University of Washington Study

The most recent of several studies of Edge’s effectiveness, a three-year 250-student study, conducted by the University of Washington, concluded in December 2018. The study showed that Edge InSchool Coaching is a tremendous investment in middle-school students’ SEL (Social and Emotional Learning). The role of SEL in improving outcomes for students – in school and in life – cannot be overstated.

Study Summary

Below is a summary of what the study found about the effectiveness of Edge InSchool Coaching for Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) for middle school students.

  • 95.6% of students had a more positive attitude about school
  • 80.2% of students had increased confidence (self-efficacy)
  • 94.8% of students were more positive about skills learned (growth mindset)
  • 78.3% of students felt better prepared for high school

Why This Is Important

Research has shown that good social and emotional learning increases a student’s chances of success in school and in life.

  • Students who are more positive about school are more likely to stay in school.
  • Students who are confident in their self-efficacy believe they can work hard and succeed.
  • Students who believe they can learn new skills have a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset. They believe that their own efforts can lead to achievement, not just “being good at it.”
  • Middle school students who believe they are better prepared enter high school with more optimism and commitment to work hard for success.

The University of Washington study demonstrated that students’ academic mindset improved as a result of Edge InSchool coaching.

Wayne State University Study

An Edge Foundation’s study offers hope for students with ADHD because it definitively links coaching to improved executive functioning. And improved executive functioning means more success in school.

ADHD has long been associated with poor grades, poor reading and math test scores, and being held back. But despite billions of dollars spent on special education programs, the number of ADHD students dropping out of high school and college is alarming. Students with ADHD are vulnerable because ADHD impacts the portion of the brain that regulates what is known as executive function. ADHD students have executive function deficits in attention, planning and organization, prioritization, impulse control, memory, time management, and higher-order conceptual thinking.

Two-Year Research Project Background

Because the Edge Foundation is committed to evidence-based practices, we engaged in a two year, $1 million study to research the effects of personal coaching on the lives and academic success of college students with ADHD. This is the largest and longest such study ever conducted, and was the first to provide quantitative data on the effects of ADHD Coaching in this population and was completed in August 2010.

A select Wayne State University research team from the College of Education’s Center for Self-Determination and Transition conducted a three-phased, two-year project to measure the effectiveness of the Edge coaching strategies on the academic, professional, and social achievements of students with ADHD in college and university settings. The coaching techniques used in the study were originally pioneered by JST Coaching & Training.

The 24-month project had three key phases:

  • Phase One: Preparation (June-December 2008)
  • Phase Two: Pilot Study (January-July 2009)
  • Phase Three: Field Test (August 2009-June 2010)

The final phase of the project was a controlled study with randomly-selected experimental and control groups, specifically designed data collection instruments and protocols, and use of standard scientific statistical methodologies.

Study Results

ADHD students who participated in Edge coaching sessions demonstrated statistically significant, higher executive functioning than ADHD students who did not receive coaching. According to the study, “The magnitude of the effect size for self regulation was more than double the typical educational intervention, and executive functioning was quadruple. Findings with effect sizes that large are rare.”

Edge Foundation’s research demonstrated that these students significantly benefit from receiving coaching using the Edge model. Students with learning challenges due to ADHD, dyslexia and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) who participated in Edge coaching sessions demonstrated statistically significant, higher executive functioning than students with similar challenges who did not receive coaching.

  • Students who received Edge coaching showed substantial gains in their overall approach to learning.
  • The study showed that students, who received Edge coaching services showed significant improvement in their ability to organize, direct and manage cognitive activities, emotional responses and overt behaviors.
  • They were able to formulate goals more realistically and consistently work toward achieving them, manage their time more effectively, and stick with tasks even when they found them challenging.
  • It also enhanced their sense of well being and resulted in more positive emotional states, which have been linked by research to more effective learning.

Download the research report executive summary or the full research report.

“This study demonstrated that the Edge coaching model was highly effective in helping students improve executive functioning and related skills as measured by the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory. The magnitude of the effect size for self-regulation was more than double the typical educational intervention, and executive functioning was quadruple. Findings with effect sizes that large are rare.”