5 Things New Collegiate DECA Chapters Should Know

Photo courtesy of @AlanDuesterhaus on Twitter.

The journey into Collegiate DECA is an eye-opening experience that gives light into the blueprint of organizational structure, group dynamics, and leadership development.

Although it may be challenging, the Collegiate DECA experience is one of the most rewarding paths, and starting a chapter is a key to developing your leadership talents.

Nonetheless, for those starting the new chapters or redeveloping an existing chapter, here are a few insights on making sure your chapter is rooted for success.

1. Be Familiar with Your Resources

From event guidelines to registration, deca.org/college-programs compiles the tools necessary to set up your chapter. There you will have access to membership registration, award programs, scholarship information, and materials through DECA Images. Don’t forget to stay informed with everything happening in DECA at decadirect.org too!

2. Stay Updated

It is important to keep up to date on the new offerings and changes made throughout the year. Each year, Collegiate DECA expands their resources and benefits to ensure student success. From competition changes to conference registration packets, DECA Direct: Collegiate Edition is a monthly newsletter that delivers information relevant for your chapter. As a chapter leader, it is crucial for you to communicate these updates with your members. You can sign up to receive these monthly emails on the decadirect.org homepage.

3. Plan Ahead

For any student lead organization, change is inevitable. In many chapters, the continuing change in leadership has different outcomes based on the individual(s) in place. Nonetheless, for those starting a chapter, it is important to lay the foundation for the future. This starts with developing a program of work, and casting vision through setting realistic goals. It is ever so common for thriving chapter to dwindle after four years of great leadership. However, this can be alleviated by preparing/engaging new members into leadership roles.

4. Choose Empathy

The responsibility of running a chapter can be at times overwhelming. Consequently, the drive for excellence sometimes fails to meet our expectations. This reality expands when working alongside others in our chapters. As a leader, it can be frustrating to deal with those who don’t follow through with their responsibilities, or fail to reach our level of expectations. It is important to understand that most of us in Collegiate DECA are volunteers and as students, our primary focus is to complete our personal and academic responsibilities while we grow as leaders.” Nonetheless, it’s the community which Collegiate DECA offers that help give our college journey meaning.  So it’s best to approach situations with grace, and allow individuals to grow from these experiences.

5. Ask for Help

As noted, starting a chapter can be difficult, but none of the challenges are new. As a leader, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. From your executive officer team to DECA Inc. staff, feel free to send us an email. We are dedicated to help your chapter be successful.

Also, find a mentor, many of us in Collegiate DECA face similar obstacles within our journey, and want to help others succeed. So, don’t take the journey alone.

Remember, resilience and passion are embedded into the DNA of our members. This gives many of us the drive to take on new challenges with stride. As a new or reforming chapter, remember to keep pushing forward, and be patient on the rewards.

Finally, keep us posted! We want to hear from you and know about your success and challenges along the way. Find out how to contact your executive officer team here.

Follow Josh on Twitter @cdecavpjosh.

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