One of the crucial strengths of EDGE lies in its inherent ability to evolve and adapt over time. As a result, we foresee several avenues for future expansion and improvement of the EDGE experience not only for our own department but for other departments as well.
We envision PRTM EDGE as a concept that can be implemented not only in similar parks, recreation and tourism curriculums across the country but also in other disciplines such as biology or education. The core philosophy behind the model is that learning should take place wherever, whenever, with whomever, and however best facilitates an authentic connection between student, faculty, and content. This model of education has been recognized as cutting edge both here at Clemson University as well as nationally as more and more parks, recreation and tourism related departments express an interest in adopting the model. As a result, we are working with departments across Clemson University to further explore the possibilities inherent in what might be seen as an “immersion” experience for their own students. In addition, we have been asked to speak to parks, recreation and tourism based departments from Utah, Illinois and Indiana with respect to incorporating the experience into their own curriculums. We are committed to teaching 21st century students in the best way possible and we feel that our experiences can be used as a model for other departments. We’re excited about spreading the word and improving our own program as we assist other departments explore this opportunity.
As more students pass through our PRTM EDGE program, we see an excellent opportunity for a mentorship program within our department. When starting EDGE, students are unsure of the drastically different format and are unclear how the new format will benefit them in the future. By providing current EDGE students with mentors, older students who navigated the program, current students may be able to more easily transition into the EDGE semester. Previous students who have seen the benefits of the EDGE program (read Edie's and Josh's experiences with EDGE) can offer current students perspective and unique insight into the program that the EDGE team cannot provide. Not only would such a program benefit the current EDGE students, but it would also give older students the opportunity to gain valuable leadership and communication experience that will serve them well in their post-Clemson future.