DECA continues to be a leader in supporting key educational initiatives through its comprehensive learning program. DECA’s extensive offering of programs, ranging from competitive events to educational conferences to video challenges and more, deliver a variety of activities to serve diverse learning styles while also providing multiple assessment methods. A classroom companion, DECA integrates into classroom instruction, applies learning, connects to business and promotes competition.

DECA’s Comprehensive Learning Program directly supports the Career Clusters® initiative, National Curriculum Standards, 21st Century Skills, an Entrepreneurial Mindset, Project-based Learning, Project Management and Personal Financial Literacy initiatives.      


DECA’s Comprehensive Learning Program supports the marketing, business management, finance, and hospitality and tourism career clusters. DECA’s programming, including competitive events, educational conferences, video challenges, educational publications, school-based enterprises, educator professional learning and more, support the development of necessary knowledge and skills for careers in these four career clusters.

Knowledge and skills defined in the National Curriculum Standards and Career Clusters® are infused in DECA programs. For example, the certification standards in DECA’s School-based Enterprise Certification Program are designed to directly support the teaching and learning of the National Curriculum Standards. DECA’s Competitive Events Program also directly aligns with Career Clusters® and National Curriculum Standards. Each role-play and case study are developed using performance indicators that directly link to the knowledge and skill statements that comprise the Career Clusters® and National Curriculum Standards frameworks.

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DECA understands that 21st century skills are important to college and career success. DECA members develop 21st century skills through their participation in DECA activities, such as competitive events, educational conferences, video challenges, educational publications, school-based enterprises and more. Because DECA activities are usually project-based and problem-based, DECA members use high order thinking skills and develop key competencies in the areas of critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration and creativity and innovation.

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Entrepreneurship improves productivity, spurs innovation and creates opportunities. DECA’s vast array of entrepreneurship programs — ranging from learning modules, challenges, online simulations, case studies to innovation and business plans — provide a variety of opportunities for members to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. In a recent study, through their participation in DECA, 66% of DECA members have an increased desire to own a business.


Project-based learning (PBL) is a dynamic classroom approach in which students actively explore real-world problems and challenges while acquiring a deeper knowledge. DECA’s written and prepared events can help teachers engage students in project-based learning while teaching and reinforcing course curriculum. DECA’s written events and PBL support both formative and summative assessment. Throughout the project, students are self-assessing and improving their work. At the end of the project a business professional evaluates and scores the project.

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Project management leads to project completion which leads to faster implementation and faster return on investment. This important outcome has led to 97% of organizations affirming project management is critical to business performance and success. DECA offers six competitive events specifically requiring the use of project management skills to initiate, plan, execute, monitor and control, and close a project.

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The demand for personal financial literacy resources has never been greater, and DECA has developed an ever-expanding list of programs to help educators teach personal financial literacy standards and engage students in meaningful instructional activities. From competitive events to partnership resources to certification, there’s no better time to offer these DECA opportunities to your student members and consider additional ways to engage more students.

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