DECA emphasizes academic and career excellence and helps to demonstrate the all-important direct relationship between its comprehensive learning program and the real needs of business and industry. The organization is nonprofit, nonpolitical and totally student oriented. All chapters are self-supporting, with members paying local, state/provincial and national dues. Each chapter elects its own student officers, and the local instructor serves as the chapter advisor. All chapters within a state/province comprise a state/provincial association under the leadership of the state/provincial advisor. Each state/province elects student officers for its division. The international organization is composed of the total of all state or provincial associations. Student delegates selected by each state, in turn, elect their national student officers. DECA Inc., the legal sponsoring unit of DECA, elects a board of directors, which is the policy making group of the organization. DECA is the only international student organization operating in the nation’s high schools that attracts leaders and entrepreneurs to the fields of marketing, finance, hospitality and management.
The DECA chapter is to the marketing, finance, hospitality or management education program what a civic or professional organization is to a group of business people. Chapter activities are recognized as a part of the total educational program because they develop leadership skills, professional attitudes, business competency, citizenship characteristics and social growth of the individual. These same activities serve the instructor as a teaching tool by creating student interest in all phases of the different target industries. DECA activities provide members with opportunities to serve in leadership roles, work in teams and receive local, state and international recognition.