Edge Foundation Programs
The Edge Coaching Model is the only program of its type in the Puget Sound region. It is based on strong evidence that specialized academic and life skills coaching—while not a substitute for the traditional treatment for the executive functioning impairment associated with ADHD (medication and exercise)—is an effective, perhaps critical, intervention in non-traditional learners’ ability to realize their potential.
Edge coaching is provided by highly qualified, certified experts in the field of coaching with specific training in working with young people who have executive functioning impairment. The coaching intervention is based on an action plan developed jointly by the coach and student with input from parents. It focuses on building nine “life skill” areas impacting academic performance, interpersonal skills, and self-advocacy/self-esteem. It is characterized by its non-directive questioning approach, in which the coach helps the student expand the capacity for responsible decision-making. Over time, with practice, the student internalizes these skills. One school year of weekly, half-hour coaching sessions (individual and/or group coaching), with email, text or phone follow-up as needed, is usually sufficient for students to develop sustainable capacity to make sound decisions—even when the coach is no longer present.
Edge coaching may be provided to individual students who contact Edge directly or through partnerships with schools and other organizations.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
In 2009-2010, Edge sponsored a research study conducted with students on 10 college campuses across the U.S, funded by a grant from the Deerbrook Charitable Trust (NY). A total of 110 undergraduates at eight universities and two community colleges participated in the study. According to the report from the research team, published in August 2010, the research demonstrated that the Edge coaching model is highly effective in helping students improve their self-regulation, study skills, and will to succeed. The coaching helped to build students’ confidence, enhanced their organizational and time management skills, and improved their overall approach to learning.
Findings of the research study have received an enthusiastic response among key stakeholders in the medical, disability, and education communities. In 2011, Edge forged a successful partnership with Shire (pharmaceutical company) that will provide college scholarships and Edge coaching for college students with ADHD. Through outreach funded by College Spark Washington, Edge has built relationships that have led to the development of a school-based coaching model currently being launched in two public secondary schools. As a result of these successes, Edge’s organizational capacity is severely stretched. Particular needs include increased staffing for administration and programs and strengthening of the organization’s financial systems.