About Michigan DECA

DECA’s Comprehensive Learning Program

  • Integrates into Classroom Instruction – An integral component of classroom instruction, DECA activities provide authentic, experiential learning methods to prepare members for college and careers.
  • Applies Learning – DECA members put their knowledge into action through rigorous problem-based activities that require creative solutions with practical outcomes.
  • Connects to Business – Partnering with businesses at the local and broader levels provides DECA members realistic insight into the industry and promotes meaningful, relevant learning.
  • Promotes Competition – As such in the global economy, a spark of competition drives DECA members to excel and increase their performance.

DECA prepares the next generation to be:

  • Academically Prepared – DECA members are ambitious, high achieving leaders equipped to conquer the challenges of their ambitions.
  • Community Oriented – Recognizing the benefit of service and responsibility to the community, DECA members continually impact and improve their local and broader communities.
  • Professionally Responsible – DECA members are poised professionals with integrity and high standards.
  • Experienced Leaders – DECA members are equipped to effectively influence their peers and provide leadership in a business setting.

DECA is organized around an ambitious goal: to improve education and career opportunities for students interested in careers in marketing, management and entrepreneurship. What began with a few hundred students in 17 states has grown to over 225,000 students in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, Guam, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Germany.

DECA’s objective is to support the development of marketing and management skills in career areas such as hospitality, finance, sales and service, business administration and entrepreneurship. Programs and activities are tailored to the specific career interest of students and include technical skills, basic scholastic and communication skills, human relations and employability skills, and a strong emphasis on economics and free enterprise.

DECA provides recognition and leadership activities directly related to attainment of specific occupational and leadership skills. DECA’s mission establishes clear criteria for its programs and activities.

What do the letters D-E-C-A stand for?
When DECA was first established in 1947, the name DECA stood for ‘Distributive Education Clubs of America’. However, as the organization has evolved over the years and gone beyond the original scope, the acronym has been dropped from use.

DECA is a nonpartisan, non-sectarian 501(c)(3) association of students, teachers, and administrators and is recognized and endorsed by all 50 state departments of education and the U.S. Department of Education.

Michigan DECA Facts


High School Membership in 2019-2020: 8,900 in Michigan, and more than 225,000 Internationally

High Schools Participating (approximate): 165 in Michigan, and 5,000 Internationally

Our Reports Page highlights many of the successes that our members have had over the past year: ranging from our increased participation at each conference, to examples of how our members are highly motivated in the courses that they take and the grades that they receive. It also shows that Michigan DECA members continue to improve their scores on our examinations as well as performing above the average for all students from all states that take the examinations. These examinations come from the MBAResearch Center’s test bank – the same test bank that will be used for the Marketing End of Program Examination that will be implemented this year. Because of this, the examinations will serve as a good pre-test for students that will take Marketing End of the Program Exam this spring.

Michigan DECA is a tax-exempt, not for profit 501(C)(3) educational association and is affiliated with National DECA located in Reston, Virginia.

Michigan DECA is supported by a project grant to College of Engineering and Technology at Eastern Michigan University, from the Michigan Department of Education. The office is located at Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197; (734) 487-DECA or FAX at (734) 487-4329.

Michigan was one of 17 charter states to affiliate with DECA in 1947. Today, there are associations representing membership in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Manitoba, Ontario, Mexico, and Germany. Of those 56 chartered associations, Michigan has grown to be the largest in terms of membership. Besides having a large membership, Michigan DECA is also an innovator in many different ways, from competitive events to corporate partnerships, Michigan DECA is always striving to provide as many opportunities as possible to its student members.

Throughout the year, high school members are offered the opportunity to participate in many conferences that focus on DECA’s Guiding Principals: Integrates into Classroom Instruction, Applies Learning, Connects to Business, and Promotes Competition. This year, members will have the opportunity to attend the State Leadership Conference, the Central Region Leadership Conference, the Sports and Entertainment Marketing Workshop, District Competitions, the State Career Development Conference, and the International Career Development Conference.