Hi IE6 user, you're viewing a text-only version of the BAC site. Upgrade to a free browser like Google Chrome to get the full experience.

Information for Gateway Students

Important Dates

Fall Practice Assessments
October 4 - December 4, 2015
Appointments are limited, sign up now.

Practice Reporting Period
December 7 - 14, 2015

    Participating in a Gateway project can provide students of all disciplines with a meaningful platform to launch their professional careers as designers. Under the guidance of a faculty project advisor, students work in multi-disciplinary teams to deliver crucial planning and design services to the community partner, who may be a nonprofit, civic organization, or municipal agency. Through Gateway, students find opportunities to:

    • Earn Practice Hours
    • Enrich their professional portfolios
    • Apply learning through project-directed research and action toward the fulfillment of established deliverables
    • Engage and collaborate with community leaders and stakeholders, fellow students, and design professionals across disciplines

    Learn more about Gateway policies and procedures:


    Each semester offers six projects, with an ideal composition of six students per team. Gateway projects are introduced at the beginning of the semester with an Open House that is typically held during the second week of classes. Undergraduate and graduate students of all disciplines are invited to attend Open House to learn more about projects, chat with community partners and faculty, and submit an application to join a project.

    Gateway applications are accepted through Survey Monkey for 48 hours from the day of Open House. Once the applications have been received, the Practice Department reviews them and assigns qualified students to a project. Students are assigned to projects based on a range of criteria including discipline, demonstrated interest, technical skills and capabilities. Given the limited number of available positions and the high level of interest, application does not guarantee a spot in a Gateway project.

    [back to top]


    Although students of all Skill Levels and disciplines are welcome to attend Open House, first-semester undergraduates who have not successfully completed Foundation are not typically accepted into the Gateway program. In addition, interested students must meet the following criteria:

    • Have demonstrated good academic standing
    • Have participated in less than three semesters of Gateway at the time of application
    • Be willing to commit up to 20 hours per week to the project

    [back to top]


    Attendance to all project meetings is mandatory. If a student has more than one unexcused absence from a project meeting, the faculty supervisor may lower the number of Practice hours the student will receive for his/her participation. An unexcused absence is defined as an absence in which the student has not notified the faculty supervisor at least 48 hours in advance and has not provided a reasonable explanation or documented medical excuse for his or her absence. It is at the discretion of the faculty supervisor to determine whether or not the absence is excused.

    Per BAC policy, work and academic-related obligations and/or deadlines are not considered appropriate excuses for absence from class. Students are expected to arrange both their Practice and Academic schedules so that neither compromises the other. If a student has more than two unexcused absences over the course of the project, they may be dismissed from the project. Students will be required to meet with a member of the Practice Department to discuss the specific situation and the consequences.

    All students who register for a Gateway project commit to working on the project for a minimum of 20 hours per week, unless prior arrangements have been made with their faculty supervisor. Students may work more than 20 hours a week with the understanding that their academic coursework should not be compromised. Students should discuss their schedule and any time management concerns with their Academic Advisor and with their faculty supervisor.

    [back to top]

    Code of Conduct

    Gateway requires that students, faculty, clients, and other participants all work together to create a professional and educational environment. This can only occur when all stakeholders take an active role in respecting the integrity of everyone involved.

    Examples of inappropriate behavior which violate the Gateway Code of Conduct include but are not limited to:

    • Failure to attend or arrive on time to team and/or client meetings
    • Failure to complete work in a timely and appropriate manner
    • Disruptive and/or disrespectful behavior during meetings and in communication with team members, clients, and faculty
    • Failure to maintain a professional and respectful attitude
    • Any violation of the BAC Campus Compact

    Any behavior that negatively impacts the project and those involved in the project may be considered grounds for the student to be dismissed immediately from the project and may prevent the student from being able to claim any Practice Hours earned during the project.

    [back to top]

    Equipment Needs

    Laptops and projectors may be checked out from the IT department 48 hours prior to the scheduled meeting date. Please contact help@the-bac.edu to reserve a laptop or projector.

    The Practice Department has additional equipment that can be checked out by Gateway students for use on projects. This equipment includes:

    • Bosch laser measurers
    • Wheel measuring tapes [for site measuring]
    • 100' tape measures
    • Kestral climate data collectors
    • Infrared thermometers
    • Presentation Packs [includes projectors, wires, Mac adapters, extension cords] - limited availability, for client presentations only
    • Lightning to USB Camera Adaptor
    • Lightning to VGA Adaptor

    Equipment is available on a first-come first-serve basis and must be returned by 5pm on the third business day after check-out. Penalties apply for lost or damaged equipment. To check out an item, visit the Practice Department, 5th Floor, 320 Newbury St. during normal business hours.

    [back to top]


    Facilitating student learning is one of the most important goals of Gateway projects. The Student Learning Contract and Skill Assessment documents should be used to help determine individual learning outcomes and skills that may be acquired over the course of the project. Over the course of the project, students will participate in a minimum of two evaluations, outlined in their project schedule/syllabus, to occur near the middle of the project and at the end of the project.

    Students receive feedback for their participation and performance in five categories:

    • Professional Development
    • Communication
    • Technical Skill Development and Application 
    • Student Learning
    • Overall Project Performance

    Mid-Project Evaluation
    The mid-project evaluation gives students the opportunity to meet one-on-one with their instructor and discuss their work to-date, evaluate current progress and identify areas of challenge or growth, and receive feedback on areas of improvement for the remainder of the project.
    Students should prepare and bring the following to their meeting:

    • Work completed for project (presented according to instructor requirements
    • All timesheets and/or documentation of hours worked on the project
    • Completed Self-Evaluation Form

    End-of-Project Evaluation
    During this final meeting, students will meet one-on-one with their instructor and review their overall performance and progress over the course of the semester. Together, the student and instructor will agree upon the number of hours the student will receive for the project.
    Students should prepare and bring the following to their meeting:
    Work completed for project (based on the requirements of the instructor)

    • All timesheets and/or documentation of hours worked for the duration of the project
    • Completed Self-Evaluation Form
    • Practice Report

    Students should come prepared to talk reflectively about what they have learned over the course of the project.

    [back to top]

    Federal Work Study

    Qualified BAC Gateway students who receive Federal Work Study (FWS) awards for the semester or the academic school year are eligible to receive payment for their work. Eligibility for Federal Work Study funding is determined by the Financial Aid Office based strictly upon financial need.

    Gateway students are typically compensated at a rate of $10/hour for their work on a Gateway Project. Students are responsible for tracking their FWS award to ensure they do not run out of funds prior to the end of the project, semester, or school year (depending upon their plan for the use of the funds).

    Students who have additional questions about FWS and their eligibility for a FWS award should contact the Financial Aid office directly.

    [back to top]

    FTP Portal: Storing Gateway Materials

    The Gateway FTP server gives faculty and students a communal space for depositing and storing digital work. Faculty and students assigned to the project are able to access the site using their BAC Outlook Account. Each Gateway project will have its own folder on the FTP server where students and faculty can upload and download files related to their project. At the beginning of the project, each team will be assigned a username and password for accessing FTP.

    Onsite Access:
    If you are logged onto the BAC network, go to the "Start" menu, then go to "Run," and enter the following directory: \\exeter\GatewayFTP.

    Offsite Access:
    If you are not logged onto the BAC network, please follow these instructions:

    Download an FTP client. We recommend using Filezilla, which is free and easy-to-use.
    • Enter the following URL next to Host: ftp://gatewayftp.the-bac.edu.
    • Enter your group Username and Password [provided to you by Practice]. Leave the "Port" field blank.
    • Click on Quickconnect.
    • Navigate to your project folder using the navigation pane on the right side of FileZilla.
    • You're in!

    Troubleshooting Tips:
    Option 1: Open FileZilla. Click "Edit" and select "Settings" from the drop-down menu. Select "FTP" [located immediately under "Connection"]. Look under "Transfer Mode" - if it is set to Active, change it to Passive. If it's set to Passive, set it to Active.

    Option 2: In front of your team username, insert "backbay\" [no quotes], so your username looks like backbay\yourusername.

    If you have questions about accessing or using the FTP Site, please contact practice@the-bac.edu.

    [back to top]

    Leaving a Gateway Project

    Students who are accepted into the Gateway program are expected to commit to the project for the duration of the semester. In the event that a student must resign from a Gateway project, the following steps must be taken:

    • Give two weeks notice, in writing, to the project instructor and Director of Gateway
    • Turn over all communal work to the project instructor (regardless of the stage of completion)
    • Complete an early Practice Report form and obtain the instructor's approval for the number of hours reported

    Any disputes over the number of approved Practice hours will be settled by the Director of Gateway. Failure to complete the steps above may result in the student's inability to be approved for Practice hours. Students who drop out of projects mid-semester are welcome to reapply to Gateway in the following semester; any student who drops out of two Gateway projects will be ineligible to apply to Gateway in the future.

    [back to top]


    Each Gateway team is granted a modest sum of $50.00 for printing expenses. Any material printed from the team FTP account will be charged to that account; as such, team members are encouraged to be particularly mindful of tracking and logging printing expenses.

    Inappropriate activity or abuse of printing privileges by individual team members will result in disciplinary action to be determined at the discretion of the Director of Gateway and Dean of Practice; subsequent violations may be considered grounds for dismissal from the Gateway project. Instructors and students are encouraged to notify the Practice Department of any suspected violation of the department's printing policy.

    [back to top]

    Reporting Hours

    All BAC students, regardless of employment status, must report their Practice hours and employment status twice during the academic year, in compliance with the Practice reporting periods. More information may be found on the Reporting Practice Hours page.

    Gateway students are strongly encouraged to maintain an accurate record of their hours by filling out weekly timesheets. Gateway students may report up to 600 hours (or about 40 hours per week) per semester for work on a Gateway project. Students who report over 20 hours per week must be prepared to present documented evidence of this claim to the instructor upon request.

    Approval of hours is at the discretion of the instructor. In the event of conflict between a student and instructor, the Director of Gateway will make a final determination.

    Gateway students will not be approved for Practice hours until the following are complete:
    • Completed Practice Report, signed off by the supervisor and handed in to Practice.
    • All final book submissions have been deposited in the project FTP folder and delivered to the client.

    [back to top]


    Students are required to keep copies of their own timesheets to help them document the number of hours they spend on a project so that they can accurately report their Practice hours at the end of the semester. Faculty or the Practice Department may ask to see a record of student hours at any time over the course of the project. The timesheet workbook may be found here.

    Students working on Gateway projects may be required to submit weekly timesheets to their Project Manager, Team Leader, or faculty supervisor (this will be established by each faculty supervisor at the start of the project). Failure to keep track of hours and follow faculty and project-specific requirements for tracking hours may result in the student being denied credit for hours that are improperly reported.

    [back to top]