Bridgewater State University

Commitment to Equal Opportunity:

Founded by American public education pioneer Horace Mann as Bridgewater Normal School 1840, Bridgewater State University (BSU) achieved university status in 2010 having moved far from a single room in the basement of Town Hall but retaining a core commitment to public higher education. In the last six years, the retention and graduation rates for all of our students has increased, and the persistence gap between first time full time students and students of color, first generation and students from low income families has been virtually eliminated.

A variety of factors contributed to our institutional ability to support the success of our students. These factors included: positioning student success, diversity, and social justice as key institutional strategic priorities; a long history as a teaching university with a demonstrated commitment to excellence in educating our students; a strong Academic Achievement Center that offers all students a range of academic support and first year advising services; a vibrant and successful Center for Multicultural Affairs that provides students of color a mentoring program, social support, and advocacy; an Office of Institutional Research and Assessment that had established a culture of inquiry and institutional data-driven decision-making; the establishment of the Office of Teaching and Learning and strong institutional support of faculty development focused on student success; a recent revision of the Core Curriculum with an emphasis on small class sizes as well as engaged and high-impact pedagogies; and the establishment of the Institute for Social Justice and the Office of Institutional Diversity charged with supporting the campus on issues of social justice, diversity and equity.

 University Culture

One piece of our Strategic Goal is to increase global and cultural awareness and encourage a diversity of perspectives on campus and in the region.  BSU is an active participant in The Leading for Change Higher Education Diversity Consortium which is a voluntary collaboration of higher education institutions in Massachusetts and New England committed to identifying student and employee diversity best practices through uniform and transparent use of data, institutional benchmarks and reflective practice.  


Employees of BSU are encouraged to utilize the resources of the Diversity Inclusion Resource Institute, whose mission it is to support the diversity and inclusion-oriented research, scholarship, creative endeavors and other practices in higher education. The Office of Institutional Diversity also sponsors dynamic book clubs, trainings, and workshops that provide campus members an opportunity to thoughtfully dialogue with one another about issues of diversity, inclusion and social justice.

Social Justice

The Institute for Social Justice was launched in fall 2012. It comprises the Community Service Center, the Friends and Mentors (FAM) for Change program, Jumpstart, the President’s Task Force to End Homelessness, and two Residential Learning Communities.

The Bridgewater State University campus defines social justice as promoting fairness, equal access and equal opportunity, ensuring basic human rights, supporting diversity, and working to end prejudice and discrimination. The mission of the ISJ is to build a continuum of opportunities through which the campus community can address equity issues and work towards solving social problems.

Organizations, Clubs and Social Networks

Bridgewater State University (BSU) is deeply committed to issues of diversity, inclusion, and social justice. 

Office of Institutional Diversity:

 The mission of the Office of Institutional Diversity (OID) is to provide resources to the campus and region that support efforts to create equity and opportunity for all. Using an Inclusive Excellence theoretical framework (Williams, D., Berger, J., & McClendon, S., 2005), the OID partners with many constituents across campus as they create, implement, and assess diversity-oriented efforts at BSU. As a result of these combined efforts, BSU is emerging as a leader in higher education by providing comprehensive and effective diversity-oriented policies and practices.  

Center for Multicultural Affairs:  

The CMA’s vision is to foster an environment within the BSU community that promotes the celebration of cultural pluralism.

Community Service Center:

Providing students with a variety of volunteer and community service opportunities in the Southeastern Massachusetts area and beyond.

Academic Achievement Center:  

The Center offers a comprehensive array of programs and services to support the continued academic success of Bridgewater State University students.

GLBTA Pride Center:

We offer a variety of services and resources that promote the learning and development of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and ally students and their cohorts.

Engagement and Community Outreach

One of our primary goals as a university is to serve as a transformative resource as well as a facilitator of reciprocal partnerships within our regional, national and global communities. Bridgewater encourages and supports civic and international engagement, strategic collaborations, public service programs and a variety of outreach measures, all of which emphasize and strengthen our relationship to our region and the wider world around us.

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