On January 11, over two-hundred-fifty DECA students took an exam in order to qualify for states. The test took place in the auditorium from fifth to seventh period. Depending on the score that these students receive, they can attend the fifty-eighth annual Career Development Conference and compete against DECA students all over the state.
Students could test in one of four categories: Hospitality and Tourism, Business Management and Administration or Marketing and Finance. Students filled out their one-hundred question multiple choice test on a Scantron, answering questions related to the category they chose. Typically, students choose the category that is related the closest to the DECA class they are involved in.
The DECA courses offered to students are Hospitality and Tourism, Fashion Marketing and Finance. Freshmen students in the prerequisite to DECA classes, Introduction to Information Technology, are required to test as well. Many freshmen students choose to test in Hospitality and Tourism, although they can and do choose other categories.
Since these students aren’t involved in a DECA class, they can study using online resources such as practice tests or study guides. Students that are enrolled in a class utilize their notes in preparation for the test.
In preparations to administer the tests to the club, the DECA officers were in charge of logistics such as where everyone is seated, along with labeling and organizing the Scantrons. One officer is junior Aiden Adams, one of two presidents of the DECA club this year.
“District testing provides valuable experience that will help give new members a taste of what DECA is all about,” Adams said, “If they don’t make it to states, they will at least have some experience under their belt to try again next year.”
To qualify for DECA States, students can succeed in three ways: impressive test scores, an impressive manual or both. In the case that both the test score and the manual qualified a student or group for state, that student or group would choose just one to send them to the state level, so they can participate in activities specific to what qualified them. For some competitive events, however, the test score, manual and presentation of the manual are combined in one cumulative score.
A manual is a written event where students can display their business knowledge and create a new idea related to the category they pick from. These manuals can be five, eleven or thirty pages. For example, someone interested in fashion marketing can write an eleven page manual demonstrating a new idea that can help increase sales to an already existing company.
Junior Kristina Smith had the opportunity to go to the national level last year with a manual in the category of Fashion Merchandising Promotion Plan. Her business was Motherhood Maternity, a clothing line for those who are pregnant. Her plan for the business was to expand the business to clothes for babies, so when mothers give birth, they continue to shop there. The top five winners in the state compete at nationals; Smith placed second in the state.
“DECA opened my eyes to the world of business and the broad spectrum of things I could do with a business degree,” Smith said. “It has allowed me to see that there are not just job opportunities but fun careers in the real world.”
In order for a manual to qualify for the state level, the student or group of students who completed it have to present their manual at the district level. This year, the district manual presentation will take place at Nova Southeastern University on January 17.
Students in DECA discover whether or not they can attend the DECA CDC on January 18, based on their test scores, manuals and presentations.
Photo courtesy of DECA.org