Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

Options Through Education (OTE)

transitional summer program

BC 101

OTE Learning Outcomes

1. Facilitate student academic success and personal development by providing a community of support and resources to help student succeed
2. Expose resources at Boston College, including leadership and co-curricular opportunities, academic areas of study and work study opportunities
3. Implement weekend trips to enhance the spiritual, emotional and intellectual growth of students
4. Review available academic supports and improve study skills
5. Facilitate cultural competency workshops for students to articulate identity

The Mission

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. 

2018 Options Through Education Class 

OTE 2018

OTE Frequently Asked Questions 


How are students selected for OTE?

The Undergraduate Admission Office and the Thea Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center select a diverse group of students based on rigorous criteria of accomplishments, determination, leadership, talents, and potential in spite of challenging educational and financial circumstances. 

How many students participate in the program?

40 to 45 students

When does the program begin and end?

Everyone must check in on Sunday, June 17, 2018 for the OTE Opening Ceremony. The program will officially end with the OTE Closing Ceremony on Friday, August 3, 2018. 

What are the benefits of being in OTE?

  • Waived from $500 enrollment/deposit confirmation fee
  • FREE 7- week college summer transitional program at BC (incldues tuition, housing, and meals, social events, trips and more!)
  • Earn graduation credits for courses passed during the summer
  • Fun social activities, including trips to Boston attractions
  • On campus housing for four years
  • Academic and counseling support for four years
  • One credit Student Success Seminar to take in the first year fall semester
  • Community of peers, upperclassmen, faculty and staff

Why is the program mandatory?

The OTE Selection Committee believes that participating in the program will help selected students build on their strengths and prepare them to succeed at Boston College.

How much does this program cost?

Courses, campus housing, meals. social events and trips are FREE. You will need to bring personal spending money for any additional needs during the program(e.g., buying souvenirs during trips, eating off-campus)

What classes will I need to take during the program?

All OTE students will be enrolled in English, Math, Interpersonal Communication and the BC 101 Seminar in the summer.  These (6 credits) can be counted for college credit at Boston College. Additionally, students will take a one-credit Student Success Seminar in the fall.

What social events are there?

Each Saturday, all students will take trips planned by the staff to various points of interest in the Greater Boston area. In previous years, activities included the Boston Duck tour, a tour of Fenway Park, Martha’s Vineyard, the Boston Food Bank, Six Flags New England, bowling, etc. Students have also organized talent shows, parties, sports tournaments, and more. These trips and activities are important in building community, developing friendships, and gaining exposure to the New England area.

What if I have another commitment during the program (e.g. graduation, wedding)?  

Prior to accepting your offer to BC, students must speak with the Coordinator of the OTE program about any specific circumstances which may require an exemption to missing any part of the program.

Can I go home on weekends?

Students are expected to participate in ALL events, including Saturday outings.  If you live locally, you can check-out Saturday evening if there are no Sunday activities planned but you must be back by Sunday at 5pm. We have one free weekend when students can plan to go home.   

Can I work during the program?

No. Due to the rigor of the program and the activities you must participate in, we do not allow any students to work during the program.

Do I need to attend the Boston College First Year Orientation session?


What if I still have questions?

If you have additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at 617-552-3358  or Email:

Here's a printable version of the OTE Frequently Asked Questions Brochure