The Distributive Education Clubs of America, commonly known as DECA, is an international association of students, administrators, educators and business professionals dedicated to preparing leaders for careers in finance, marketing, and hospitality and management. DECA is organized into a high school and a collegiate division with a total membership of more than 200,000 students from 5,000 high schools and 200 colleges and universities. DECA's logo is shaped like a diamond, and each of the four points represents one of the organization's guiding principles.
One of the points on the DECA diamond emblem represents the principle of social intelligence. DECA helps to develop social intelligence in its members through social events and activities that emphasize the poise and skills required to succeed in a business environment as well as everyday life. DECA holds career development conferences in locations throughout the U.S. that provide leadership and career advancing academies and gives students the opportunity to meet with business professionals.
DECA promotes leadership development by giving its members the chance to participate in events that teach the principles of leadership and effective management. DECA's summer officer leader leadership training program in Washington D.C. provides members the opportunity to meet in the seat of government to learn new leadership techniques, make new friends and go back home with a renewed sense of confidence in their abilities.
DECA is committed to providing real-world education in marketing and management. This training prepares students to navigate the various business environments in their chosen fields of study. DECA offers competitive events for both its high school and collegiate divisions. Areas of competition include principles of business administration, team decision-making, business operations research, business management and entrepreneurship and marketing representation. These events are designed to hone research and presentation skills in diverse fields of marketing and business.
Civic consciousness instills a sense of obligation and responsible citizenship in DECA members toward their local community through events and activities. DECA has partnered with the National Learn and Serve Challenge sponsored by the National Education Association. This program is designed to challenge students to use their skills and knowledge to tackle problems in their local communities. Another example of community involvement is DECA's April 2011 charity run/walk in support of muscular dystrophy, which gives students the opportunity to raise money and awareness for the disease.