Houghton College

HoughtonHoughton, NY: I’ve been very interested in Houghton College since the first time I went there five years ago. My whole family had gone with my sister when she visited. Since she was accepted, I have learned about the college and become even more impressed.Houghton College is a small, private, liberal-arts school located in Houghton, New York, about an hour’s drive from Buffalo. It is a Christian college associated with the Methodist denomination. The student population is approximately 1,250.

All of the professors I met have been very friendly. Many say hello when you pass them on your way to a dorm or library, whether they know you or not. They are very knowledgeable and provide helpful answers to questions future students have. There is even a program where professors and their families invite a group of students to eat in their homes on Sundays. It is obvious that the professors see students as a top priority.

Academically, Houghton is particularly strong in biology, music and education. There are many vocal and choral ensembles for students to join, including College Choir, Chapel Choir, Women’s Choir, Philharmonia and Wind Ensemble. In the education department, students can do their student teaching in rural towns around the college, in the urban schools of Buffalo or even overseas.

In fact, Houghton has many opportunities for overseas study. There is a program that allows both freshmen and upperclassmen a chance to spend a semester studying in London. Students can do their internships overseas where the country, amount of time and purpose are planned for each student. Other countries students have the opportunity to study include Tanzania, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Russia and Costa Rica, among others.

Even though Houghton is located in a rural area, students are never at a loss for things to do. I have never been bored visiting my sister. There are student art displays, current movies (on Fridays or Saturdays), band competitions and many local hangouts. The college even has its own ski slope, although it’s small.

There are also many clubs and activities to get involved with through the college. These include the yearbook and newspaper, as well as volunteer groups such as ACO, a big brother/big sister program and Habitat for Humanity. Students who have musical experience can join one of the vocal or instrumental ensembles, even if they aren’t studying music at the college. Houghton also has a wide range of varsity sports. It particularly excels at men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey, track and cross country. In addition, the students are always coming up with creative ways to spend time when they aren’t studying. I’ve always been amazed at how much fun I had in such a rural place.

One unique feature of the college is its equestrian program. You can take a courses or minor in horsemanship and get certification as a riding instructor. I especially like this aspect of the college because I take riding lessons at home and would like to find a college where I can continue this. Another unique aspect is a program that allows freshmen to make friends before starting classes, called the Highlander Program. Freshmen come a week early to camp in and climb the surrounding woodlands. Houghton has one other aspect that is especially appealing. It’s close to Letchworth State Park, often called The Grand Canyon of the East.

Houghton College is a distinct school that helps its students prepare for life after college in many ways. The college helps students find themselves, their beliefs and values. Houghton also teaches students to think in an open-minded way, while staying true to themselves. Houghton College combines excellent academics with personal support to help its students prepare for life after college. It’s a great choice for anyone who not only wants to learn but also grow as a person in college. f

Reviewed in 1998