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First Year Transition & Support

Embarking on your college career is an exciting step. Our First Year Team works closely with you before and during your first year to help you identify support, get connected and settle in at McDaniel. The First Stop Office is the hub of this on-going support. First Stop is responsible for overseeing orientation programs, peer leader support programs, and additional first year programming in support of the McDaniel Commitment. And of course, they are available to help you navigate your first year. If you're not sure where to start, they are your first stop.

Students doing team-building with First Stop.

The First Stop Office: Our Center for the First Year Experience

The First Stop Office is a central point, “home base," of support, connection, and welcome for all new first-year and transfer students at McDaniel College. 

The goal of First Stop is to connect students, in a “one stop” approach, to people, places and programs. New students are supported in their development within the offering of orientation, first year and transfer seminars, the Peer Mentor program, and overall programming and support for academic and social engagement in the college community.

The First Stop aims to build a strong foundational base for new students and support their development into a lifelong path of learning and success at McDaniel and beyond.

The First Stop Crew

It's important to get the insider scoop from... well, the insiders. It's why First Stop has developed the First Stop Crew, a group of upperclass students who are available to meet one-on-one with first year students. They'll help you be successful and assure you that all the things you're experiencing are normal parts of the transition to college. They are also well-trained on resources across campus and will connect you to additional support if you need it.

Students participating in team activity at McDaniel Local event.

Save the Date Summer Orientation August 20, 2020-August 23, 2020

Your Orientation program is the official way we kick off your McDaniel career. You'll be introduced to your Peer Mentor, participate in programs that will acclimate you to college, meet faculty and staff you need to know, and get adjusted to campus life. All of this happens in advance of your first day of classes so by the time your coursework starts, you're focused and ready to work. 

Ready to Roll First Year Programming We're With You Each Step

Students participating in team activity at McDaniel Local event.

McDaniel Local

For most new students, the McDaniel Local pre-orientation program is your first immersion into the college community. You'll participate in a life changing opportunity to connect with classmates, faculty and staff, visit the downtown community, and kick start your academic journey. 

Professor lecturing class outdoors.

First Year Seminar

An important part of the first-year experience at McDaniel is the First Year Seminar course. As part of the First Year Program at McDaniel, all first-year students take one First Year Seminar course during their first semester at McDaniel College. First Year Seminars are innovative topical and thematic courses on a range of subjects suitable for first-year students that provide an introduction to the liberal arts and an academic transition to college. 

The Impact of First Year Programming

The Student Outreach Network

We understand that students may not always know how to ask for help but are demonstrating need through their behavior. The Student Outreach Network (SON) was officially implemented in early February 2007 to help students who might need it but don't know how to ask. Each week the SON group gathers to discuss students who are demonstrating various signs of “at-risk” behavior. As each student is discussed, members of the group provide up-to-date knowledge which includes, but is not limited to, academic performance, out-of-classroom involvement, disciplinary issues, and information gathered from faculty, coaches, family and friends. With key players at the table, we develop an appropriate plan of action to help provide comprehensive support. From week to week, staff and faculty members support the student by implementing this plan of action. 

Grad students in classroom.

Connect With Us

Erin Benevento

Phone: 410-857-2790

Office: 2nd Floor


Hoover Library

2 College Hill

Westminster, MD 21157