How to Make the Dean’s List in Community College

Making the Dean's List, or Honor’s List as it is sometimes known, at your community college could result in scholarships, recognition, and better job opportunities in the future. Through this special guide, learn how to use successful tactics to help you make the dean's list.

Key Takeaways

Making the Dean's List, or Honor’s List as it is sometimes known, at your community college could result in scholarships, recognition, and better job opportunities in the future. Through this special guide, learn how to use successful tactics to help you make the dean's list.

Almost every community college and university in the country has a Dean's List, which is a list of students who excelled over the previous semester or academic year. 

The Dean's List has long been seen as a significant award to strive for during your years of higher education since it displays a commitment to academic excellence as well as the capacity to handle a demanding workload. 

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We have a list of reasons to aspire for the dean's list and tips to help you get there, whether you are just entering the hallowed halls of academia or are currently going through your degree program.

Making the dean’s list at a community college

Being named on your college's dean's list is one of the highest honors you can receive for academic excellence. This prize is given to the students with the highest GPA each term.

The dean's list has slightly varied requirements for each college, as well as varying frequencies.- for example, some colleges announce their dean's list periodically, while others only do so once a year. 

Making the dean's list is an impressive achievement that students should be proud of and highlight on their resumes.

But before we get carried away, let’s start with the basics - what exactly is a Dean’s List?

What is the Dean's List?

A Dean's List is an academic award or recognition given to students who have excelled in their studies at a college or university. It's often used interchangeably with honor roll and honor list, although it's not the same as honors degrees. 

The distinction is given based on GPA, however, the requirements for earning the dean's list vary from college to college and may even alter each semester. At several community colleges, the dean's list is a comparison prize given to the top percentage of students rather than everyone who achieves a particular GPA. 

This means that the GPA required to qualify for the award may be higher during a particularly competitive semester when many students end up receiving high marks.

Being on a Dean’s List will also get you on an Honors Society at a community college which comes with its own prestige.

Graduation Ceremony
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Why should you aim for the Dean's List?

Because you must have a minimum GPA for a semester or school year to be on the dean's list, it demonstrates how much effort and commitment you put into your education. With this effort, the dean's list entitles you to a number of advantages that will last throughout your education and career.

Here are six Dean's List benefits that will impact you during college and beyond:

1. A sense of personal accomplishment

In our opinion, this is the most significant reason. Getting on the Dean's List is a huge accomplishment. The Dean's List is not based on an individual's absolute GPA; rather, it is based on comparative performance with the rest of the student body.

This means that if all of your classmates are top achievers, you'll need to do even better to make the Dean's List. On the Dean's List, you are in the top 1-5 percent of the entire college in terms of academic performance!

2. Invitation to Special Events

You'll be invited to exclusive events since you're among the best in your cohort. The most prevalent are networking events with company leaders, usually from major firms, and these are the ones you should attend.

In my time at college, I was frequently invited to inner-circle networking gatherings and presentations during the academic years. It was always fun to attend these events and they offered a great opportunity for networking. 

Academic events like International Case Contests are also made available and because participation is usually by invitation only, students who are on the Dean's List are usually the ones invited.

3. Getting your name recognized

When your name is published on the school website, around the campus, or the community newspaper, it becomes instantly known to the entire faculty of your college, as well as the rest of the student body.

4. Improving your employability

With the job market growing more competitive, any advantage you may gain over other applicants is beneficial. Dean's List recognition, particularly for numerous semesters or quarters, is one method to make your resume stand out.

Education is a means to an end and that end is usually a good job that pays well. While grades aren't the only thing that determines whether or not you receive a decent job (other considerations include your leadership activities, personality fit with the organization, and so on), your GPA is quite essential, especially for top employment with Fortune 100 corporations. 

Many major firms utilize GPA as a preliminary criterion for shortlisting applicants during campus recruitment and the students on the Dean’s List are their primary choice for recruitment.

5. Exclusive access to top employers

Besides the general recruitment seminars for the general student body, there are special invitation-only networking sessions for a select group of students. 

HR departments at the top companies in the country frequently ask the Dean's Office to invite students with a certain minimum competitive GPA. Microsoft, Google, Procter & Gamble, McKinsey, investment banks, and consulting firms are all examples.

Here is our comprehensive guide to getting hired from a community college.

6. Prestige

If all of the exclusive invitations and offers to private parties weren't enough, being on the Dean's List is practically synonymous with intellectual ability and academic accomplishment. 

Fellow students who read the Dean's List know who you are, at least by name, because the board posts the names of those on the list on the university website and on the school notice board. People on the Dean's List are generally regarded with awe and respect.

Being on the Dean's radar is a good thing

People in the dean's office and the university career office are likely to know you if you are on the Dean's List. After all, the faculty has hundreds of students, and only a small fraction of them are on the Dean's List. 

This is important in many different scenarios, such as when you want an insider's perspective on what's going on, information on future events, or simply to talk to someone about issues you are facing at university.

Student graduating
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Prerequisites for the Dean's List

The Dean's List is designed to be an aspirational objective for students, with a number of demanding prerequisites. But the good news is that it is easier to get on the list if you are at a community college because the classes are usually smaller and the competition less fierce.

If you are serious about making your college's Dean's List, you should find out the specific requirements for your college's Dean's List as soon as you register for your first semester of classes. 

To give you an idea of what you're aiming for, below are a few examples of Dean's List requirements at various community colleges across the country:

San Juan College:  San Juan has two lists to honor the top students. President's List which honors students who have attained a grade point average of 3.80 - 4.00 for the last term and the Vice President's List which honors students who have attained a grade point average of 3.50 - 3.79 for the last term.

Gateway Community College: Full-time students who are matriculated in a certificate or degree program who successfully complete twelve (12) or more credits of work in a semester with a grade point average of 3.4 or higher are recognized by having their names placed on the Dean’s List.

Central New Mexico Community College: The Dean's List, informally called the Honor Roll, is compiled each term, listing students who completed 12 or more credit hours with traditional grades during the term and who achieved a term GPA of 3.5 or higher.

SUNY Broome Community College: The Dean’s List is composed of full-time matriculated students who have a semester grade point average between 3.50 and 3.79.

San Diego Continuing Education: The Dean’s Honor List is compiled after each spring term for the academic year (fall to spring). To be eligible for the Dean’s Honor List, a student must complete 12 units or more during the academic year and have earned a grade point average of 3.5 or better.

Washtenaw Community College: students who have completed 12 or more credits during a semester with a minimum 3.5 GPA

Mott Community College: Students are eligible for the Dean’s Honors List each semester after 12 credit hours (in 100 or 200 level courses) are completed, earning a semester GPA of 3.5 or higher and maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 or higher.

Unmudl tips for making the Dean's List

As we discussed, inclusion on your school's Dean's List comes with a slew of possible advantages. Making the Dean's List, on the other hand, isn't always easy to achieve. 

Unmudl offers the following advice to those who are serious about accomplishing their goal:

  • Get organized and learn to master your time

Some students may feel overburdened by their studies, regretting their high workload and lack of time. It's not about the workload or a lack of time, to be honest. It all boils down to how you organize yourself and manage time.

You can always opt not to attend classes that aren't beneficial. If you can, don’t go to a lecture if it was not worthwhile - if the lecturer spent too much time talking about unrelated topics or if the material taught could be taken from the textbook. 

If you feel the class seems to be going nowhere, leave and find a quiet spot to do other pressing work.

  • Consistency is the name of the game

You don’t hit the Dean’s List by working hard every once in a while. If you are trying to be amongst the top 1 to 5% of all the students, you need to be consistent with your efforts throughout college.

Getting high honors is comparable to running a marathon. Plan your resources carefully and keep a steady pace. You shouldn't expect to ace your tests in one day of studying if you have never studied the subjects, completed a single tutorial, or attended any classes.

  • Plan your modules in advance

The best thing about college or university is that you can choose what you want to study, even down to the semester modules. This also means that you are in charge of your schedule and task planning during the course of your education. 

Some students prefer to have a heavier workload in their first few semesters, where introductory courses are easier while others prefer to spread their course work over several semesters.

In the end, it's up to you and your preferences. There is no right or wrong way to do things. You need to come up with a plan that works for you to get those high grades.

When planning your modules, it's not simply about picking what's available. Take note of the following:

  • Find out who is teaching what. Sometimes a course is offered by different teachers who have different teaching styles. Talk to older students to find which teacher suits your style.
  • Maintain a healthy workload every semester. Some courses need a significant amount of time and effort while others can be completed easily.
  • Choose modules that have similar material or subjects. If you see modules with similar themes, take them so you may apply what you've learned in different ways.
  • Find out each module’s evaluation criteria

Knowing how you are being graded can help you plan areas to focus on. Each module is different and may be graded on different components like: 

  • Exams and tests are by far the most common component
  • Group projects also usually carry a heavy percentage
  • Assignments usually make part of your grade
  • For Science modules, lab work is graded
  • Presentations - Your ability to give a good presentation and how well you handle the situation with Q&A will determine part of the grade
  • Participation - Your input into class discussions and, on occasion, online forums for the class.
  • Attendance is quite rare but some teachers do count it towards your grade
  • Learn content as soon as it is taught

If you're learning a new concept on a given day, make sure you grasp it before the class concludes. Before packing up, finish reading the materials and if you are still struggling don’t be afraid to raise your hand and ask your teacher for help.

  • Find good project mates

This is applicable if your modules include group project work. Project work is a requirement in most college courses. It's critical to choose good teammates because group dynamics impact the output.

  • Limit social interactions and other distractions

Keep in mind that college is first and foremost about getting an education. While your buddies are out partying, you may need to stay at home and study to achieve your academic objectives.

Other distractions such as social media also need to be limited. It is, nonetheless, critical to recharge your batteries! Do take some time away from your studies to socialize with your friends once in a while.

Final thoughts

Most community colleges reserve the Dean's List for people who are dedicated to academic success. With this recognition comes its own rewards.

If you think you're someone who can or should aim for this ambition, start forming positive behaviors like the ones listed above. You'll stay on top of your studies and on the Dean's List semester after semester by following our Unmudl strategy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get on the dean's list?

What does being on the dean's list get you?

Is Dean's List a big deal?

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