Washington DECA Programs
Fifty years ago, the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) organized around an ambitious goal: to improve educational and career opportunities for American students. In the years since its formation, DECA has remained on the cutting edge of educational innovation and has become nationally known for integrating academic achievement with vocational skills and creating linkages with the business community.
Over time, the needs of our membership have changed, and we have changed to meet them--long ago outgrowing the modest network of "distributive education clubs" mentioned in our name. Although we're much larger now, the fundamental reasons we formed remain at our core: First, effective marketing education gives young people the tools and aptitudes they need to pursue their dreams. Second, marketing education works best when it's part of an integrated education program.
With more than 200,000 student members and faculty advisors (11,313 in Washington), DECA functions as the companion student organization to 5,200 marketing education programs in secondary and post-secondary schools throughout the U.S., the District of Columbia, Canada, China, Germany, Guam, Hong Kong, and Puerto Rico. Our once-revolutionary concept of providing students with direct access to marketing theories and practical experience, and helping them develop leadership skills has become a model for effective educational alternatives.
DECA's mission remains constant: to enhance the co-curricular education of students with interests in marketing, management, and entrepreneurship. DECA helps students build self-esteem, experience leadership and practice community service, and develop skills and competence for marketing careers. DECA is committed to the advocacy of marketing education and the growth of partnerships between business and education.
Amid the clamor for educational reform, DECA's vision of educational innovation and excellence serves as a beacon, and its many successful programs stand as models for other educational programs.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Each year, Washington DECA provides a series of conferences and events for more than 11,300 student members in the state of Washington. The first major event of the 2012/2013 school year was the Western Region Leadership Conference in Seattle, Washington. 2,443 members from Washington and many Western Region states attended a variety of workshops focusing on leadership development, DECA competition, and careers available in business, marketing, and entrepreneurial fields. In addition, students had the opportunity to hear inspirational keynote speakers and to attend a marketing/vendor fair. All students participated in a mock role play competition with a volunteer competition judge who gave them direct feedback about their presentation skills.
The second major conference of the year was the State Career Development Conference (SCDC) where more than 3,200 students competed in 45 events focusing on a specific aspect of marketing, business, or entrepreneurship education. The top six winners in each event proceeded to compete at the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Anaheim, California in May.
Washington DECA is the third largest state association in the International DECA organization. Each year, Washington students take home numerous top awards at the ICDC.