Union to welcome EDGE program

EDGEUnion will begin participation in the EDGE program August 2015. The university will admit eight students with intellectual disabilities to the student body next fall.

The EDGE program is a post-secondary education program that lasts for two years. Students who are involved with the program will take some core classes on campus for audit, as well as life skill classes. These life skill courses will be practical classes that help them through their freshman year. Some courses may include instructions on using email, navigating the college campus or balancing a checkbook.

Jennifer Graves, director of the EDGE program at Union, said these students will not be coming onto campus to earn a degree from Union. Instead, they will be earning a two-year certificate that will help them find jobs.

“I think this will be a positive impact,” Graves said. “I think that the Union student is going to be asked to grow and stretch.”

Bailey McNary, sophomore nursing major, has a hopeful outlook for the program’s impact on campus.

“I don’t think we realize that this program isn’t just beneficial for the students that are a part of it, it will impact us for the rest of our lives,” McNary said.

Union students who want to be involved in assisting with the EDGE program have three serving options.

The first way to be involved is to be one of five mentors for an EDGE student. As a mentor, students will become involved in their mentee’s everyday life, from eating lunch together or taking them to church on Sunday.

The second way is to be roommates with an EDGE student. EDGE students will be living on campus with traditional students, so each will need roommates who are willing to live with them and invest in their lives for a year.

Finally, all students are encouraged to become involved through prayer.

“We need you to pray for this program and for these students,” Graves said.

Many students are excited to welcome the EDGE program on campus.

“The EDGE program is going to have such a positive impact on our campus,” McNary said. “Not only will this program make our campus more diverse, it will also give our students a chance to experience life outside the Union bubble.”

For more information on the EDGE program, or to download the mentor application, visit www.uu.edu/EDGE

Image courtesy of Union University
About Kait Martin 11 Articles
Kait Martin, class of 2017, is a public relations major and psychology minor. The Florida native enjoys baking, drinking coffee, planning her future wedding on Pinterest and monogramming everything in sight.

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