Tonawanda News — It seemed to Michael Crane that he would never finish college.
After graduating from a two-year college in the Finger Lakes, the Medina man enrolled at a state school to finish his degree, but for two years he slogged forward in what seemed like anonymity.
“I felt like there was no end in sight,” said the 27-year-old. “I was going to school for five or six years and nobody cared.”
Then, he heard about a one-day-a-week program that Houghton College was providing at new locations in Lockport and Niagara Falls.
After applying to Houghton, a Catholic college headquartered in Houghton, but which has offices in West Seneca, he felt like his whole educational path had opened up.
“I was just amazed, right away, by the opportunities for a working adult,” said Crane, who has enrolled full-time at Houghton and is taking classes each Wednesday at the college’s space at the Kenan Center at 433 Locust St., in Lockport.
Houghton’s program allows adult students to take classes one night a week and finish their bachelor’s degree in 17 months.
A second campus location will be opening Sept. 4 in Niagara Falls.
Crane said he was amazed at how involved the Houghton College counselors became in his life. “I spent weeks working back and forth with them ... you felt like you were the only student they were dealing with.”
As a result, he now feels as if his goal of graduation is in sight. “They said, ‘Dec. 17, 2014 you will be graduated.’ “
Katie Buvoltz, the associate dean of adult and distance education for Houghton, said the once-a-week, 17-month program is designed for students who already have an associates degree or about 63 college credits. Cost is about $23,000 including books and materials, but government assistance is available.
“Our students are considered full time so they can apply for full TAP and Pell loans,” Buvoltz said.
There are 12 courses in the program, each five weeks long, and they are largely business-based, with the ultimate degree of bachelor’s in management. Courses include sociology and psychology offerings such as “Adult Development,” “Fundamentals of Management” and “Work Team Dynamics,” she said.
The Lockport classes started in July, but adult students can enroll for the next course, which starts Sept. 4. The Niagara Falls classes also begin Sept. 4, at a conference space at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel, 7001 Buffalo Ave.
For Crane, into his fourth week of classes at on the Kenan Center campus, the experience has been great.
“I really enjoy it,” he said of his class in adult development. “They’re always making us work together, work as a group, and it helps our education. That’s part of being in business, working with people and they bring us into that.”
For more information visit Houghton College call 888-874-7223 or visit on the web at www.completeyourself.org.IF YOU GO • WHAT: New Houghton College campuses in Niagara Falls and Lockport • WHEN: Classes starting Sept. 4 • FOR MORE INFORMATION: Call 888-874-7223 or visit online at www.completeyourself.org