Bridgewater’s BASE program providing support for students with disabilities

Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 8:58 AM EST
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BRIDGEWATER, Va. (WHSV) - A program introduced in the fall of 2022 at Bridgewater College, is providing students with help navigating all aspects of college life and beyond.

Bridgewater Academic and Social Experience program, also known as BASE, is open to students on the autism spectrum or any student who feels they could benefit from the services.

BASE participants receive help with the transition to college life through early-move-in and personal campus tours, academic and social support from program mentors, and are set up with career counseling and on-campus employment opportunities in their second semester.

There is also support for students’ families, through progress updates, and meetings with parents at least once a semester.

“These students are whole people not just students, so it made sense to us to have wraparound support and to say, you know, the social feeds into the academic, feeds into the vocational, and so it’s all connected,” Disability and BASE program coordinator Margaret Benavides said.

In its first year, nine students have been supported by BASE, and four more are set to receive support in the upcoming academic year.

Bridgewater also recently announced a new endowed scholarship beginning in the 2023-24 academic year. It will be funded through the Shenandoah Valley Autism Partnership, an area nonprofit that works to support those impacted by the disorder.

For more information about BASE, you can visit Bridgewater’s website.