The Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) is an educational extracurricular association for students who are interested in marketing, finance and entrepreneurship. DECA encourages the development of business and leadership skills through academic conferences and competitions. DECA offers real-life experiences for students and encourages goal-setting and leadership opportunities.
DECA began serving high school and college level students over 70 years ago. It was founded in 1946 with an emphasis on preparing students to become leaders. Membership in DECA prepares students for careers in the following industries:
The missions statement of DECA is: DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.
The DECA Emblem
The DECA emblem is a diamond-shaped image with eight total points. There are actually four inner points and four outer points. These eight DECA inner and outer points all stand for parts of the DECA guiding principles.
The DECA emblem is always displayed in the same colors. The outside DECA diamond shape is always in royal blue, while the inner space of the DECA emblem is white. It has evolved over time; however, the main four points of the diamond have remained the same.
Goals and Guiding Principles
DECA is a non-profit organization with two main divisions: high school and college. The high school division has approximately 200,000 members in 3,500 schools across the country. The college level supports over 1,500 members in 275 different colleges and universities.
DECA supports students in schools throughout the United States and internationally in Canada, China, Germany, Spain, Guam, Mexico and Puerto Rico. In order to maintain this level of support, every DECA chapter follows the same goals and guiding principles.
The goals and guiding principles are integrated into the DECA emblem. The DECA emblem symbolizes the goals and guiding principles of the organization.
DECA Inner Points
The DECA emblem is highly recognizable; however, it has a very specific meaning. The inner four points of the DECA emblem address the purpose of the DECA program. The inner points of the emblem include:
- DECA is integrated into classroom instruction – it is not a separate entity of education. DECA provides authentic and experiential learning opportunities.
- DECA applies learning – it is not simply theory. DECA members apply their learning through real-life, practical activities.
- DECA is connected to business – it is not only school based. Students have real-life connections to business giving them insight into the industry.
- DECA promotes competition – it encourages healthy competition to grow and develop skills.
DECA Outer Points
The outer four points of the DECA emblem address the results of the program. The outer points of the DECA emblem focus on the ways it prepares students to become prepared, business-ready members of the greater community. The outer four points of the DECA emblem represent the following characteristics of the members:
- Being academically prepared – students have successfully completed the high school or college degree and are prepared for the next phase of their academic or professional career.
- Being community oriented – students have been prepared to fully understand the dynamic of the greater community and how certain programs and policies impact it. Students are prepared to think and work for the greater good of the community.
- Being professionally responsible – students are prepared with the understanding of professional responsibilities and what it means to be a responsible member of the professional community, including ethics, integrity and high standards.
- Being experienced leaders – students are exposed to academic and professional conferences along with competitions which give them experience of actual leadership roles and responsibilities. Students learn goal-setting, consensus-building and real-life leadership applications.
Melanie Forstall has a doctorate in education and has worked in the field of education for over 20 years. She has been a teacher, grant writer, program director, and higher education instructor. She is a freelance writer specializing in education, and education related content. She writes for We Are Teachers, School Leaders Now, Classroom, Pocket Sense, local parenting magazines, and other professional academic outlets. Additionally, she has co-authored book chapters specializing in providing services for students with disabilities.