What is DECA?

DECA is an organization for students enrolled in marketing, business and finance education. It is designed to promote a total program of activities that develop leadership, teamwork skills and individual growth. DECA is the only international student organization operating in the schools to attract young people to careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, management, and entrepreneurship.

DECA offers marketing, business and finance education students the opportunities that a civic or professional organization would offer a businessperson. Activities develop leadership ability, occupational skills, civic responsibility, and the social skills of the individual. DECA activities serve as a teaching tool, complimenting, supplementing, and enhancing the marketing education curriculum.

As an integral part of the marketing, business and finance programs, DECA offers tremendous opportunities for student participation. Each chapter elects its own officers with the teacher serving as the chapter advisor. These chapters, in turn, comprise the Ohio DECA Association.

All local members, through their elected officers and delegates, have a direct vote in the concerns of Ohio and International DECA. Membership dues and fundraising projects support chapter activities. There is no set method of operation for a local chapter, as each is unique to its students and community. The chapter should work, however, at providing a well-rounded program focusing on social, civic, professional and leadership activities that provide for individual, school and community betterment.

Our Mission

DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.

Guiding Principles

Our guiding principles explain how we fulfill our mission by addressing what we do and the outcomes we expect. DECA enhances the preparation for college and careers by providing co-curricular programs that integrate into classroom instruction, applying learning in the context of business, connecting to business and the community and promoting competition. Our student members leverage their DECA experience to become academically prepared, community oriented, professionally responsible, experienced leaders.

Attributes and Values

Our attributes and values describe DECA’s priorities and standards. We value competence, innovation, integrity and teamwork.


Ohio DECA, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit student organization with over 5,000 student members across Ohio.

Our History

During the early 1970s, the DECA Board of Directors and national staff prepared plans to build a National DECA Center in Reston, Virginia. The building was dedicated in September 1976. Secretary of the US Department of Education, William Bennett, endorsed DECA and the other vocational student organizations in 1988.[14]

In 1989 DECA approved their mission statement: "The mission of DECA is to enhance the education of students with interests in marketing, management, and entrepreneurship." A name change occurred in 1991 when the Board of Directors decided that the acronym DECA would be used in conjunction with the words "An Association of Marketing Students." New logos were designed to reflect this change.[14]

In 1991, when the acronym was changed, the organization decided to no longer have DECA stand for "Distributive Educational Clubs of America", as DECA was becoming international.