Options Institute

Providing Professional Development in College Access and Success, In-Person and Online

Two people sit smiling at a table in front of a green wall with name tags on
Three people site around a white table covered with documents
A young man sits at a laptop keyboard

See the Options Center for our College Access and Success programming

See our College Access Training Online Learning page for asynchronous course.

The Options Institute provides professional development in college access and success, offering the following:

  • a focus on specialized knowledge and skills for high quality advising
  • a focus on working with underrepresented populations
  • workbooks, handouts and electronic resources
  • facilitation by current practitioners and experts in college access
  • intensive, interactive methods with real-life scenarios
  • attention to the needs of adult learners, allowing participants to build on what they know and immediately apply what they learn

Our hallmark program is the Foundation Course for College Access Counseling. Our new online course, College Access Training, is based on our signature foundations course we have offered since 2005. Both ways of completing our training cover the essential knowledge counselors need to help young people through the college process. The program emphasizes fundamental counseling skills and youth development approaches to working with students.

The Options Institute also contracts with organizations to develop and provide training. We have worked with the NYC Department of Education, New York Cares, and CUNY’s College Advising Corps, Harlem Children’s Zone among others. The Options Institute has also trained for Chicago Public Schools and for Portland Public Schools, Oregon. 

Options Institute Trainings

Registration is open for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Options Institute Blog

Applying for College? How to Create a Well-Balanced College List

The college application landscape can be intimidating for all students, particularly first generation college goers. Even if they are unsure if they will attend college, the first thing a student should do …

Options Institute

Deborah Fuller,


optionsinstitute@ goddard.org


352 West 110th Street

New York, NY 10025

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.