McDaniel's graduate program more than doubles undergrad

Kris Breeden
Staff Reporter

McDaniel College’s burgeoning graduate program has an enrollment that tops undergraduate enrollment ? a little known fact among undergraduates.

McDaniel actually offers 16 different programs of graduate study, many of them revolving around education, including counselor education and teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). Other programs include human resources development, exercise science, and gerontology.In terms of student growth, during the 2007-2008 school years, 3,030 students were enrolled in graduate classes at McDaniel.

This number dwarfs the approximate 1,700 students attending McDaniel as undergraduates.

“The graduate program has always been larger than the community in general realizes,” explains Dr. Henry Reiff, Acting Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies.

When Dr. Henry Reiff began working in the graduate office in 1989, he says the faculty meetings consisted of seven to eight people and everything was contained within Thompson Hall.

Now taking up the 2nd floor of Academic Hall, the Graduate programs hold faculty meetings of more than thirty people.

Reiff explains that Enrollment increased with the development of new programs, which started in the mid-1990s. First, a Human Resource program was developed with a cohort approach. Since then, McDaniel has added programs in BEST (Better Educators for the Students of Tomorrow), gerontology, and TESOL.

Another catalyst for growth was the expansion of programs off campus, which took off during the mid-90s.
“Half of the students at any one time,” according to Reiff, “are not coming to campus for their classes.”

Select McDaniel Graduate and Professional Studies classes are offered throughout Maryland, including Calvert, Cecil, Charles, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George’s County.

And there are more graduate developments in the works: an IT program for certification in online teaching and a program for Leadership in Global Enterprise.

One result of all the efforts made within the graduate program, says Reiff, has been a change in demographics. With the cohort and off-campus programs, the graduate school has a more diverse demographic than the undergraduates.
On campus, “it used to primarily be Carroll County teachers,” Reiff explains.

Now, he says, McDaniel even attracts students from Pennsylvania, including Adams and York County.
“I knew a student who drove 75 miles each way,” he states, “which I think is a testament to the quality of the programs here.”

What does all this mean for the McDaniel undergrads?

The McDaniel graduate programs want to offer more to the undergraduate community.

“One of my goals of Graduate and Professional Studies,” says Reiff, “is to increase the connectedness with the undergraduate programs.”

Reiff would like to see an increase in internships offered to undergraduates within the graduate programs.
“One that jumps out is Gerontology,” he says, “and the same with Human Resource Development. I think it would be a good way to get experience and help decide if you want to pursue that graduate degree.”

Another measure the graduate school plans to take is offering more graduate classes to undergraduate students.
“We really have grown a long way, but there’s tremendous potential for expansion and developing new programs,” says Reiff.

“I really am excited,” he explains, “by trying to build a better connection, awareness, and understanding between the graduate and undergraduate communities.”

For specific information on Graduate Studies at McDaniel College, go to or stop by the Graduate and Professional Studies office on the 2nd floor of Academic Hall.