College review by Diane Forman and Linda Kay, guest blogger
McDaniel is a small liberal arts college that is a member of the Colleges that Change Lives. Professors are there to help the students and enjoy getting to know them both in and out of the classroom. As was confirmed by the tour guides, it is not unusual for a professor to invite students to his home for dinner. McDaniel is located in Westminster, MD, a quiet town in Maryland, about one hour from Washington, D.C. and less than an hour from Baltimore.
The campus is pretty, with a mix of a few older and many newer buildings and is located in a safe, suburban community. Students can sit at the back of the library and overlook the football field and mountains in the distance. McDaniel also has its own campus in Budapest where many students spend junior year abroad.
The acceptance rate is 70% and they offer a test optional choice for students with a 3.5 GPA or in the top 10% of their graduating class. Popular majors include Biology, Business, Exercise Science and English. Classes are small, no larger than 30 students.
The McDaniel Plan is the core curriculum for the liberal arts education, which consists of approximately 17 courses. First Year Seminar, Intro to College Writing, Sophomore Interdisciplinary Studies, Global Citizenship, Second Language, Departmental Writing and Critical Inquires. Students can choose a topic of interest for their freshman seminar with options such as Reality Television and America’s Game Baseball.
Their professor for the seminar is their first academic advisor. The tour guides told us how pleasantly surprised they were when they received phone calls from their advisors before school began. Students receive an I-Pad for this class. Sophomores experience an interdisciplinary studies course as part of the McDaniel Plan, which is taught by two professors and/or outside speakers to provide multiple points of view. Courses were recently offered on the effects of Hurricane Katrina and September eleventh.
Students at McDaniel describe themselves as happy and well rounded. They love the feeling of a tight knit community. Students stay on campus for the weekends and there’s plenty to do from tailgating for the football games to trips planned to Hershey Park and Washington, DC. They are very proud of being named one of the best tailgating schools this year.
Greek life is not dominant, with about 18% of the students pledging spring semester of freshman year. There are many McDaniel traditions including a yearly Spring Fling before finals every year and every freshman ringing the Old Main bell when arriving on campus as freshman and ringing it again upon graduation.
One additional note about a McDaniel experience – freshman year women and men are housed in separate dormitories, but upper class men have coed residence halls. Students at McDaniel appeared casually dressed and seemed happy, relaxed, friendly, and welcoming.
McDaniel College Academic Skills Program
Comprehensive-Fee for Service
The Academic Skills Program (ASP) is a fee-based service primarily for students with Learning Disabilities, ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Students with other documented disabilities are also eligible.
$3,150 annual fee (billed to student per semester).
The following services are available to student in the ASP
- Weekly consultation with an assigned Academic Counselor
- Academic skills tutoring (e.g. time management, test taking strategies, organization skills) with a SASS graduate assistant
- Use of supervised study/computer lab
- Learning style and study skills profile and assessment
- Assistance finding academic subject tutors if needed after evaluation
- Priority registration ahead of class
Student Academic Support Services (SASS)
If a student has a documented learning disability and just needs accommodations, they can register with the SASS.