With over 120 students in each EDGE semester, the program can only be successful with a team of faculty and graduate students working together to plan, implement, and evaluate the EDGE program. Our EDGE team meets regularly once a week throughout the entire academic year in addition to beginning- and end-of-semester retreats and informal meetings in order to make EDGE happen. Our EDGE team also works closely with the EDGE Student Advisory Board to ensure the the student voice is taken into account as we make decisions before, during, and after each EDGE semester. Further, the EDGE format creates closer bonds between the EDGE team members and all EDGE students than the faculty/student relationship in traditional classroom settings, allowing the EDGE team to adapt to the overall climate and input of the EDGE student community.
Community Recreation, Sport, and Camp Management
Favorite EDGE memory: My favorite memory is the field trip with 30+ students. There really is nothing more powerful than spending 3 days and 2 nights with students who not only start to bond with each other but who also start “getting” the immensity of what our field is all about. Whether it was touring the Panthers locker room, visiting the U.S. Whitewater Center, or watching “Boy Meets World” on the bus (yes, you read that correctly) the experience sealed, for me, the mood of the rest of the semester…and darn if I can’t get that song out of my head “when boy meets worrrrlllddd.”
Why EDGE is powerful: “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Steve Jobs
Because of an experience that can be described as so far out of the box the box is no longer in sight, our students are the leaders of tomorrow. EDGE is powerful because rules were thrown out the window when it comes to teaching and learning – this freedom is a powerful tool. EDGE has been described in many ways – confusing, exciting, cutting edge, and nerve wracking, but innovative is the constant descriptor. This innovation allows our students to become more prepared for the ever changing “real world” than any students before them.
Elizabeth (Betty) D. Baldwin
Favorite EDGE memory: It is too hard to think of only one favorite memory, but a common feature of every memory I would deem a favorite are the ones where we were not in a building. My favorite moments have been walking through the Clemson Forest with students, building campsites in cold windy weather, then having someone feed us pizza and hot cider, riding on a flat bed trailer with 35 EDGE students in a big natural areas near Chattanooga, and any time I am with a group volunteering in the local community.
Why EDGE is powerful: EDGE gives students the tools to integrate their learning from all the core areas of the curriculum and link this with professionals in the field as well as through projects. These projects are also real and already groups from the first EDGE group are making meaningful contributions through their projects to Clemson and beyond. This type of learning environment provides a new relationship between professor and student; where deeper relationships are built that support the learning process for both.
Lecturer/Executive Director/Undergraduate Curriculum Coordinator
Community Recreation, Sport and Camp Management/Travel & Tourism
Why EDGE is powerful: 1) Most regular classes are boring and EDGE classes are not; 2) I get to work with, argue with, and yell at Fran on a regular basis; and 3) Students and faculty really get to know each other well.
Alumni Distinguished Professor
Favorite EDGE memory: Listening to our students during the oral component of the final exam and being extremely impressed with how knowledgeable and articulate they were.
Why EDGE is powerful: EDGE brings together multiple resources and techniques based on optimizing student learning. Our focus is on student learning rather than information dissemination. As a result our students are participants in the EDGE experience rather than spectators.
Young-joo ‘Joanna’ Ahn
Favorite EDGE memory:I was surprised that undergraduate students actively involved in their own project with a faculty member as they tried to connect to both academic and practical sources. The students had meeting with invited practitioner and faculties from other departments, conducted several focus groups, and participated in field trips. I was pleased in class because I have also learned how to develop a business plan and integrate various opinions from the community, Clemson university students, and governance for their project goals.
Ph. D. Student
Favorite EDGE memory: Dancing with EDGE students and participants at Boyd Hill Rec Center while visiting Rock Hill PRT
Why EDGE is powerful: EDGE provides students with an opportunity to be a part of an open learning environment that incorporates traditional classroom learning while also immersing students directly in the field.
Why EDGE is powerful: The best classes that I took as an undergraduate student were the ones that extended the learning beyond the books. The EDGE semester acknowledges that simply memorizing definitions is not an effective way to prepare the PRTM students for success in the future. Group projects that attempt to solve practical problems are far more likely to reflect the challenges that the students will encounter in the field. This learning style allows students the opportunity to navigate group dynamics while they strive to reach the balance between operational productivity and financial boundaries.
Ph. D Student
Favorite EDGE memory:My favorite memory from each semester has been the oral portion of the final exam which we call the Circle of Knowledge. The students come in in groups of eight, complaining that there is no way they could talk about anything for 50 minutes without the input of faculty. Without exception, we have to stop them from going over time discussing everything they've learned. A special process to witness.
Why EDGE is powerful: EDGE ensures that no gained knowledge goes without some video, discussion, practical example, or real-life experience. As a result, the learning in EDGE sticks with the students because they have experiences with which to connect it.
The EDGE team cannot operate in isolation. We have been fortunate to enjoy the support of staff, faculty, and administrators from across the Clemson campus including our other PRTM faculty members, our PRTM department chair Brett Wright, the College of HEHD Dean Larry Allen, the Clemson University Provost Dori Helms...the list goes on and on.
For example, in Spring 2011 we had three faculty members join our PRTM EDGE team from the Department of Communication Studies: Darren Linvill, Eddie Smith, and Ardi Kinerd. Our communications department partners helped us introduce some General Education content into the EDGE semester, an addition we hope to expand in future semesters.