Department of College Life and Leadership and New Student Curricula


New Student Programs

The mission of the New Student Office and the Transitions curricula at Houghton is to support new first-year and transfer students in their transition to becoming fully engaged members of the Houghton College learning community. Partnering collaboratively with departments across campus, orientation and transitions programs help students and their families gain the information and interpersonal support they need to be successful. 

The four components of the Transitions program at Houghton College are Transitions 101: Connecting to Houghton, Fall Orientation, and Transitions 102: Succeeding at Houghton (a required course for first-year students during their first semester on campus), and selected components of H.E.L.P. Day in the spring semester of the first year.

Transitions begins officially with Transitions 101: Connecting to Houghton, during the spring prior to enrollment. A parallel slate of sessions exists for parents and students. This day-long experience gives students the opportunity to review their fall course schedule, to get to know peers, faculty, and orientation leaders, and to take care of other important business such as financial aid. After spending a day on campus as part of Transitions 101, students and families report a sense of belonging, a sense of confirmation in their choice, and a sense of confidence that they will have a successful transition when classes begin.

Fall Orientation provides all new students and their families a chance to have the college all to themselves in the days just prior to the beginning of classes. President Mullen enjoys an opportunity to speak with the parents of our new transfer and first-year students. Parents are encouraged to stay through the New Student Dedication Service on move-in day.

INTS 102 Transitions 102: Succeeding at Houghton                                                                                                      (1, F) Consideration of topics essential to success as a student in Houghton’s Christian academic community. Introductory experiences in individual and collaborative reading, writing, research and discussion facilitated by Houghton student and faculty leaders. Content focused on the Houghton Reads book (with support for summer reading) and related supplementary materials. Exploration and understanding of the Christian perspectives and behavioral expectations embodied in the Houghton Community Covenant. Consideration of other selected social, intellectual and theological issues pertinent to Christian life in a global twenty-first century world. Orientation to successfully navigating and utilizing the offices and services of the College. Required for all first-year and transfer students; fulfills the IS: Transitions requirement.

INTS 104 Transitions for Transfers: Succeeding at Houghton College                                                     (0, F&S) Transitions for Transfers is a half semester course required for all entering transfer students. The course is designed to address the unique circumstances, both social and academic, of transfer students who have already had previous experience with college life. The class acquaints new students with life on the Houghton campus, college policies, and available services and resources provided by the college. Course topics include academic integrity, career counseling and services, financial literacy, academic records and course selection, graduation requirements, and library resources. Social gatherings and activities are planned to provide opportunities for new students to become acquainted and involved in campus life.

College Life and Leadership


CLLS 102 College Study Methods (P/U)


Improves study habits: reading textbooks, taking notes, improving memory, preparing for and taking exams, writing research papers, time management. For any student who wishes to work to full potential.

CLLS 202 Transitions 102 Group Leadership (P/U)


Faculty and staff-supervised training and experience leading groups of first-year students in discussion sessions and other coursework as part of the Transitions 102 course. For sophomores, juniors and seniors, chosen by application in the prior year.

CLLS 203 PSL: RA Training and Experience (P/U)


Special training course in spring and August, with credit awarded after in-service training for the fall. Students will be introduced to key topics related to Residence Life and Housing and receive training specific to the Resident Assistant position at Houghton College.