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McDaniel Local

McDaniel Local is a mandatory two-day, one-night event designed to help you get to know not only your new campus community but the larger Westminster community. Led by students known as “Local leaders,” the program allows you to participate in volunteer service and be introduced to campus resources and new classmates. McDaniel Local will hone your sense of purpose as you head into college and provide you with the opportunity to connect with student success coaches, faculty, and staff, and register for your fall classes.
2024 McDaniel Local Dates
June 20 - 21 | June 24 - 25 | June 27 - 28 | July 8 - 9 | July 11- 12

Students walking into Roj Student Center.

A snapshot of McDaniel Local

All students stay in on-campus accommodations for two days and one night. Meals are included in the McDaniel Local program. All program costs are included in first-year total costs, which includes tuition, room, board and fees. 

Through your McDaniel Local Experience, you will:

A group photo of students.

Make new friends and connect with current McDaniel students, staff, and faculty

Students at McDaniel Local event.

Register for your fall classes

Students taking selfie around downtown Westminster during McDaniel Local.

Explore our local community and learn about downtown Westminster

Students jumping in the air on a sidewalk in downtown Westminster.

Getting to Know Westminster

The average college student attends a college less than 46 miles away from home. With students from as close as Baltimore and as far as California, Oregon and New Zealand, finding your place in Westminster is an important part of your college experience. McDaniel Local introduces you to the city of Westminster and helps you get to know your new home. You'll walk down Main Street. Meet with City Council members. Have dinner at local restaurants and meet the owners. In short, by the time you leave, you'll feel like a local.

Students seated in classroom.

Ensuring your Success

We've designed McDaniel Local with the most cutting-edge student success and readiness strategies in mind. This means that each McDaniel Local activity prepares you in a purposeful way for the transformational college journey you're about to embark on. Some of your activities will be highly relevant to your academic success; you'll complete your first meeting with your academic advisor and register for courses during McDaniel Local. However, many of the activities are designed to ease your anxiety about college, providing plenty of opportunities to connect with others and make friends before you even arrive on campus.

Students playing rock paper scissors on campus.

Impressive Outcomes

We know the impact McDaniel Local has on our new students because we ask them. With 97% of new students attending a McDaniel Local session, we see clear evidence of improved connection and readiness for college in our pre- and post-event surveys.

When asked to measure their sense of connection to McDaniel and the community on a scale of 1-5 before and after McDaniel Local, student responses clearly demonstrated the impact of the program:

  • 2.8 (before McDaniel Local)
  • 4.1 (after McDaniel Local)
Large group photo of students on campus at McDaniel Local.

Class of 2026 connects with the community at McDaniel Local

Incoming first-year students got involved in a variety of community service opportunities in the Westminster, Maryland, community during McDaniel Local 2022. They helped out at the McDaniel Environmental Center, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Westminster City’s Recreation and Parks Department, and the Boys and Girls Club of Westminster.

Through the Eyes of a 2023 Local Leader

It’s no surprise that Maddie Principe has a lot to say about Local. With her first year of college in the rear-view mirror, she decided to stay on campus for the summer of 2023 as a Local peer leader, so she’s been-there-done-that twice now. Buckle up for some insights…

Hi, Maddie. To start, what’s Local all about? Learning about the many unique things McDaniel offers, like the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI). Learning about ODEI definitely made a positive impact on me when I was a new student, because I didn’t even know McDaniel offered that kind of support, so I was happy to know more about it.

The best part of Local: Meals with the Localees and other Local leaders. Connecting over a meal is a great way to build relationships, and I’ll fondly remember exchanging stories, tips, and more over lunches and dinners.

What’s the deal with service projects at Local? They open the eyes of students to the world of nonprofit organizations and make them more aware of community needs. The projects inspire students to do more for the community and work toward a greater good.

A group photo of students wearing shirts with the Green Terror logo on them, sitting on a wall.
Seven students stand six feet apart in front of McDaniel College Gill Center sign that reads "Here on the Hill we never stop climbing".

The McDaniel Commitment Helping students define their path to success.

A four-year integrated experience full of opportunities in research, education abroad, internships, and career development, the McDaniel Commitment is the College’s premier academic program. Students access resources and acquire the skills they need to navigate their four years on the Hill and place them at an advantage for life after McDaniel with the help of The Center for Experience and Opportunity. The one-on-one coaching helps students develop goals, engage in immersive experiences, and stand out when applying for jobs, post-graduate studies, as well as fellowships and scholarships.

city of westminster

Your New Home

Close your eyes and picture the quintessential college town. If you’re seeing cafés, coffee shops, and old brick buildings full of thriving small businesses—you're picturing Westminster. Of course, we’re biased, but we really do feel like Westminster has it all. Just a short walk down the Hill from McDaniel and suddenly you’re in a charming town of about 20,000 people—rich in history, culture, and comfort.