Something New – FIRST Dean’s List Changes

Sep 20, 2013 Written by FIRST Staff

We’ve got some important changes to the FIRST Dean’s List process for the 2014 Season.

It’s important that students being selected for FIRST Dean’s List be able to take full advantage of their selection.   We want these students to be able to list their selection for this prestigious award on their college applications, and we want their selection to motivate them to even greater accomplishments with their teams through the following seasons.  For these reasons, while in the past, teams could nominate any high school student on their teams for FIRST Dean’s List, starting in the 2014 season, nominations will be restricted to Sophomores and Juniors.

Also, the feedback we’ve received has indicated that it’s very hard to pick FIRST Dean’s List Finalists from the written submissions alone.  So, as a pilot for the 2014 Season, we’re introducing an interview component to the selection process.  All FIRST Dean’s List nominees at Regionals will participate in brief interviews with a panel of judges at the event.  For Districts, as no Finalists are selected at the District competition level, nominees will participate in brief interviews at the District/State Championship level where their selection takes place.  Interviews will not take place at the FIRST Championship level, because of the because of the number of individuals that would need to be interviewed.  However, the judges selecting the FIRST Dean’s List Winners at the FIRST Championship will have access to interview notes from the earlier interviews that took place when the Finalists were selected. 

Another advantage of these interviews is that it will give all nominees an additional challenging experience at events.  As I’ve said before in this blog, I believe people grow when they’re given something to push against.  All nominees, along with those selected as Finalists, will receive feedback on their interviews from the judges.

FIRST Dean’s List nominees will not need to prepare any kind of presentation for the interview, and interviews will last no more than five minutes.  We’re working through additional details at this time.

I want to emphasize that this is a pilot for the 2014 Season.  As well as stretching our nominees, this will also stretch our judging and space resources, and there’s a chance we may find that the cost of this change is not worth the benefits we receive.


I’ll blog again soon.


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