Department of Adult Education

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Marlene Collins-Blair, Associate Dean of Distance Education


Adult Education 

Houghton College offers an adult degree completion program leading to a bachelor of business administration degree as well as a bachelor of science degree in Human Resources Management, Integrated Marketing and Communication, Leadership Development, or Management.  Designed to accommodate adult learners who have had to delay completion of their studies in higher education due to work, family or other commitments, the program provides convenient scheduling, contemporary technology, high-quality instruction and accessible course facilitators.

The adult degree completion offering is intended to build on previous college credit and experience equivalent to about two years of college. The degree, which can be completed in about 18 months, has three major requirements:

  1. Transfer of 63 semester hours from approved institutions to Houghton College.
  2. Completion of all non-core credit requirements as determined after initial transcript review (up to 24 hours of credit).
  3. Completion of an advance-level, interdisciplinary core of 37 or 40 semester hours, comprised of 12 to 15  three-hour courses and a one-credit hour workshop series.

Note: The combination of transfer credit and non-core credit must provide a minimum of 87 semester hours for completion of degree requirements. Student with fewer total hours may take additional courses at Houghton or elsewhere, or may pursue DSST or experiential learning credits.)

General Education minima:

Certain minimum general education requirements must also be met as part of the non-core credit requirements. These general education requirements are:

Minimum hours

CategoryCredit hours
Religion and philosophy 6
Communication (written and spoken) 6
Humanities and social science (at least 6 hours in humanities and 3 in social sciences, but no more than 6 hours in any one discipline) 18
Mathematics/computer science 3
Science 3
Total 36

The adult degree completion program is conducted year-round. Each core course is taken over eight weeks, a total of four courses can be completed each spring, summer, and fall semesters. Students may be full-time and may be eligible to apply for federal and state financial aid and student loans.

For more information call 716.674.6363 or 888.874.7223, or visit Adult Education.


Costs and Financial Aid Information

Marlene G. Collins-Blair
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AC 444 Accounting and Finance for Non-Financial Managers


Introduction to accounting and finance concepts, including cost control, understanding and analyses of financial statements, budgeting, working capital management and financing alternatives.

ADC 295 Special Topics


ADC 441 Worldviews at Work


Provides managers and other workers with an enhanced understanding of the way in which worldviews, in particular a person’s basic faith commitments, impact the workplace, and vice versa. It is an introduction to the relationship between religion and the culture of organizations, and as such is designed to help one identify and begin to reflect (or extend reflections) on the relevant issues.

BI 211 Biblical Literature


Survey of the types of literature found in the Bible. Considers the origin of the Biblical texts and canon, basic issues of interpretation (hermeneutics), and an outline of the history of Israel and of the New Testament church as a backdrop for the message. Literary, historical, and theological aspects of selected texts will be explored. Liberal Arts.

BU 300 Business Writing


Emphasis on improving ability to communicate effectively through writing, identification of audience and purpose, clear reasoning and rational organization, suitable wording and effective rewriting.

BU 310 Employment Law


A conceptual and functional analysis of the legal framework and principles of industrial and employment relations with special emphasis on discrimination based on race, sex, age, and disability; testing and performance appraisal; wrongful discharge; labor/management issues; and employee benefits.

BU 315 Work Team Dynamics


Focus on dynamic processes affecting task-oriented work groups, including formation, development, maturity and effectiveness. Addresses goals, interactions, problem recognition, interventions and team meetings.

BU 320 Leadership Development


A study of the principles of leadership found in biblical leaders, throughout history, and in our own lives. Designed as an interdisciplinary course, specifically to help guide personal understanding of both leadership responsibilities and leadership abilities. It is not intended only for individuals who aspire to positions of leadership or just for those who think they have what are normally considered "leadership" abilities. It is intended for anyone seeking to understand how to better be able to influence others for good, regardless of their profession, position, gifts, or calling. Liberal Arts.

BU 325 Project Management


The primary premise of this course is that project management concepts are fundamental to most activities undertaken by organizations and individuals. Students will learn the elements of initiating, planning scheduling, resource allocation, executing, controlling and closeout for functional projects and other management initiatives. Team leadership and team dynamics will be explored as essential elements of a successful project. Opportunities to apply technology to project management will also be addressed.

BU 330 Leading Change


Examination of the critical success factors for managing organizational change successfully, that is, to become more productive and competitive. Topics to be discussed include: driving forces for change, common approaches to change initiatives, the competencies required to be effective change leaders and managers, the effect of change on an organization’s stakeholders, and the measurement of results. Case studies will be used and there will be a heavy reliance on student experience with change initiatives in their own organizations.

BU 400 Fundamentals of Management


Effective reasoning and decision-making for organizational managers. Assessment and development of individual managerial competencies, involving leadership styles, ethical perspectives, problem solving, stating goals and objectives, and strategic and tactical planning.

BU 410 Human Resources Management


Perspectives on traditional, current and emerging practices in human resources management, including matters related to economics, law, psychology, sociology, and programs and policies used in employee management.

BU 415 Staffing and Performance Management


Examination of recruiting, selection, and performance appraisal and an understanding of all facets of performance management including training and development, developing reward systems, performance measurement, equal employment practices, counseling and promotion processes. Discussions will also include strategies to recruit, retain and develop a diverse workforce.

Prerequisite Courses: BU 310

BU 417 Business Ethics


Ethics-related aspects of the business decision-making process. Students will address a variety of topics, including theoretical underpinnings of ethics, stakeholders, decision-making strategies, and utilization of such strategies in specific areas such as shareholder and employment relations, marketing, and globalization. The emphases of the course are issue recognition, application of ethical principles, and analysis of the consistency of corporate decision-making process with such principles.

BU 420 Employee Training and Development


An examination of employee training and human resource development in various organizations. Topics include the development, administration, and evaluation of training programs; employee development; career development; and organizational change. Issues in employee development (including assessment of employee competencies, opportunities for learning and growth, and the roles of managers in employee development) are explored.

Prerequisite Courses: BU 310

BU 425 Managing Total Rewards: Compensation and Benefits


This course explores the concept of total rewards, its fundamental elements and strategic prevalence in attracting, motivating and retaining valued employees. Additional focus will be allocated to compensation and benefits, relevant philosophies, designs, and best practices, incorporating latest issues/trends along with their potential implications. Students will participate in strategic goal and program development, examining how total rewards, compensation and benefit designs, impact individual/organization performance and contribute to defining organization culture.

Prerequisite Courses: BU 310, BU 410

BU 475 Organizational Development


Development of theory and innovative practice relevant to leadership and organizational change. Major topics include change processes within organizations, intervention strategies in organizations to improve their effectiveness, studies of such interventions, the roles of change agents, and problems of self-awareness, responsibility and the political consequences of organizational development theory and practice.

CM 210 Interpersonal Communication


Principles, application of interpersonal skills in the context of friendships and families. Includes personal and relational awareness, person perception, verbal and non-verbal communication, relational development, and gender communication. Liberal Arts.

CM 331 Marketing Principles


An overview of consumer behavior and strategies related to product development, pricing, promotion and distribution of consumer and business products and services in both domestic and international markets.

CM 342 Advertising Principles


Overview of the advertising field and how it functions in society. Studies research, strategies, methods, creativity, and media planning. Typically includes case study.

Prerequisite Courses: CM 331

CM 356 Marketing Research


Study of the techniques used in collection and analysis of secondary and primary data and use of that format for decision-making in marketing environment. Student teams work on real business marketing research projects.

Prerequisite Courses: CM 331

CM 430 Integrated Marketing Communications


Focuses on both the theory and practice of blending strategies and tactics within the discipline of market communications. Explores ways to unify disparate initiatives with Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations, Sales Promotion, Branding and Event Management to achieve maximum, coordinated effectiveness in the marketplace. Prepares students for today’s workplace by studying the manner in which current organizations practice Marketing for cost-effective results. While Marketing Principles touches on Public Relations and Sales Promotion, this course will include a more thorough study of these areas so students are prepared for today’s marketing environment.

Prerequisite Courses: CM 342, CM 331

ID 201 Student Success Seminar (Pass/Fail)

1-F/S, summer

Adult students learn and apply strategies for success in their return to college and life-long learning. Major topics include setting academic, career, and personal goals; stress management; time management; critical thinking and problem solving; learning styles and best practices. This seminar will also introduce students to Houghton College, our online platform, and program policies and procedures.

PH 400 Personal and Professional Ethics


Focuses on ethical theories and specific moral issues in the workplace. Includes small group analyses of selected cases and applicable principles.Liberal Arts.

PY 215 Social Psychology


Social behavior from a sociological and psychological perspective, examining the interaction of behaviors of individuals in groups. Topics: prejudice, group processes, leadership, conformity, attitudes, change. Liberal Arts.

PY 300 Adult Development


Overview of adulthood in context of life span, including biological change, cognitive characteristics, personality and moral reasoning. Also addresses issues of gender, interpersonal relations, ethnicity, aging and impact of theory on organizational development. Liberal Arts.

PY 301 Psychology of Personality


Description, development, dynamics, determinants and assessment of the normal personality. Emphasis on contemporary theories and research. Liberal Arts.

PY 310 Conflict Management


An introduction to conflict management that balances coverage of major theories with practice in communication skills and conflict intervention techniques (e.g. assertiveness training, mediation, negotiation). Focus on experiential learning, with heavy emphasis on written analysis that includes analytical journaling and analysis of scientific journal articles. Liberal Arts.

Prerequisite Courses: BU 310

SO 400 Diversity in the Workplace


Sociological approach to examining workplace diversity, stratification, stereotyping and misunderstandings, including matters related to culture, gender, ethnicity and race. Emphasis on contemporary issues and problem solving. Liberal Arts.

ST 400 Quantitative Decision Making


Statistics as a tool in solving real-world problems, including organizing data, using models for predictions, constructing simple graphics; use of logic and reasoning in drawing conclusions and making recommendations. Emphasis on process improvement and decision making. Liberal Arts.

TH 209 Introduction to Christianity


An introductory survey of the main beliefs and practices that constitute the Christian tradition. Christianity will be approached in a way that overcomes the traditional division between doctrine and practice. The Biblical, theological, historical, ethical and spiritually formative aspects of the Christian faith will be explored. The course aims to help the student to develop a personal theology and life perspective that is informed by Christian faith and Christian spirituality. Liberal Arts.

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