Options Institute College Access Training Online Course

Introducing: A New Way to Complete NYC’s Leading College Access Professional Development

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Two Bundles Available

College Access Training—$395

College Access Training Courses: Assessing Postsecondary Readiness, Researching and Evaluating Students’ Postsecondary Choices, Strong College Applications, Financial Aid Process and Financial Aid: Packages, Loans and Gap

Financial Aid Process and Financial Aid: Packages, Loans and Gap—$250


For further information go to our FAQ page or contact: OptionsCAT@goddard.org

Here’s a sneak peek:

Click video to see College Access Training features.

Our Pioneering College Access Content—Now Online and at Your Pace!

The Options Institute is offering its signature Foundations Course as a multi modal, resource rich, online learning system on college access created specifically for school and Community Based Organization counselors.

The Options Institute is New York City’s leading provider of professional development for practitioners working with underrepresented students on their postsecondary pathways. Based on Options in-person workshops, the asynchronous course is a new way for counselors supporting students through the complex process of applying to college to access our signature workshops. Learners can choose either the comprehensive College Access Training bundle or the Financial Aid bundle and they can be accessed and repeated more than once for up to 90 days.

Over the past 18 years, Options Institute, Goddard Riverside’s college access professional development organization, has been instructing college counselors and advisors in New York City on foundational topics related to college counseling. We think that our work as practitioners and trainers has helped us to develop a unique perspective – one that blurs the line between external research and internal knowledge as we have sought to integrate both in our work for almost two decades. It is through this lens that we have developed and offer this asynchronous course. 

The course design and development team created a comprehensive online curriculum, blending new and existing knowledge to enhance ways counselors guide their students. Learners will feel they’ve deepened their knowledge and skills every time they engage with the content and will be inspired to work more efficiently to help students achieve their goals.

College Access Training provides highly specialized professional development, on how to guide students through the college application process.


College Access Training: Comprehensive and Convenient

-Developed by NYC’s leading college access experts
-Up-to-date information
-Self-paced courses
-Supported with numerous downloadable resources
-90 days of access
-Complete it in approximately 10 hours
-Discussion forums for participant interaction

Specialized Knowledge for College Access Practitioners

We cover these and many other important topics:

-What’s most important when making a college list
-What you need to know to support students to complete the FAFSA
-How to introduce career into the college choice making process
-How to analyze financial aid packages
-How to counsel students and families about college choices and financial commitments

Past clients: NYC Department of Education, New York Cares, CUNY’s College Advising Corps, Harlem Children’s Zone, Chicago Public Schools and Portland Public Schools, Oregon. 

Follow us on Instagram: @options.instituteteam
Linked In: linkedin.com/in/options-institute

What learners who completed College Access Training are saying:

“Invaluable!”

“Very informative- especially the Financial Aid modules.”

“Easy to navigate.”

“The content is very clear.”

The Options Institute went to Atlanta, GA to exhibit at the American School Counselor Association’s 2023 conference in July. There were over 5000 school counselors in attendance from all over the country, including states as far as Alaska, Hawaii and Guam.

We demonstrated a module from the College Access Training bundle for participants and gave them a chance to test their knowledge with an interactive quiz. They liked it!

Here is what they said after “test driving” CAT:
“The course provides great strategies on talking to students about their college choices.”
“I enjoyed the interactivity of the course interface.”
“This is a good way for counselors to check their knowledge before talking with students.”


OUR VISION: All young people will have meaningful opportunities to earn quality postsecondary degrees.

OUR MISSION: Increase the number of underrepresented people who gain access to college and earn quality postsecondary degrees through Options’ counseling, training, evaluation, advocacy and dissemination of best practices.


Our sponsors:

Sponsors for the Options Institute. Logo at left is Robin Hood Foundation. Logo at right is for Solon E. Summerfield Foundation, Inc.

College Access Training Online Learning was created in collaboration with Extension Engine.

IMG: logo for Extension Engine, our collaborator in the course development of College Access Training Online Learning. Logo has lowercase letters extensn engine in black with black brackets on left and right.