BASE Program

Bridgewater Academic and Social Experience

The Bridgewater Academic and Social Experience (BASE) program at Bridgewater College is a student-centered, individual support program for students on the autism spectrum or other students who feel they may benefit from the support provided.

If you have applied to BC and been admitted, you are eligible to apply to join the BASE program. If you’re interested in the BASE program but have not yet applied to the college, you can schedule a campus visit or submit an inquiry to learn more about BC.

Both the student application and parent/guardian questionnaire must be completed to apply to the BASE program.

Video overview of the BASE program at Bridgewater College
red and yellow flowers are in the foreground while a Bridgewater College brick building is in the background


The BASE program helps students learn and apply skills and strategies needed to navigate all aspects of college life, both academic and social, and prepare for their chosen careers and life beyond college.

To promote independence, the BASE program is designed to provide the highest level of support when a student first comes to Bridgewater and gradually evolves over time, based on each student’s needs and progress.

Students in the BASE program should be able to live semi-independently on a college campus, while attending and fully participating in academic life as well as the BASE program.

Students helping with Move-in Day

Transition Support

  • Early move-in that allows for a calmer transition from the home to residence hall life
  • Individualized program mentorships that work to facilitate the transition to university life
  • A personalized campus tour focused on the individual’s schedule/routine before classes begin
Students sitting across from each other talking

Program Mentor

  • Program mentors meet with their student weekly and are available between meetings by text, email, or phone within a reasonable time frame. The mentor and student determine their own activity each week, which may include sharing a meal, attending a campus activity, or studying together.
  • Offer life skills support
  • Offer problem-solving guidance
  • Connect students to campus resources

Academic Support

  • Academic coaching with a student Academic Coach to build time management, work completion, and personal responsibility techniques and skills
  • Regular meetings with the Program Coordinator for academic support which would include course advising in collaboration with the assigned faculty advisor
  • Required meeting with the faculty advisor before or during registration week each semester
  • Access to a sensory-reduced study area
Group of students posing for photo all smiling

Social Support

  • Weekly meetings with specially-trained program mentors paired with students
  • Spectrum Sense Club (BC club for students with autism)
  • Monthly group social events to enhance the opportunity for friendships and active involvement on campus, such as bowling, movie night, and other social gatherings
Professor sitting down and speaking with students

Vocational Support

  • Career counseling through the Center for Career Development
  • Starting second semester, based on GPA and BASE Program Coordinator approval, a guaranteed on-campus paid student work experience:
    • During the first four weeks of the semester, students will be matched with on-campus employment opportunities, apply to appropriate positions, and participate in interviews. Once a student is hired to fill a position, they will work an average of 3-5 hours per week for ten weeks.
Wright-Heritage Link

Residential Support

  • Early move-in that allows for a calmer transition from the home to residence hall life
  • A designated mentor conducts weekly check-ins concerning residential life
  • Access to RAs who have had specialized training

Counseling Support

  • Referral to BC Counseling Services as needed

Disability Services

  • Referral to BC Disability Services, as applicable

Parent Support

  • Email updates provided to parents detailing program progress and resources being offered
  • A minimum of one group parent meeting per semester

BASE Program Fees

All students in need of academic support and accommodations are welcome to contact the Office of Academic Support and Disability Services for assistance and direction. The BASE program provides an additional level of support for Bridgewater students desiring a more in-depth and comprehensive option and has a program fee of $1,000 per semester.

Questions? Contact Us!

Margaret Benavides
Disability and BASE Program Coordinator

Academic Support and Disability Services