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The University High School chapter of DECA was recently named a Membership Campaign Winner at the achievement level for the 2022-23 season! 

The UHS DECA chapter doubled its membership from 21 students for the 2021-22 school year, to 42 students on this year’s team. In order to be officially recognized, each member must be registered through DECA, a Career and Technical Student Organization with a mission to “prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.” 

Students have the opportunity to participate in various DECA competitions, which align with the National Curriculum Standards in the career fields of marketing, business management and administration, finance, and hospitality and tourism. Participants can compete in either individual events, which pose business challenges with role-plays set in specialized career areas or in team decision-making events where teams of two participants must analyze a case study in a specific career area and develop a solution. 

The UHS DECA team had 32 students competing in this year’s district competition at Hamilton Southeastern High School on January 7. The Trailblazers’ performance at the event resulted in 30 students qualifying to go on to the state competition, called the State Career Development Conference (SCDC). The team also had four additional students who had already qualified to compete at SCDC in Indianapolis March 5-7.

“We have 34 students competing at the state competition–10% of our student body,” said Business Manager and DECA coach Mike Hagan. “I can say for sure that no one else in our district is sending 10% of their school to the state competition.”  

Competitors can choose one of over 40 different categories offered and are judged via a 100 question multiple choice exam, as well as a role play exercise with a judge. Project competitions do not include an exam, but students must prepare a 10 to 20 page written project and give a presentation.  

“We have 18 competing as individuals and 12 on teams of two,” explained Hagan. “The other four students are competing in project competitions. These events help the kids become more comfortable interacting with adults and really helps their confidence and self-esteem.” 

Beyond the state competition, DECA’s highest level event is the International Career Development Conference (ICDC). This year’s ICDC will be hosted in Orlando, FL on April  22-25.

“This is our fifth year of DECA [at University] and we have had at least one student qualify for the international competition each year,” said Hagan. “Last year we had five, which was great and a lot of fun.”

Great job, Trailblazers!