Frequently Asked Questions

Some FAQs and some answers!

Does FERPA (Family Education Right to Privacy Act) prohibit my access as a parent/guardian to academic, financial, medical, and disciplinary information relevant to my son/daughter?

Yes.  FERPA requires that we receive written permission from the student to release this information to a third party, including parents or guardians.  You can find specific FERPA guidelines on the US Dept. of Education website.

When students arrive on campus for the fall semester, they will receive a "Request to Release Educational Record Information Form" when they pick up their room key.  This form allows a student to grant   parents/guardians permission to discuss various information with College offices, including financial, disciplinary issues, and academic records.

How can I arrange for the college to send my student’s grades home to me?

When students arrive on campus for the fall semester, they will receive a "Student Consent Form" when they pick up their room key, on which they can request that grades be emailed home at the end of each semester.  There is also a form available on the Registrar's Office Website for students to fill out giving permission for us to send their grades home at the end of every semester.

How can my son/daughter check to make sure that he/she is on track for graduating on time?

Students receive a degree audit sheet from the Registrar's office when they enter Houghton and again when they declare a major.  These are to be used to keep track of graduation requirements. 

Students may contact our Graduation Counselor, at the Registrar's Office.

Who should my student talk to about changing to a different academic major?

Students should discuss the decision first with their advisor, then with a member of the department in which they are interested.  They are also free to discuss their decision with the Registrar's Office and the VOCA center.  Once they make a decision, students should obtain a Major Declaration Form.

When should my son/daughter choose a major?

Students should declare a major in or before the first semester of their sophomore year.  There is no charge to change a major.

If my son/daughter has a learning-related disability what help/services are available for them at Houghton?

If your son or daughter has a disability that will affect how they learn or take tests, there are many support services available to them through the Center for Academic Success and Advising (CASA).   We have study counseling and group and individual tutoring available to any student; for students with disabilities, we also have testing accommodations, reading support (using Kurzweil), and lecture accommodations.

To qualify for special accommodations, your son/daughter will need to send us a copy of their most recent diagnosis.  Depending on the disability, this can come from a physician, psychologist, or other testing professional.  If the diagnosis is more than three years old, we will guide you in getting the diagnosis updated. 

For more details, please do not hesitate to contact us in person or at 585-567-9262. 

Are there ways in which I, as a parent, can get involved on the Parents’ Council?

The Parents Council is a group of parents of current students who want to assist in improving our services to students and their families.  If you have an interest in learning more about the Council, contact the Student Life office.

Read more about the Parents Council here.

What should I advise my son or daughter to do if there is conflict with his/her roommate?

First of all, don’t panic!  While much consideration is given to the pairing of roommates together, there are times when there may be misunderstandings or even mismatches among roommates.

Since most students have grown up in a home in which they had their own room (about 60 percent of college students did not have a roommate before they came to college), part of the problem may be just learning a little about communication and compromise.  But when the problem is such that it causes the student to have feelings of not being comfortable in one's own room, that student should seek out the Resident Advisor (RA) on the floor.  RAs receive training in roommate conflict resolution, and can be very helpful.

If RA intervention does not help improve the situation, the Resident Director (RD) should then be contacted.  The RD is able to mediate where necessary, but also can work with residents on roommate changes as necessary.

It is important to understand that roommate changes are not made quickly in most cases.  Many important life lessons can be learned through dealing in a positive manner with conflict, and the first aim is to help the students work through the problem and successfully overcome it.  But when it is apparent that this won’t be the outcome, then a roommate change will be considered.  When a room change is the outcome, the RD will work with the Director of Residence Life and Housing to bring it to pass.

What opportunities exist on campus for Bible Studies, on-campus worship or spiritual mentoring?

Spiritual Life website lists Bible studies, some which are student-led and some which are led by the Dean of the Chapel, Dr. Michael Jordan.  It also lists local churches and other opportunities for worship and service, as well as links to our chapel program.

Where is the nearest hospital?

      What is the procedure for after hours care?

      When the health center is closed, students with emergent health needs should contact 911.  If the issue is not a life threatening emergency, then questions should be directed to the Residence Life Staff (RA, ARD, or RD) who have a list of contacts that they can use if needed to help decide whether transport to an urgent care or ER is needed.

      Is a security officer on duty 24/7?

      A security office is on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.