Adult Learning, Curriculum and Instruction Graduate Becomes College Dean Alumni Profile
Meet Raymond Houston, Ed.D.
- Job Title & Employer
- Dean, School of Mathematics, Science, and Engineering, SUNY Westchester Community College
- Curriculum & Instruction-M.A.
- Concentration: Adult Learning and Training
- August 2004
- Charleston, W.Va.
- High School
- Capital High School
- Now Living In
- New York, N.Y.
- Hobbies & Interests
- Tennis, travel and attending the symphony
"The graduate classes I took at Point Park in curriculum and instruction and adult learning prepared me for the wide range of students I would meet as a faculty member, as well as the students I work with now as dean."
How did our classes, particularly those focused in adult learning, prepare you for your role as dean?
The graduate classes I took at Point Park in curriculum and instruction and adult learning prepared me for the wide range of students I would meet as a faculty member, as well as the students I work with now as dean. Learning the similarities and subtle differences between pedagogy and andragogy, as well as how to apply them, allowed me to tailor my instruction to fit the needs of students in my classes, and to better serve them as I advise them in the dean’s office.
Adult nontraditional students are a strikingly different population than the traditional 18-21-year-old student. They bring a substantial set of life experiences to the table when they enter your classroom and your office, and understanding how they learn differently has been crucial to my success. While I enjoy working with all students, I particularly love having adult students in my classes and meeting with them in my current role as dean.
Additionally, in what ways did our faculty and classes prepare you to earn a doctoral degree from Columbia University?
I started my doctoral program at the Teachers College at Columbia University in fall 2009. At that time, the Common Core State Standards were being developed and about to be deployed across the country. My graduate program at Point Park strongly informed my understanding of curriculum development and implementation, which allowed me to speak to the strengths and weaknesses of the CCSS and incorporate that knowledge into my doctoral education courses.
Additionally, while I learned a lot from the various classes and wonderful faculty members at Point Park, two pieces of advice I received have stuck with me, one while I was working on my degree, and one that continues to stay with me even now.
1. I can’t remember who said it, but one of my professors said that it’s not necessarily just smart people who finish doctoral degrees — determined people finish them.
2. Dr. Karen McIntyre told us that we should always be preparing for our next leap; whether it be the classes we take or the job we hold, we should always think about how that decision will help move us forward.
It also helped that all of my credits from my master’s degree program at Point Park were applied towards the completion of my doctoral degree!
What are your favorite Point Park memories?
I had the unique experience of being a student, a staff member and an adjunct faculty member at Point Park. I loved the time in my classes, but I also enjoyed working with my colleagues in the Program for Academic Success and teaching classes for the NSET department. The time I spent working with students and folks in the various departments across the Point Park campus was very special.
What advice do you have for our students pursuing a career in the adult learning field?
Always take advantage of opportunities to pick the brains of your professors, as well as those working in the field. Their years of experience and expertise are invaluable to help guide you on your career path. If possible, observe/shadow working professionals in action. It is rewarding to see theory put to practice. Also, to reiterate what Dr. McIntyre told me years ago: Be prepared for that next leap.