Engage. Develop. Grow. Empower. (EDGE) Program

Academic Level
Issue Area
Support Services
Key Personnel
Program Focus
First Year Support,
Summer Bridge


The mission of the Engage. Develop. Grow. Empower. (EDGE) program is to increase student success and mitigate achievement gaps in access, necessary skills, retention, persistence, and completion. The EDGE program provides students with a structured on-boarding process to help eliminate confusion during the matriculation process. The program consists of a three-week summer bridge program designed to reduce pre-collegiate coursework as well as first and second-year comprehensive wrap-around support services to increase success, persistence, and financial support to eliminate barriers.

Program Description

During the three-week summer bridge program EDGE offers a fast-paced review of basic skills in math, English, and reading. Students receive rigorous subject-specific review sessions, counseling sessions, learn about campus resources, programs offered at the College of the Desert, and build lasting connections. 

At the end of the three-week summer bridge program, students retake the placement test with the opportunity to remove some, or all, of the basic skills courses required to enroll in college-level courses. Once enrolled at College of the Desert, students during their first and second year are provided with support services including student success coaching, financial aid assistance, peer mentoring, early alert monitoring, workshops, and counseling. The workshops offered during the semester focus on transfer, career, time management, and study tips.  

The college recently created a sister program to EDGE in 2017 called plEDGE, offering incoming students free tuition and fees for two years to remove financial barriers many students face.


Hispanics' enrollment in the EDGE program has increased, making up 87% of students for the 2016 cohort compared to 69% for the general student population. 

EDGE students persist from Fall to Spring at a higher rate. In 2017, students persisted at a 88% rate, compared to the 66% rate for non-EDGE students. 

For Hispanics who completed the EDGE program in 2016, they persisted at an 89% rate, compared to 73% for Hispanics who did not complete the EDGE program.