-aid
If the student is degree seeking, we do encourage parents to apply for federal financial aid for their students. They should apply through FAFSA as any other undergraduate student would. Additional information about financial aid can be found here: https://www.edgewood.edu/admissions/tuition-and-financial-aid/freshman-tuition-financial-aid
The Cutting-Edge program awards sever annual housing scholarships to students who are currently enrolled in the program. To explore outside scholarship possibilities, please visit http://www.thinkcollege.net
Additional information regarding outside scholarships can be found here: http://www.affordablecolleges.com/resources/scholarships-students-with-disabilities/
Lastly, families who are considering the Cutting-Edge program should consult with their DVR counselor and long-term care case manager for additional supports that might be applicable.
We request that potential students begin the admissions process one year prior to their desired academic year. For example, if you student wants to go to school Fall 2020, they would need to apply in the summer or fall of 2019.
Our admissions process is as follows:
While we do consider high school transcripts, we do not have specific course requirements for eligibility. We look at the IEP and transcripts to determine the level of supports a student may need to be successful in college.
If you anticipate your student will be degree-seeking, then s/he should follow up with the general admissions office to inquire about general admissions requirements.
The Cutting-Edge Program offers 2 certificate programs – Paraprofessional Educator Certificate and 21st Century for Employment Certificate. If students do not wish to work towards a certificate they are welcome to take Cutting-Edge core curriculum courses and take regular undergraduate courses and will earn a Completion Certificate.
Two areas that seem especially difficult for our students to adjust to at the college level is in writing and reading, so any additional assistance your student can get while s/he is in middle school and high school with these subjects will be helpful in making the adjustment. You may want to investigate the possibility of using assistive technology such as Kurzweil and Read & Write Gold. Additionally, the use of a Smart Pen or Evernote can aid in note-taking. Developing computer skills, such as typing, using online calendars and to-do lists, and using e-mail, is also a necessity for college life and academics.
You will want to encourage your student to self-advocate and develop self-determination skills. Learning how to make good choices and develop time management skills will also be helpful in making the transition. One of the ways that college is different than high school is that there may be a significant amount of unstructured program time available that students will learn how to manage study time, internships, and social opportunities.
The Cutting-Edge Program takes an individualized approach to each student’s programming. Each student takes a variety of courses to meet their goals, while completing a paid internship each semester, all while building their independence and social skills.
Our Director and Program Coordinator/Student Advisor work closely with each student and their families to help determine which path will best meet their goals. We have students who works towards a degree, other students who choose to earn a certificate, and some students choose to audit classes while they are here.
We recognized that each student has individual goals and a unique path. Therefore, the typical length of a Cutting-Edge student’s involvement with the program varies from student to student. Some only come for a semester and others are here for six years. We’ve also had some students that have finished the program and have to gain additional educational opportunities outside of Cutting-Edge.
The Cutting-Edge Program works closely with Disability Services. The Cutting-Edge program provides Course Coaches and Peer Mentors to assist students inside and outside of class, while Disability Services provides testing accommodations for students.
Our students are held to the same standards as general students. However, our office meets with each professor prior to the start of the semester to discuss the student and what accommodations or modifications they need.
We do expect support from the families of our students. We ask that families attend two meetings a year with their student. In addition, families can attend events and participate in our Parent Advisory Group that meets once a month on campus and via conference call. Family involvement is an instrumental component to the success of our program and it is a factor that we consider when selecting candidates and also in allowing students to continue with the program.
Most of our Cutting-Edge students live on campus in the residence halls. The program provides resident hall peer mentors for each student. The resident hall peer mentors help the students become acclimated to campus living and help them learn daily living skills. They also facilitate social inclusion and safety on campus.
In addition to on-campus living, we have two off-campus homes, within 2 blocks of campus. Each house has 3 bedrooms for 3 Cutting-Edge students and 1 live-in peer mentor(s). The live-in peer mentor facilitates on-campus social inclusion for the Cutting-Edge students and also helps the students learn independent living skills.
Our students are able to keep up with their courses and the other demands of college life because of the level individualized support the Cutting-Edge program provides to each student.