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

College of the Desert
Academic Level
Issue Area
Support Services
Key Personnel
Program Focus
First Year Support,
Summer Bridge


The goal of the Engage. Develop. Grow. Empower. (EDGE) program is to increase student success and mitigate achievement gaps in access, retention, persistence, and completion. EDGE provides students with structured on-boarding to help eliminate confusion during the matriculation process. The program consists of a summer bridge component designed to prepare students for college and college-level coursework in math and English, as well as first and second-year comprehensive wrap-around support services to increase success, persistence, and financial support (plEDGE) to eliminate barriers.

Program Description

EDGE provides students with a structured onboarding process, a summer bridge component to prepare for college and college-level coursework, comprehensive wrap-around support services, and financial support (plEDGE) for students’ first two-years of college. The program provides opportunities for students to connect with faculty, staff and other students before they start their academic journey. During the program, students participate in a rigorous review of subject-specific content in math and English, attend counseling sessions, learn about campus resources, attend special program presentations, and build lasting connections. The program also provides extensive outreach services in English and Spanish to our local high schools and the community at large to increase access and educational attainment within their service area.


  • In 2020, students who attend the program have a 15% higher fall to spring persistence rate compared to students who did not attend the EDGE/plEDGE Program.
  • As of 2020, the plEDGE Program has increased the number of first-time college students enrolled in 12 units or more by 61%
  • EDGE/plEDGE students complete more units in their first semester (9.5) compared to their non-EDGE/plEDGE counterparts (7 units). Additionally, EDGE/pLEDGE students complete more units in their first year (17.2 units) compared to their non-EDGE/plEDGE counterparts (12 units).
  • plEDGE students also have a higher 3-year completion rate (14%) compared to their non-plEDGE counterparts (9%).

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