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What is EDGE?
EDGE is the University of Waterloo’s experiential education certificate program for undergraduate students in traditional (non-co-op) programs of study. Students who complete EDGE will develop their professional skills, explore their career options and learn how to market themselves to employers.
Where can I register for EDGE?
You can register for EDGE by filling out the registration form available on our website.
Am I eligible to complete EDGE?
Any student enrolled in a traditional (non-co-op) undergraduate degree is eligible to pursue EDGE. There are no prerequisite credits required for entry, nor a specific academic average that a student must maintain to enter or remain in the program.
What do I need to do to complete EDGE?
To complete EDGE, you'll need to complete six milestones:
- A skills identification and articulation workshop, in which you'll recognize your skills and practice expressing them to employers in a confident, concise fashion;
- A career development course, in which you'll develop core career-seeking skills and align your career goals with your values, skills and interests;
- Three work or community experiences, in which you'll explore opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom and reflect on your personal growth;
- And a capstone workshop, in which you'll tie everything together and develop an action plan for post-graduation success.
Can I complete EDGE if I'm an international student?
International students can complete EDGE. If you're an international student, your path through the certificate may depend on the status of your student visa and/or work permits. Send us an email at email@example.com before making any detailed plans.
When do I need to start completing EDGE to finish before graduation?
There's no set point at which you need to begin completing EDGE to finish before graduation. EDGE is designed to be as flexible as possible, and your individual path through EDGE will vary from other students' paths.
With that said, starting EDGE as early as possible will give you more time to complete your milestones. You should plan to finish your final certificate milestone either before or during your final academic term on campus.
Do I have to pay anything to complete EDGE?
There are no fees associated with EDGE — all you need to do is opt into the certificate.
How will EDGE appear on my transcript?
If you complete EDGE by your graduation date, you'll be awarded both your degree and a certificate signifying your work through the program at convocation. If you opt into EDGE but don't manage to complete the program before graduating, any milestones you complete will still appear on your academic transcript.
Do I have to complete my EDGE milestones in a certain order?
EDGE is designed to be flexible, so you can complete your milestones during any term and in almost any order. The only exception is the capstone workshop, which can only be entered by students who have completed all of their other EDGE milestones or are on track to do so in the same term.
How early can I sign up for EDGE?
Current and incoming students are both welcome to register for EDGE. If you're an incoming student (first-year or transfer), you can sign up for EDGE as soon as you've accepted your offer from the University and received a student ID number. You'll need this number to complete the registration process.
I used to be enrolled in a co-op program. Can I apply my co-op experiences (e.g. PD courses, work terms, work reports, etc.) toward completing EDGE?
You may be able to receive EDGE milestones for co-op experiences completed before transferring out of a co-op program. When you register for EDGE, your transcript will be reviewed by the EDGE team for milestone eligibility opportunities. You’ll be notified of any awarded milestones upon entering the program.
For more information on this topic, visit our page devoted to EDGE milestone eligibility.
How will EDGE help me in the future?
EDGE helps you develop several key skills that will prove useful when you’re looking for a job. The skills identification and articulation workshop will help you recognize your strengths and express them to employers with confidence. You’ll build a compelling résumé and work on your interview skills as part of the career development course.
The work and community experiences you’ll complete throughout your EDGE journey will help you make connections between your academic study and your future career, and they’ll also give you a chance to try out different career paths before making a commitment. Finally, the capstone workshop will encourage you to reflect on your personal growth and build a plan for post-graduation success.
When you look at all of these skill development opportunities as a whole, it’s easy to see that EDGE will help you stand out to employers and find success beyond the classroom.
How will EDGE help me develop my skills?
EDGE leverages the richness and dynamism of experiential education to help you develop your skills. When you engage in experiential education you get to put into practice the career development theory and tools you’re gaining through EDGE workshops and courses. Observing those consequences and reflecting on what they mean facilitates deep learning and connection between your academic study and professional practice.
It's also important to note that completing EDGE means more than just learning by doing. You can only receive EDGE milestones for your experiences when you combine meaningful work with an evaluation from a supervisor and a reflection on your experience. This framework makes it easier for you to learn about your strengths, areas for improvement, and personal values and interests with each new experience.
What is the difference between EDGE and co-op?
There are a few key differences between EDGE and co-op:
|EDGE is for students in traditional programs of study.||Co-op is for students in co-op programs. Students in these programs can't enrol in EDGE.|
|EDGE is an opt-in certificate. Participation in EDGE is voluntary.||Students in co-op programs must successfully complete a certain number of terms to earn their degree.|
|EDGE students find their work and/or community experiences||Co-op students use WaterlooWorks (formerly JobMine) to source their work terms.|
|EDGE experiences include both volunteer opportunities and paid employment.||Co-op work terms always involve paid employment.|
|EDGE experiences are short in frequency and length. Students complete three experiences over the course of the certificate comprised of at least 36 hours per experience.||Co-op students complete between four and six work terms comprised of full-time hours over the course of four-month periods.|
Whether you’re interested in EDGE or completing a co-op degree, it’s important to remember that EDGE and co-op are complementary programs that both give students a chance to benefit from experiential education.
How do I find out if I'm eligible for EDGE?
If you’re enrolled in a traditional (non-co-op) undergraduate program and you’re completing a degree term, you’re eligible for EDGE. If you aren’t sure about your eligibility and want to find out, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm an upper-year student. Can I pursue an EDGE certificate?
Upper-year students — up to and including students completing their final term — can opt into EDGE, provided they meet the eligibility criteria. With that said, we recommend opting into EDGE as early as possible. It’s more challenging to complete the certificate if you opt into the program near the end of your undergraduate career.
Can I complete more than one EDGE milestone in a single term?
Yes, you can complete more than one EDGE milestone in a single term, though some restrictions apply. Please note that students on the co-curricular experience track may only complete one professional development course per term. For more information and guidance regarding your journey through EDGE, contact us at email@example.com.