Rame Diamond

Student Profile

Rame Diamond

Alumni
“Cutting Edge helped me with learning and being on my own- cooking food, having a routine, hanging out with friends, meeting new people, and doing lots of activities.”

Collin Haas

Student Profile

Collin Haas

Alumni
"I benefited from the Cutting Edge Program because … I was able to get good grades in all of my classes thanks to all of the support my Course Coaches gave me. I … also made friends with a lot of the students on campus who are not in the program. Because of Cutting Edge, I became more successful in my college career, developing and improving on great social skills, and learning how to live independently." 

Grace Machi

Student Profile

Grace Machi

Alumni

"The best thing about college is meeting new people and having more freedom. I lived in a dorm last year and currently live in an apartment on campus this year. I have a paid internship and a practicum. My goal is to get a teaching job after college."

 

Michael Hwang

Student Profile

Michael Hwang

Alumni
"The CE Program allowed me to develop my communication skills. This program taught me to surround myself with good people who accept others from diverse backgrounds. They embrace my cultural differences and love me for who I am. This program has taught me, that no matter what you’ve gone through, don't let your past challenges and obstacles, hinder you from learning new things and making new friends."

Open House

The Cutting Edge Open House is an opportunity for prospective students and families to learn more about the program, hear from a panel of students & parents, and take a tour of campus. This event is held once in both fall and spring semesters.

Admissions

Admissions Process

Entrance into the Cutting Edge Program require that the student:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have an intellectual or developmental disability
  • Have the desire to go to college

Students are encouraged to apply at least one year in advance. September 1st - November 30th (one year prior to entry). If the student wants to be admitted for Fall 2025, they should apply in the Summer or Fall of 2024. Students who interview will be notified of admittance status in February.

Admission to the Cutting Edge Program is based on several factors. Submitting the application materials does not guarantee an interview or admission into the Cutting Edge Program. We recommend families begin preparing their materials by September.

Applications should include the following:

  • Application
  • Application Fee (paid Online)
  • Recent Photo
  • Official Transcripts
  • At least one letter of reference (Not a Family Member)
  • One-page essay - "Why I Want to Go to College"
  • Current IEP or Re-Evaluation
  • Feedback Forms (will be mailed out to applicants)

Courses

 

Cutting Edge Courses:

Cutting Edge students take courses that assist in the transition to college, specifically addressing social aspects of college. These courses include:

  • ED 90/ED 112-115 Skills for Success
    This course is designed to teach skills in the areas of: assistive technology, time management, language and communication, and self-determination. The goal is to apply these skills in all areas of life: college, independent living, and employment. 
  • ED 91 Safety in the Community
    Students learn about personal safety, navigation in the community, self-advocacy, self-defense in uncomfortable situations, and emergency response.
  • ED 92 Interpersonal Relationships
    Students learn about support systems, appropriate social proximity, navigation of social situations, relationship building, & exploration of their role in our diverse world.
  • ED 93 A (Fall) Internship Development
    This course is designed to teach employability skills and promote growth in vocational independence while students participate in on or off campus internships. Through discussions, reflection, and hands-on learning, students will develop skills in communication and professionalism for the workplace.
  • ED 93B (Spring) Internship Application
    This course is designed to prepare students for future employment. Students will practice using vocational skills in their internship and elicit feedback from supervisors. Upon completion of this course, students will have created a resume and cover letter, participated in a mock interview, and completed a supervisor evaluation.

 

Inclusive Academic Courses:

Cutting Edge students have access to the same courses as undergraduate students. Courses that students are enrolled in are chosen based on individual student goals and input from family and Cutting Edge staff. The student's team then develops an Individualized College Plan that specifies a series of courses to meet the needs of their chosen pathway.

These courses could include, but are not limited to: Art, Communications, Music, English, Math, Science, History, Philosophy, Social Sciences, Foreign Language, and Theater.

Pathways

The Cutting Edge Program recognizes that there are different pathways through college and provides an individually designed plan for each student. Students and their families meet with Cutting Edge staff at least twice per year to develop their Individualized College Plan, which includes the benchmarks to reach their overall goal.

There are two paths for students to choose. Both paths support them in becoming independent and contributing members of their community.

 

PATHWAY 1: NON-DEGREE (2-4 YEARS)

 

CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION

This non-degree certificate is customizable for each student. With this certificate, students have the freedom and flexibility to choose the classes they take according to their career goals and interest areas. Graduates who have earned this certificate have created their own businesses and/or worked in the community in a variety of settings.

PARA-PROFESSIONAL EDUCATOR CERTIFICATE

This certificate is designed for students who want to work with children and combines hands-on practicum experiences in the schools, while also completing coursework covering theories of child development, diversity in the classroom, and teaching strategies. Students will complete a minimum of 48 credits, which fulfills the requirement for the state of Wisconsin to work in schools as a para-professional. Students completing this certificate may be employed in positions such as teacher' assistants, after-school group leaders, and childcare center assistants.

 21ST CENTURY SKILLS FOR EMPLOYMENT CERTIFICATE

This certificate prepares students to work in entry-level positions in a variety of work settings. Coursework includes a focus on crucial employability skills, such as written communication, oral communication, technology literacy, and career exploration. This certificate offers flexibility for the student to explore their own interest areas while also developing critical skills for employment.


 

PATHWAY 2: DEGREE-SEEKING (4-6 YEARS)

Students seeking a Bachelor’s Degree must be admitted through the general admissions process at Edgewood College and the Cutting Edge Program in order to receive services from Cutting Edge. Students are required to meet all aspects of the undergraduate degree, which is typically 120 credits. All courses must be taken for credit.

Support for all Pathways


 Cutting Edge offers support in five distinct areas: Academic, Employment, Health & Wellness, Independent Living, and Community Engagement. Through academic advisors, our staff, and peer mentors, each student will receive the support they need throughout their college experience.

 

Course Coaches: This support is designed to provide students academic mentoring while in college. This role also works with students in the program outside of class to monitor assignment completion, assist with the break-down of tasks, and help with exam preparation.

 

Job Coaches: In this mentoring role, peers guide students in their internship experiences on-campus. This may include modeling job tasks, professionalism, and workplace communication.

 

Community Engagement Mentors: The purpose of this support is to promote inclusion and involvement of students in the program both on-campus and in the community. Mentors in this role encourage students to participate in a variety of activities while also advising students in making safe weekend plans.

 

Health & Wellness Mentors: These mentors support students in the program in the areas of health and well-being. They hold weekly sessions on the topics of wellness, mindfulness, and/or fitness. Some mentors also work one-on-one with students on specific goals in the fitness center.

 

Independent Living Mentors: Mentors in this role promote independence in students' living spaces through weekly skill development sessions. Sessions may focus on topics such as time management, interpersonal relationships, and activities of daily living (laundry, hygiene, cleaning, cooking, budgeting, grocery shopping, etc.).

 

Volunteer Peer Mentors: These volunteers commit to spending at least one hour per week with a student from the program. This looks different for each student, but could include having a meal together, checking-in about social relationships, participating in an activity, or exploring the community.

Employment

Customized Employment

Students participate in practicums and internships in order to build skills that will lead to employment. At the beginning of the student's college career, their paid internship will be located on-campus. Students also have the option to pair their internship with the Cutting Edge Internship course series to further their understanding of employability skills.

 

As students gain experience and advance in their coursework, they may transition to off-campus employment in the Madison area. This is a particular focus during the student's final year in the program. Cutting Edge staff partners with the Wisconsin Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) in order to prepare the student for community employment.

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608.663.2332
cuttingedge@edgewood.edu

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