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.