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DECA, Inc. is a national student organization for individuals preparing for marketing, management, and entrepreneurship careers. With over 185,000 members in 2006, DECA serves as the companion to marketing education programs within secondary and postsecondary schools across all fifty states of the United States, its territories, two provinces of Canada, and Germany. As a cocurricular organization, DECA is an integral part of classroom instructiona vehicle through which students learn marketing and management and are motivated to succeed.

In partnership with businesses throughout the country, DECA offers learning experiences that contribute to the integration of academic and career-focused instruction, resulting in heightened student achievement and student recognition. For example, each year thousands of student members participate in a competitive events program, culminating in state and national secondary and postsecondary international career development conferences that allow members to demonstrate academic and marketing excellence. Also, a host of leadership development programs are offered.

Organized in 1946, DECA meets the needs of marketing (at the time called distributive) education students seeking professional and personal growth. The association is governed by a board of directors. Until 1991, DECA was referred to as the Distributive Education Clubs of America. Although that continues to be the legal name, the organization uses the commonly recognized acronym DECA, along with the tag line, "An Association of Marketing Students." DECA is advised by a national advisory board, consisting of business representatives, and a congressional advisory board, comprised of federal legislators.

The official publications of DECA are the DECA Advisor, Dimensions, Chi Connection, and the DECA Guide. Such scholarships as the Harry Applegate, Hilton, Marriott International, Otis Spunkmeyer, Safeway, and Sears Scholarships are available to support the academic endeavors of members. More information is available from DECA at 1908 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191; 703-860-5000 (phone); 703-869-4013 (fax); or,

see also Business Professionals of America; Future Business Leaders of America; SkillsUSA


Berns, Robert G. (1996). DECA: A continuing tradition of excellence. Reston, VA: DECA.

Robert G. Berns

Jewel E. Hairston