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Edge = self-directed studies, personal passion, and inquiry

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View From the Edge

Edge is a community that embraces young people who have been disillusioned by school and are up for the challenge of re-imagining learning. We offer a "cutting-Edge" approach that combines self-driven inquiry and interdisciplinary study. Our program welcomes juniors and seniors who have the desire to discover and explore their passions.

All of our members — warmly named "Edge Makers" — engage in yearlong, individualized pursuits during which we research questions, themes, or problems of our choice. We investigate our topics using the larger content areas of Literature, Science and History. To support our journeys, we approach each other with kindness and empower ourselves to design our best work. We create collaborative environments that prepare us for the ever-changing 21st century landscape, and we share creative representations of our learning with others. We develop self-understanding and protect our capacity for play. We unveil and champion our collective passions.

Our work in Edge propels us toward meaningful careers in college and the workplace. Many state universities, liberal arts academies, technical colleges, and other schools have embraced our students and their approaches to learning.

Edge student Max (right) interviewing Broadway Producer Sharon Carr, as part of his Edge project research.

The goal of Tim's project was to get a better understanding of how different parts of computers are connected, get experience with hardware and software work, and create a controller for a robotic arm.

"Normally in a traditional classroom setting, I would learn for a test and then I'd feel everything just go away, like a waterfall, nothing would stay. Here, everything stays put and I remember it."

— Annabel, grade 12

Annabel's conception of fractals, The Golden Ratio, and the Fibonacci Sequence.

What Our Parents Are Saying

"Though it may have seemed to some like a leap of faith, allowing our son to abandon main stream education and pursue an experimental program, being dyslexic myself, I was well aware of the many difficult and often futile struggles to keep up in a system that was not designed for my way of learning. I felt that Edge would not only give our son the chance to think for himself, but also the opportunity to think and learn beyond the confines of a standardized curriculum, one that is particularly restrictive for the dyslexic mind.

I'm proud to say it succeeded beyond our expectations. We were astonished at the depth of understanding our son developed so quickly in his chosen subject area, and at the wealth of knowledge he amassed by discovering connections to so many other varied subjects in the process. A very personalized education evolved, and yet he was still working among his peers and learning from their personal endeavors, too. He became empowered and energized by all that he was learning, and he continually set new challenges for himself. Rather than swimming against the tide in order to fit in, the Edge program allowed our son to develop his own style of learning and stand out.

I really feel that our son is only at Bard College today because of Edge, and I really hope it goes from strength to strength, as more parents make that leap of faith."

—Diane Matsakis, parent

Life After Edge:

Our Edge Makers' Entrance into Higher Education

Those of the Edge students who elect to pursue additional education enjoy rich post-secondary careers in liberal arts academies, state universities, technical schools, art schools, and other institutions. Since the program's inception in 2013, our Edge Makers have received offers of admission to 64 domestic universities and 5 international institutions. Please see our comprehensive list of schools below:

United States:

  • Adelphi University
  • Anderson University
  • Bard College
  • Berry College
  • Brevard College
  • Castleton University
  • Cazenovia College
  • Centenary College
  • Colby-Sawyer College
  • College of St. Rose
  • Columbia College of Chicago
  • The Cooper Union
  • Cornish College of the Arts
  • Curry College
  • Daniel Webster College
  • Dean College
  • Dutchess Community College
  • Flagler College
  • Florida Southern College
  • Full Sail University
  • Goucher College
  • Green Mountain College
  • Guilford College
  • Hampshire College
  • Husson University
  • Johnson and Wales University
  • Johnson State College
  • Kansas City Art Institute
  • Lincoln College
  • Long Island University (LIU) Post
  • Lynn University
  • Manhattanville College


  • Centennial College — Canada
  • Lakehead University — Canada
  • Niagara College — Canada
  • Quest University — Canada
  • Art College Florence (SACI College of Art & Design, Florence) — Italy
  • Marlboro College
  • Marist College
  • Maine College of Art (MECA)
  • Marshall University
  • Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)
  • Mitchell College
  • Montserrat College of Art
  • Muskingum University
  • Naugatuck Valley Community College
  • New Hampshire Institute of Art
  • Pace University
  • Pennsylvania College of Technology
  • Quinnipiac University
  • Sarah Lawrence College
  • Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)
  • Sewanee: The University of the South
  • Southern Vermont College
  • St. Lawrence University
  • St. Thomas Aquinas College
  • Suffolk Community College
  • SUNY College at Old Westbury
  • SUNY Morrisville State College
  • Warren Wilson College
  • Western Connecticut State University
  • Unity College
  • University of Connecticut—Waterbury
  • University of Hartford
  • University of North Carolina—Asheville
  • University of Southern California
  • The University of Tampa
  • Vermont Technical College