Friday, November 9, 2007

The National Dean's List is dead

A reader has informed me that the National Dean's List, the subject of two oft-visited posts on Orange Crate Art, is dead, defunct, gone. I wrote about the NDL earlier this year after receiving letters of nomination addressed to me (almost 30 years out of college) and a non-existent person at my address. Both names were taken from a magazine-subscription service for college faculty and students.

From the company website:

Educational Communications, Inc. has ceased all operations, including discontinuation of its publications for Who's Who Among American High School Students, Who's Who Among America's Teachers, and The National Dean's List, as well as the Educational Communications Scholarship Foundation.
The Internet Archive shows that Educational Communications, Inc. — or at least its website — was still functioning as of August 2007. Some quick Google searching turns up no details on the company's demise.

I feel sorry for the clerical workers, printers, and bindery workers whose lives will be altered by the demise of Educational Communications, Inc. But I'll still say good riddance to this company. It's mail from outfits such as EC, Inc. that can lead a student to mistake, say, a letter of invitation from Phi Beta Kappa for yet another sham honor. And it's the Internet that allows anyone with an online connection to look around and ask questions. (Type "national dean's list" into Google and see what happens.)

Update, November 12, 2007: The Austin Business Journal published a brief story today. An excerpt:
Austin's Educational Communications Inc. has ceased operations.

According to a Securities and Exchange filing on Nov. 1, the company, a subsidiary of American Achievement Group Holding Corp., is shutting down by the end of the month. Its Web site today confirms that, but company executives could not immediately be reached for comment. . . .

Sales of the parent company's achievement publications decreased to $300,000 for the three months ending May 2007, compared with sales of $1.1 million during the three months ending May 2006.

Related posts
Is this honor society legitimate?
The National Dean's List
The National Dean's List again

Related reading
Phi Beta What? (Wall Street Journal)

comments: 8

Anonymous said...

Apparently, I'm a sucker. I was "nominated" in 2006, and was supposed to get my book in September of 2007. Well, I paid about $90 for the book, and haven't yet received it. I was also in Who's Who Among high school students, and always received my books then, but I know now that I was ripped off.

Anonymous said...

It does take a while to receive your book. I'm wondering now whether or not to put this on my resume!! I did have the grades, but if it wasn't legit ... not sure what to think of this one.

Michael Leddy said...

My advice: if you have other sorts of honors, include them, and forget about the National Dean's List. A reader who knows about the NDL's reputation is likely to conclude that you're naive or that you think your audience is naive.

Anonymous said...

I also fell for the National Dean's List. Although I never did buy the book because as a college student I was always thin on money. Now that I am nearing graduation, I was looking for the regalia from this society to wear but now I see that they are out of business.

Anonymous said...

same thing happend to me as well. i was on it in 2005 and bought the book, it is 2008 and still nothing. im a member of another honors society but this one is still disappointing. does anyone know of people finding a way of getting reimbursed?

Michael Leddy said...

I know of no way to get your money back. What I would do: tell everyone you can about your experience and encourage skeptical inquiry into all collegiate "honors." This post can help: Is this honor society legitimate?

More than a year after TNDL disappeared, its name still appears in press releases about college grads and new hires. So it's still fooling some people, alas.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure what happened to everyone else, however, I received my book. I then bought items from the store and received those items in a timely fashion. The items I purchased were quality items and the cost incurred were comparable to the costs of other established honor societies.

Michael Leddy said...

I’m not sure what difference prompt service makes, as the NDL was a sham honor society.