5 Tips to Completing to Collegiate DECA Advocacy Campaign

It is #CTEMonth and this year this month is particularly important to the CTE community because the Federal Government is looking at reauthorizing the Perkins Act.

The Perkin Act is what provides states with necessary funding for their CTE programs. I encourage all DECA members to get out there this month and advocate for the reauthorization of the Perkins Act, as well as promote DECA in general!

This last summer I had the pleasure of going to Capitol Hill to advocate for DECA and the reauthorization of the Perkins Act. This was one of the most positive experiences I have had as an executive officer.

  1.  When reaching out to your policymakers or congressmen, it’s important to make a great first impression with his or her aides, who typically brief them before any meeting. Remember your congressman may have very little time, so you will need to prepare what you are going to say ahead of time. One of the members of the House of Representatives I met with walked in and said, “You’ve got 30 seconds, tell me why you’re here.”  He of course gave me more of his time than that but that was his introduction. Again, this experience was amazing to see our government in action and to know that I had done my part to make things better was the best experience.
  2. Talk to your campus office that handles community outreach. Talk to them about what their goals are for the year and what you can do to help them in their efforts. You will be surprised by how much goodwill can come from this simple action. When that is not possible look at your community and see where there is a need that your chapter can fulfill and jump in head first. This brings so much to your campus in the way of positive recognition.
  3. Campus outreach sometimes seems to be the hardest component of the Advocacy Campaign for chapters to think of ideas for. The point is to do something good on your campus for your campus. There is always a need for something on campus. A great way to look at this requirement is to find out what people are complaining about and help fix it.
  4. Don’t keep all your awesome advocacy activities to yourself! Instead, share them with www.decadirect.org by writing an article. The article just needs to be one page long, but it should describe your chapter’s efforts in the three areas of advocacy.
  5. The last tip I have is to enjoy the experience because it is very rewarding when we get out there and serve each other. Also, remember why we do the Advocacy Campaign, which is to spread the message of DECA and CTE. We are able to share what our experiences in DECA have meant to our lives and those around us.

I look forward to seeing all of the chapters receive their recognition at the 2017 International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, Calif., this April.

With it being an extra important year to be advocating, if you haven’t put together a plan yet, be sure to get to work and complete the Advocacy Campaign before the March 1, 2017 deadline.

Follow Michael on Twitter @deca_rich_exp.

Categories: Advocacy, Chapter Development, Chapter Resources