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Options Through Education (OTE)

transitional summer program


The mission of the Options Through Education Transitional Summer Program is to prepare the transition to Boston College for a select group of diverse students who have demonstrated potential and leadership in spite of challenging educational and financial circumstances. This summer residential program nurtures student’s academic, social, cultural and spiritual development.

Sponsored by the Thea Bowman AHANA (African-American, Hispanic, Asian, and Native Americans) and Intercultural Center, the Options Through Education (OTE) Transitional Summer Program has several goals we want to accomplish.

  • To provide a community of support and resources to help students succeed at Boston College

  • To help students get acclimated socially to Boston College and build long lasting relationships

  • To help build academic abilities especially in the areas of math, English, critical thinking, and study skills

  • To engage students in questions of cultural, racial, and ethnic identity development

  • To engage students in questions of spiritual development

Emphasizing personal growth and development, the OTE program provides an introduction to the academic and social aspects of college life. An intensive and enriching experience, the OTE program balances a challenging academic curriculum (English, Math, and Oral Communication) with tutoring services and variety of social activities. 

OTE program was established in 1979 and has a proven record of success in the retention and graduation of students. 


OTE Frequently Asked Questions



2015 Summer Reflection

Written by Francisco Bernard, Class of 2015

About 2,280 freshmen arrived to Boston College on August 25th, 2015. Chosen from a pool of almost 29,500 applications, these freshmen were met by exuberant Welcome Week staff willing to help carry their belongings into their dorms, energetic RAs checking them into their dorms, and a scope of their new home for the next four years. Among these 2,280 freshmen, 39 of them have gotten a little taste of what’s to come in their four years. They are the OTE Class of 2019.

The Options through Education Program is a transitional program dedicated to assisting in the transition to college for a select group of diverse students who have demonstrated potential and leadership despite challenging educational and financial circumstances.

If you are freshmen, chances are you have already seen them wearing their bright green OTE Class of 2019 shirts around campus. If you are upperclassmen, be prepared to see them talk bright-eyed and ambitious to pursue anything this campus has to offer.

As a preceptor for the OTE program, it was my job to oversee the students in the residential halls and ensure they were doing their homework and abiding by the community policies. My fondest memory was the first night of study hall.

A student is on his phone during study hall. One of the rules is you cannot be on your phone during the study hall hours of 7:00 – 9:30 p.m. The preceptors on duty approach the student and asked what they were doing. “I was just sending a group chat about a group discussion.” Within minutes, 20 scholars gathered in Fitzpatrick Hall 2nd Floor Lounge to discuss their reading assignment, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere.

This moment displayed everything there is to know about the OTE program. The students accepted into the program have the same level of academic excellence a Boston College accepted student possesses as well as a passion for community involvement.

This summer was like a storybook ending for me. Four years ago, I was accepted to BC through the OTE program and four years later, I ended my time at BC by working with the program that helped me start my BC journey. If it weren’t for OTE, I wouldn’t have met the upperclassmen who would become my mentors my freshmen and sophomore year. If it weren’t for OTE, I wouldn’t have been exposed to numerous resources and involvement activities offered at BC.

Plain and simple, if it weren’t for OTE, I and countless other OTE alumni would not have had the privilege to attend BC. This year’s OTE class expanded on a legacy that began over 35 years ago. From study hall to playing music in Fitzpatrick 2nd Floor lounge to numerous life conversations, these students not only made my summer, but gave me a new perspective.

So if you notice anyone wearing a bright green shirt with the words OTE stamped on the left hand side of their shirt, don’t hesitate to stop them and talk. I promise you, it will be a regret if you didn’t.

To the OTE Class of 2019, thank you for making the last step on my journey at BC more memorable than I ever expected. Continue to inspire those you encounter at BC just like you did to me.