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.

Gateway: For Students

Important Dates

Practice Open House
Tuesday, September 8
5:30 - 8:00pm
320 Newbury, 5th Fl.

Gateway Open House
Friday, September 11
Noon - 2:00pm


    Welcome to Gateway!

    Gateway projects are introduced at the start of each semester with an Open House. At Open House, students can learn more about the various project offerings for that semester and apply to the ones they are interested in. Once accepted into the program, students can begin working on a project with their team, faculty supervisor(s), and community client! For more information on Gateway in general, please visit our main page.

    Attendance Policy
    Code of Conduct
    Gateway Assessment
    Gateway Equipment
    Federal Work Study for Gateway Projects
    Final Submission Requirements and Deliverables
    FTP Access
    Leave of Absence Policy
    Leaving a Gateway Project

    Licensure and Gateway
    Teaching Assistants
    Reporting Gateway Hours



    Attendance Policy

    Students are expected to attend all project meetings. Practice faculty may lower the number of hours a student will receive for his/her participation if the student has more than one unexcused absence from a project meeting. An unexcused absence is defined as an absence in which the student has not notified faculty at least 48 hours in advance and has not given faculty a reasonable explanation for the absence. It is at the discretion of faculty 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 12-15 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]



    Students are eligible to apply for a Gateway project at the beginning of their second semester at the BAC. In addition, a number of factors impact a student's eligibility for Gateway. These include:

    Leave of Absence: If a student is on leave of absence from the BAC, s/he may still be eligible to participate in a Gateway project. S/he must set up a meeting with the Director of Practice to determine his or her eligibility before applying for a Gateway project.
    Academic Standing: If a student: a.) is not in good academic standing, b.) has been advised by Education Review Board proceedings that s/he needs to focus on academics, c.) is failing studio, d.) is not maintaining an adequate GPA, or e.) is on academic probation, s/he may not be eligible for participation in Gateway. Decisions about eligibility in relationship to academic standing are made between the Director of Gateway and the Dean of Students, Advising, and Head of School.
    Number of Semesters in Gateway: A student can participate in no more than three semesters of Gateway projects at the BAC. This limitation serves to ensure that as many students as possible are given the opportunity to participate in Gateway. Moreover, all students are expected to gain experience in design-related work within a firm environment outside of Gateway. It is not mathematically possible, nor is it permissible, for a student to earn all Practice hours through Gateway projects.
    Continuation in multi-semester project: Some Gateway projects last for more than one semester. Generally, students may continue into the next semester without reapplying to the program if: a.) they are in good academic standing, b.) have NOT met the maximum number of Gateway projects allowed, and c.) have completed and submitted the required paperwork [including obtaining a signature from their instructor].
    Experience level: Students of all skill levels are encouraged to apply to Gateway; however, first-semester undergraduate students are not generally accepted into the program. This is because most new students need time to get acclimated and become acquainted with the BAC and design culture, before diving into Gateway.

    [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


    The first time a student exhibits any behavior that is in violation of the Gateway Code of Conduct, he/she will receive a verbal warning from their faculty supervisor. If a second violation occurs, faculty should notify the Director of Gateway. The student will then be required to attend a meeting with Practice staff as well as with their faculty supervisor. If there is a third violation, the student will attend another meeting with Practice staff and their faculty supervisor and/or may be asked to leave the project, depending upon the severity of the violation.
    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/or may prevent the student from being able to participate in Gateway at a future date.

    [back to top]


    The Practice Department has 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] - for client presentations
    • IPad (2)
    • Lightning to USB Camera Adaptor
    • Lightning to VGA Adaptor

    Download the Gateway equipment checkout policy and form. [PDF]

    [back to top]


    Gateway Assessment

    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.

    Assessments are based on the Gateway Projects Rubric, found here. The Rubric addresses five categories:

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

    The Rubric is not a "score" or a "grade," but rather a guide to help students and instructors set goals for the semester and to evaluate individual progress in different areas throughout the project.

    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 for Gateway Projects

    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 FWS is determined by the Financial Aid Office based strictly upon financial need. Students are typically notified of their FWS award within the first 3-4 weeks of the semester (after the Add/Drop Deadline). The Practice Department sends a notification to any Gateway FWS recipients of their award and of the paperwork they need to complete in order to receive their FWS funds. FWS recipients who are interested but not currently involved in Gateway projects are also encouraged to contact the Practice Department.

    Most students are compensated at a rate of $10/hour for their work on Gateway Projects, although in certain circumstance students who have a higher skill level or who take on a higher level of responsibility may receive a higher hourly rate. This should be discussed with the Practice Department and faculty supervisor prior to beginning the 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 receiving FWS funds are paid through the biweekly BAC payroll, which is administered by BAC Staff. It is the responsibility of the student to track his or her hours, complete a Federal Work Study timesheet, have it signed by the Gateway faculty supervisor, and submit it to the Practice Department by the established deadline for each payroll period. Students who are reporting zero hours for the week must still notify the Practice Department and submit a timesheet by the established deadline.  Faculty will be expected to sign off on Federal Work Study timesheets for any students they are supervising who are receiving FWS funds for their work on the project. Not all students receive FWS funds, but those who do are responsible for making sure their timesheets are submitted according to established payroll deadlines.

    Please note that the reporting of false hours to the Federal Work Study Program is a federal offense, punishable by heavy fines and jail time. The submission of false hours will result in the immediate termination of a student's ability to participate in the Federal Work Study Program. Additional disciplinary actions will also be considered from the Boston Architectural College and the Practice Department.

    Late Timesheets
    The Practice Department has a 3 Strikes Policy which states that any student who submits a timesheet after the established deadline three times over the course of the semester can no longer earn payment for their work on a Gateway Project. Students who submit one late timesheet will receive a written warning; students who submit a second late timesheet will receive a second warning and will be instructed to meet with the Head of Practice; and students who submit a late timesheet three times will no longer be eligible to receive payment for their work on a Gateway project. This 3 Strikes Policy has been established to meet federal requirements for the FWS Program and must be strictly enforced so that the BAC does not lose FWS funding.

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

    [back to top]


    Final Submission Requirements and Deliverables

    All deliverables must be submitted to the Practice Department and to the Community Client at the end of the semester before Practice hours are approved for anyone on the Gateway team. Just like in professional design practice, if one member of the team doesn't participate or pull his or her weight, the whole team is held responsible.

    Project-specific deliverables can be found on each Gateway project syllabus. Prior to the launch of each Gateway Project, clients sign a contract with the Practice Department outlining what they expect to receive at the end of the semester. Each project must provide these deliverables. This is a real contract, with real expectations, real deliverables, and a real client.

    Final deliverables must be:

    1. Posted to Gateway FTP site, or sent via www.wetransfer.com to the Director of Gateway, or brought on CD to the Director of Gateway, by the deadline indicated in the project syllabus.
    2. Must be sent via www.wetransfer.com or brought on CD to the Community Client representative, by the deadline indicated in the project syllabus. The Gateway team must alert their instructor and Director of Gateway when those files are sent to the Community Client.
    3. Must be in PDF format.
    4. Must include an InDesign packaged file of the PDF.
    5. Must include images of students working during the semester, site visits, client meetings/presentations, etc.

    Any submission that does not follow these requirements will not be eligible to receive Practice hours.

    [back to top]


    FTP Access

    The Gateway FTP Site gives faculty and students a communal space for depositing and storing digital work. Faculty and students are able to access the site using their BAC Outlook Account.  Each Gateway project will have its own folder on the FTP Site 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 the 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:

    1. Download an FTP client. We recommend using Filezilla, which is free and easy-to-use. 
    2. Enter the following URL next to Host: ftp://gatewayftp.the-bac.edu.
    3. Enter your group Username and Password [given to you by your instructor].  Leave the "Port" field can be left blank.
    4. Click on Quickconnect.
    5. Navigate to to your project folder using the navigation pane on the right side of FileZilla.
    6. 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]



    Many BAC classrooms are equipped with projectors already. If a student needs a laptop and/or projector for class or a presentation, s/he can check one out from IT. Please email IT for further assistance.

    The Practice Department has Presentation Packs available for students and teams to check out; these Packs are equipped with a projector, connector cord, Mac adapter, and extension cord. They are available exclusively for Gateway teams to check out. Please see our equipment checkout policy for further information.

    [back to top]


    Leave of Absence Policy

    If a student is on leave of absence from the BAC, s/he may still be eligible to participate in a Gateway project. The student must set up a meeting with the Director of Practice to determine if s/he is eligible before applying for a Gateway project.

    [back to top]


    Leaving a Gateway Project

    If a student must leave a Gateway Project, s/he must do the following:

    • Give two weeks' notice, in writing, to the team, instructor, and Director of Gateway;
    • Turn over all communal work and files to the team and instructor (regardless of whether the work is complete or incomplete);
    • Conduct an exit interview with Director of Gateway;
    • Agree with the instructor on how many hours will be approved for work completed on the project.

    Any disputes over the number of hours will be settled by the Head of Practice.Failure to complete these steps will result in student not receiving Practice hours for their work on the project. Students who leave a project mid-semester are welcome to reapply to Gateway again the next semester, though a student who leaves two Gateway projects mid-semester will not be allowed to apply for Gateway projects in the future.

    [back to top]


    Licensure and Gateway

    At this time, students pursuing licensure through NCARB/IDP [architecture] and NCIDQ/IDEP [interior design] may be able to count the hours they work on their Gateway projects toward licensure. Please contact the Practice Department for more information.

    [back to top]



    The Practice Department is able to give each project a modest amount of money for printing. Students can access this money by printing from a computer logged in under their group username and password. Group usernames and passwords are distributed at the beginning of the semester. Students can add to this account by visiting the IT Help Desk on the 4th floor of 320 Newbury St.

    Some clients require extensive printing, for which the clients will provide funds. This is arranged at the beginning of the project between the client and the Practice Department. Students should not assume that they have extra money for printing unless they are told so by the Director of Gateway.

    [back to top]


    Teaching Assistants

    Any student who is interested in working as a Teaching Assistant for a Gateway project is encouraged to contact the Practice Department for more information about opportunities that may be available.

    [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]


    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. For more information on Reporting and Earning Practice Hours, click here.

    For Gateway projects, students must keep accurate records of their hours using timesheets. Students must be prepared to show this evidence to their instructor at least twice a year, and at the instructor's request. Gateway students may report up to 600 hours (or about 40 hours per week) a semester for their Gateway projects. Students who report more than 20 hours per week on their Gateway project must be able to present compelling evidence of having invested that many hours into the project, and must not be compromising their other academic work.

    Signing off on hours is at the discretion of the instructor. In the event of a conflict between a student and the instructor, the Head of Practice or Director of Gateway will make a final determination.

    Students will not be approved for their Practice hours until the following are complete:

    • Completed Hours Reporting Form, signed off by the supervisor and handed in to Practice.
    • All materials submitted [for entire team] to Practice and the Community Client, via required submission process.

    No team member is approved for Practice hours until the entire team has submitted their work. See Final Submission Requirements for more information on the correct procedure for submitting work.

    [back to top]

    [return to Gateway main page]