Houghton School Graduation Ceremony - Students
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Houghton Academy: Where students succeed throughout life

A well-structured boarding programme prepares students to live and learn independently. More than that, it strives to prime students for life after school — and specifically, to thrive at college and beyond. 

Few boarding institutions, however, offer college-level exposure while students are still in the midst of their schooling days. Enter Houghton Academy. For over 140 years, the Academy has educated students from grades six to 12 to become independent, capable thinkers and leaders. Today, it gathers approximately 50% American students and 50% international students, typically representing 15-20 countries from around the world in its western New York State campus, guiding students to chart out their next steps in an authentic, meaningful way. 

What truly sets Houghton Academy apart, however, is its close connection to its neighboring university. Students at the Academy have full access to Houghton University, a nationally-ranked liberal arts college in upstate New York. This ensures first-hand exposure to life after graduation — offering a distinct advantage in helping students gain acceptance and exposure to varsity life.

Houghton Academy

Students learn in real-life collegiate environments at Houghton University. Source: Houghton Academy

For example, most junior and senior students at the Academy take college-level classes while in high school. They sit in college classrooms and are taught by experienced professors, earning insights into the subjects they are interested in. At the same time, they have access to most facilities at Houghton University — including their gymnasium, student centre, swimming pool, and more. It’s a rare opportunity that few schools can claim to offer. 

That’s not to distract from the excellence exhibited by the Academy’s rigorous academic programme. From day one, students are not only taught a college-preparatory curriculum but are expected to conduct themselves with integrity, character, and competence. They are given the best tools to ensure success, including school-provided computers, certified teachers, and over 100-course options, including more than 15 AP classes. 

Once classes are over, they return to the comfort of a nurturing and structured boarding programme. Here, they learn key skills to flourish in college and life, such as how to get organised, meet deadlines, and develop a strong and consistent work ethic. The true advantage of a boarding environment, however, is the opportunity to pick up interpersonal skills. Conflict management, being respectful of others, and building healthy friendships are central to life at Houghton Academy and supported by a team of caring adults called the Student Support Group, which communicates daily about the needs of the students and creates personalised support strategies. This group includes the Boarding Director and Coordinator, Dorm Parents, Nurse, School Counsellor, and English Language Learner Instructor.

Houghton Academy

At Houghton Academy, students are encouraged to pursue their passions in a safe environment. Source: Houghton Academy

Houghton Academy, as a Christian-led school that welcomes anyone and everyone to its halls, is a shining example of tolerance and acceptance. Students are immersed in a society that upholds Christian values whilst practising their own faiths. In a society that is becoming increasingly divided, Houghton Academy students learn to live with each other despite their personal differences — a critical attribute in a globalised world.

As an international community, the Academy is committed to helping each and every one of its students seamlessly integrate into school life. Skilled and caring staff members are attuned to students’ every need, including those who may struggle with the English language. No English tests are required here — students’ language abilities are simply assessed through interviews. 

From there, they are automatically assigned additional support should they require it, helping them adapt to life in an American boarding environment as smoothly as possible. Parents need not worry about their children — with the Academy’s 24-hour emergency line, they can check in anytime and from anywhere in the world. 

Houghton Academy Students Visiting Cornell University

College trips are a staple of boarding life at Houghton Academy. Source: Houghton Academy

To further expose students to life after school, the Academy arranges frequent trips, outings and college visits over the weekends. This stems across longer periods, as well, to accommodate for students who may not be able to return home for the holidays. Students can remain in their dorms over school breaks at no extra charge, or be assigned to an approved Host Family in the Houghton region. School-sponsored and chaperoned trips are available, as well — giving them a chance to experience the nuances of life in America in a guided and enriching manner. 

It helps that Houghton Academy is one of the safest schools in the US — a feature that allows students to freely explore their interests and passions without obstructions. Indeed, the small-town environment that surrounds the Academy is filled with friendly locals who are familiar faces to students. At the same time, it offers the benefit of being an hour away from larger cities — bringing together the best of a calm yet exciting schooling life. 

Houghton Academy Students School Trip

Frequent trips foster deeper ties within the Academy’s student community. Source: Houghton Academy

The result? A cohort of students who have a clear vision of where their futures will lead. Indeed, 100% of university applicants are accepted into colleges across the country and the world. This includes a guaranteed acceptance into Houghton University, where they have the advantage of familiarity and pre-existing connections with college faculty. 

It allows students to spread their wings and explore their passions in a safe, controlled and structured environment. Graduates grow into confident individuals who are more than capable of realising their ambitions, whatever they may — thus creating a future that they can be proud of for the rest of their lives.

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