Primary & Secondary Education
The Carroll County Public School System provides quality education for the children of Westminster and Carroll County from grades pre-K through high school, along with countless vocational and professional educational opportunities at The Carroll County Career and Technology Center.
The Carroll County Public School System consistently ranks as one of the top-performing school systems in the state of Maryland. Numerous awards, at both the state and national level, have been bestowed upon Carroll's instructional staff and students. The educational programs developed in the Carroll County Public School system are also recognized statewide and nationally for their high standards and innovative approaches.
Students in Westminster are served by five elementary schools – Cranberry Station, Friendship Valley, Robert Moton, Westminster and William Winchester; two middle schools – East and West; and two high schools – Westminster and Winters Mill.
The Carroll County Public School System provides several non-traditional schools in the Westminster area, along with the traditional elementary, middle, and high school programs. They include:
The Gateway School, the Carroll County Public School System's alternative school, which is designed for middle and high school students who have been unable to function satisfactorily in their home schools. The purpose of the school is to give students an opportunity to succeed academically, socially, and behaviorally so that they can transition back to their home schools.
Carroll Springs School is dedicated to those children with special needs. Carroll Springs provides services for students with multiple disabilities between the ages of three and 21 who are residents of Carroll County. Students attending Carroll Springs require the intensive service this organization provides. Some of the specialized services provided include nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech and language therapy, and education. In addition to providing direct service to students, Carroll Springs School houses the Carroll County Infants and Toddlers Program. The Infants and Toddlers Program provides services to children from birth through the age of three who are residents of Carroll County.
Carroll County Outdoor School provides sixth grade students with a unique opportunity for intensive study in a "living laboratory." Each sixth grader has the opportunity to attend a week-long residential environmental education program at the Hashawha Environmental Center. Instruction and supervision are provided by the Outdoor School team, high school student counselors, and visiting classroom teachers.
There are several private schools in the City of Westminster and Carroll County that offer primary and secondary education. They include Carroll Christian School, Carroll Lutheran School, Faith Christian School, Gerstell Academy, Montessori School of Westminster, North Carroll Community School and St. John's Catholic School.
For some Westminster families, the following Baltimore-based private schools serve a special segment of their educational needs: Calvert Hall College High School, Garrison Forest School, McDonogh School, and St. Paul's School for Girls.
Undergraduate and Graduate Education
The City of Westminster has been a center for higher learning almost as long as it has been incorporated and home to two fine institutions of higher learning.
High atop a hill, the 160-acre campus of McDaniel College has overlooked Downtown Westminster since its inception in 1867. Originally known as Western Maryland College, McDaniel College is a private, selective college of the liberal arts and sciences. In addition to a full array of undergraduate programs, the College offers 17 graduate programs with a focus on education and human service.
McDaniel was one of only 40 colleges recognized in the book, "Colleges That Change Lives." From its beginnings, the College offered entrance to all students without regard to race, religion, color, gender, or national or ethnic origin. It was the first coeducational college south of the Mason-Dixon Line, and one of the first coeducational colleges in the nation.
McDaniel College has grown from one building and the original 37 undergraduate students in 1867 to 1,600 undergraduates and 1,300 graduate students today. There are now 40 buildings on the 160-acre campus, with the college recently completing construction on several new academic buildings, a lifestyle center and residence halls. Students come from all over the country and most of the world’s continents to the close-knit community, where learning is collaborative, not competitive, and every student receives personal attention.
The College also sponsors sports, theater, lectures, workshops and other special community events that are open to the public and is the home of the NFL's Baltimore Ravens summer training camp.
In addition to McDaniel College, the Westminster area has had the pleasure of being home to Carroll Community College, an accredited two-year, degree-granting institution since 1976. Originally opened as a branch campus of Catonsville Community College, it was not until 1993 that Carroll Community College fully achieved independence with the naming of its first Board of Trustees and President.
Located on 80 acres at 1601 Washington Road, Carroll Community College offers credit programs in the fields of Allied Health, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Fine and Performing Arts, Teacher Education, Technical Studies and Transfer Programs. With proper advising and planning, students may begin any baccalaureate degree at Carroll. The College offers hundreds of non-credit classes and programs each year for people of all ages, interests and learning needs. Carroll's Office of Continuing Education and Training designs custom training programs to meet the needs of a specific business or industry. Classes can be held at the company site or at the College's Hikel Business Training Center. The Center is equipped with computer labs, seminar rooms, teleconference center, an interactive video training room, and lab space for technical training. According to the Maryland Association of Community Colleges, there are 4,825 students currently enrolled in credit courses and 9,221 in continuing education programs at Carroll Community College.
In 2008, Carroll Community College was named a "Top 10 Digital College" by the Center for Digital Education and the American Association of Community Colleges, for its application of technology in teaching, learning, and administration.
There are also many fine institutions of higher education within an easy one-hour commute of Westminster, including such world-class universities like American University, Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, US Naval Academy and the University of Maryland. Many of these colleges and universities are the academic homes to Westminster residents. Both undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered in virtually any field, including the sciences, humanities, engineering, arts, law and medicine, at these institutions: