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Houghton College plans night degree programs in Lockport, Falls

LOCKPORT – Houghton College will extend its nighttime degree offerings into Niagara County later this year, with classes at the Kenan Center in Lockport and the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in Niagara Falls.

Houghton, which was founded in 1883 and is sponsored by the Wesleyan Church, will offer classes toward a bachelor of science degree in management at both locations, according to Jeffrey Babbitt, director of marketing for the Allegany County-based Christian college.

Classes in Lockport will be held on Wednesday nights starting July 24. The Niagara Falls class schedule will begin in September, but specifics aren’t yet decided.

Houghton’s adult education program is headquartered in West Seneca, and the college already has nighttime extension locations in Jamestown, Olean, Arcade and Dansville.

The management degree program also is the only one offered at those four sites.

“We’re really looking to expand more northward,” Babbitt said. “We’re offering a program in areas where opportunities are limited.”

Elaine Harrigan, director of marketing for the Kenan Center, said as far as she knows, this is the first time college courses have been held regularly at the Lockport arts and cultural center.

For many years, the Kenan Center hosted an extension site, now defunct, for the Orleans-Niagara Board of Cooperative Educational Services.

“This is a brand-new relationship,” Harrigan said. “It’s a college degree program, so an individual can earn a degree in 18 months of going to class one night a week.”

She added, “It’s becoming very popular with adults. … Adults don’t have to commit to four years of college they usually can’t do.”

Babbitt said the courses are aimed at people who already have some college course work in their past. “They do sometimes give credit for life experiences,” he added.

The one-night-a-week program is set up so that a three-credit course can be completed in five weeks, according to the college’s website.

Katie Buvoltz, associate dean of adult education, said Houghton’s target is to enroll 12 to 15 students at each site. She said the enrollment limit is 20 students per location.

Information sessions about the classes will be held in the Kenan Center, 433 Locust St., from 4 to 7 p.m. May 16 and 19.