Odyssey is a transitional program offered by the Office of Justice, Equity, Belonging, and Identity (JEBI) for first-year students who are first-generation to college, BIPOC, or eligible for the Pell Grant.


Odyssey begins in August, in the days leading up to new student move-in and Gateways Orientation. Students who participate in Odyssey build lasting relationships with their peers, connect with faculty and staff, engage in identity development workshops and activities, and learn about campus resources and the local community. 

Odyssey consists of three components: the August program for incoming first-year students, the assigning of a peer mentor for your first year at Holy Cross through The Mentor Program, and Odyssey Engagement events throughout the academic year for all Holy Cross students who participated in Odyssey during their first year. Please see the details below for more information about each element of the Odyssey Program.

August Program

The Odyssey experience begins with a transitional program a few days before first-year move-in and Gateways Orientation. For the incoming class of 2028, Odyssey's August program will run from Saturday, August 17 to Tuesday, August 20, 2024

Odyssey students will move into their respective residence halls on Saturday, August 17, 2024. Students and their families will be welcomed to campus with a luncheon, followed by time to get settled into their residence halls before families depart campus. The first night on campus will include introductions and icebreaker activities, so the cohort will get to know each other, the Odyssey Mentors, and the JEBI Office staff. 

Over the next three days, Sunday, August 18-Tuesday, August 20, 2024, Odyssey students will participate in workshops and activities that introduce them to Holy Cross and the city of Worcester, with themes of identity, community, and leadership. At the conclusion of the August program, Odyssey students will join the rest of the incoming class to begin Gateways Orientation. 

The August program takes place fully in person, on campus here in Worcester. All Odyssey students are expected to be available and participate for the duration of the August program and the Gateways Orientation that follows. 

The Mentor Program

The Mentor Program is a standalone program designed to support students with their transition to Holy Cross. Students invited to participate in the Mentor Program include, but are not restricted to, first-year students of color, first-generation students, students eligible for the Pell Grant, international students, and Passport and Odyssey students. 

All Odyssey students will be invited to participate in the Mentor Program and will be matched with a Holy Cross junior or senior student to help guide and mentor them through their first year at the College. Mentors will meet with first-year mentees weekly on campus to answer any questions, introduce mentees to life at Holy Cross, and provide information about resources and support on campus. 

This program is a collaboration between the Office of Academic Services and Learning Resources (ASLR) and the JEBI Office. Learn more about the Mentor Program.

Odyssey Engagement

Throughout the academic year, the JEBI Office will offer events and programming geared toward Odyssey students from all class years. It is an opportunity for Odyssey students across class years to meet and connect, and for each Odyssey cohort to have continued support throughout their Holy Cross experience. Odyssey students are strongly encouraged and invited to engage with all JEBI programming, as well as other opportunities for campus engagement, throughout their time at Holy Cross.