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 to life in the residence halls
  • A personalized campus tour based on the student’s schedule to begin developing a routine
  • A BASE orientation that provides important resources, information, and advice before classes begin
  • Workshops hosted throughout the student’s first semester that address topics such as roommate relationships, health and hygiene, and classroom skills
  • A program mentorship that supports the student as they transition to college life

Academic Support

  • Academic coaching in a small group setting to develop time management skills, personal responsibility, and organizational techniques with coaches who have received specialized training
  • Access to an organizational app
  • Course advising provided by the Program Coordinator in collaboration with the student’s faculty advisor
Group of students posing for photo all smiling

Social Support

  • Monthly group social events to build friendships and encourage engagement in campus community, including game nights, picnics, and more
  • Weekly meetings with their program mentor
  • Additional social skills groups and activities throughout the semester
Students sitting across from each other talking

Program Mentor

  • A weekly meeting with a program mentor who offers support and companionship
  • Assists their mentee in connecting socially on campus
  • Offers life skills support
  • Offers support in times of stress
  • Directs their mentee to appropriate resources
Professor sitting down and speaking with students

Vocational Support

  • Workshops hosted by staff from the Center for Career Development each semester to teach professional skills and help students prepare for their future careers
  • Their second year at Bridgewater, students who meet the GPA requirement and receive Program Coordinator approval have an opportunity to be matched with a job on campus for 3-5 hours per week. This gives students the opportunity to learn interviewing skills, interpersonal skills and more
Wright-Heritage Link

Residential Support

  • Early move-in that allows for a calmer transition to life in the residence halls
  • Weekly meetings with their program mentor
  • Access to RAs who have had specialized training
  • Access to a habit tracking app for assistance with health and hygiene
Parent wearing Bridgewater hat smiling during a parent session

Parent Support

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

Other Support

  • Weekly meetings with the Program Coordinator to support students in all areas, teach important life skills, and refer students to appropriate resources on campus
  • Referral to BC Counseling Services as needed
  • Referral to BC Disability Services as needed

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