DECA is a high energy organization designed to prepare students to be college and career ready upon graduation. DECA has more than 236,000 members in 5,000 high school chapters from all 50 states and from nine countries. Students gain experience through interactive classroom activities and by attending DECA Conferences throughout the school year. Find out more about each of our conferences here
DECA members can begin their experience as early as the ninth grade by enrolling in a marketing, finance, hospitality, business management or entrepreneurship course. They can retain their membership in DECA as long as they are actively pursuing courses in one of the content areas. As part of a high school chapter, DECA members are invited to take full advantage of DECA activities while preparing themselves to be college and career ready upon graduation.
High school students join DECA through their high school chapter, advised by the marketing and business administration teacher. Parents interested in having their student join DECA should contact their school’s marketing or business administration teacher about having their son or daughter join the organization. If the school does not have a marketing and business administration program, they should talk to the school’s administration about starting a program.
Preparing Emerging Leaders And Entrepreneurs
By taking advantage of their DECA membership, members can become:
- academically prepared for college and careers in marketing, finance, hospitality or management
- community oriented by gaining an appreciation for the benefits of service and their potential impact on the community and world
- professionally responsible with ethics, integrity and high standards
- experienced leaders by practicing key leadership skills such as goal setting, consensus building and project management.
Membership Activities and Benefits
DECA members benefit from activities in DECA’s Comprehensive Learning Program. In addition to an official membership card and pin, DECA members receive four issues of Dimensions magazine, as well as copies of Michigan DECA’s newsletter, Spotlight on DECA. Members have opportunities to attend conferences designed to prepare them for college and careers. Members can also earn recognition and prove their knowledge in DECA’s Competitive Events Program, earn their share of more than $300,000 in scholarships and more.
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.
Opportunities for Student Members
DECA’s program of competitive events has something for everyone. With events ranging from Hospitality and Tourism, Sports and Entertainment Marketing, Apparel, Finance, Food Marketing, Automotive Services, and Entrepreneurship, DECA members have the opportunity to explore a variety of career areas. Competition helps develop communication, marketing, and decision-making skills, all the while giving a taste of “real-world” experience. Events may include multiple-choice tests, role playing situations, research projects, business plans, interviews, and teamwork skills. There is never an audience at a DECA competition, so there’s no need to worry about impressing anybody but the judge.
DECA gives many students the opportunity to travel throughout the country for once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Some of the destinations for the school year include:
- Central Region Leadership Conference
- Sports and Entertainment Marketing Conference
- District Conferences – Eight locations around the state
- State Career Development Conference
- International Career Development Conference
DECA offers a program of leadership development activities that are both fun and educational. Through leadership conferences, academies, or the experience of holding a local, state or even national office, DECA members are a step ahead of the typical high school graduate. Some examples of DECA’s leadership opportunities are listed below:
- Workshops at the State Leadership Conference
- Workshops at the Central Region Leadership Conference
- Member Academies at the International Career Development Conference
One of the most attractive things about DECA are the varied scholarship opportunities available to members. Countless colleges and universities offer DECA scholarships to their applicants, and many companies offer scholarships to DECA members. At the International Career Development Conference, over $350,000 in scholarship money is awarded annually to DECA members. DECA’s scholarship partners include:
- Claire’s / Icing
- Sears Holdings
- Otis Spunkmeyer
- Finish Line
- Central Region DECA
- National DECA
- American Express
- Hilton Hotels
- TJ Maxx
- Plus many more
Local chapter activities are the core of what makes DECA a unique, student-focused organization. Some of the activities that a chapter may sponsor or organize include:
- Muscular Dystrophy Association “lock ups”
- Fashion Show Benefit
- Pledge Drives
Career Development Activities
- Marketing tour of local mall
- Marketing Research
- Marketing plans with local companies
- Guest Speakers
- College Night
- School Based Enterprises
- Bake Sales
- Candy Sales