By now you have “met” me via email through the “Welcome!” message you received when you submitted your enrollment documents. I’ve also enjoyed the opportunity to meet some of you over the phone or in person for an advising appointment. In just over a week’s time, you will mark an important step in your journey of becoming a student at The Seattle School – registration for your first term of courses!
As you gear up for this next step, I wanted to take a moment to reintroduce myself. My name is Kristen Houston, and I am the Director of Academic Services & Registrar at The Seattle School. That title means different things at different schools, but here it means I am privileged to work closely with both students and faculty. Essentially, I am connected to everything that happens academically, apart from teaching classes! I am a hub of sorts for the Academic Dean, faculty, staff and students and help coordinate the ebb and flow of the academic world.
I’ve always felt a call to work in the non-profit world, but stumbling into The Seattle School was a great surprise. When I started as a part-time academic services assistant thirteen years ago, it was not my intention to stick around. However, I quickly fell in love with this place, the culture and the people. During my first four years on staff, I worked in a few different departments, finished my undergraduate education as a non-traditional student, and eventually completed a master’s degree in policy studies at the University of Washington. So when the role of Registrar opened up in 2008, it was a clear and exciting fit.
Because of the size of the school and the relational nature, I am privileged to be a part of a student’s academic journey from registration to graduation. When people who are not associated with The Seattle School ask me about my job, I talk about how much respect I have for the students I work with and their courage to be a part of such a formational graduate program. As the Registrar, part of my role is to provide support, clarity and encouragement throughout your academic process. I also get to advocate on your behalf and have your best interest at heart. Sometimes this means creating policies and upholding boundaries. I make it my goal to hold the tension of academic integrity and interpersonal connection.
- Are you having trouble registering for your classes?
- Have questions about the curriculum or course rotations?
- Want to know how to tailor your course load to get the most out of your degree program?
- Have a disability and need particular services or care?
- Want advice about how to choose classes that will help you maintain balance?
- Haven’t been to school in many years and are worried about diving back in?
These are all questions that I and my team are ready to answer and more, and our door (and phone) is always open! I too moved across the country to Seattle to go to school and know how daunting that adventure can be. My job is to help you get from orientation to graduation and everything in-between. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions – we are here to help ensure your success. And, if you happen to be on campus this summer, stop by and say hello. We are always eager to share a piece (or four) of chocolate and talk about almost anything! We are really looking forward to getting to know you.
Registration for the fall semester opens on Wednesday, June 14th at 9 o’clock AM PST.
As always, don’t hesitate to get in touch with questions or concerns. Phil Doud (MDiv., 2013) is our primary Academic Advisor and he can be reached at 206.876-6110 or pdoud@theseattleschool. You can also reach me at 206.876.6132 or firstname.lastname@example.org.