Missouri State University Collegiate DECA Conquers Competition & Community Service
Madeline Phillips | Missouri State University Collegiate DECA
DECA Inc. is an international association for high school and college students, as well as professional members.
Collegiate DECA encompasses five major career clusters: marketing, business management & administration, hospitality & tourism, finance and entrepreneurship. Each of these fields offer events where the individual must use the knowledge they have learned in the classroom and apply it to solve real-world problems.
Collegiate DECA has the mission of providing a fun and exciting learning environment while allowing students to have the opportunity to test their skills at regional and state-wide competition.
Missouri State Accepts a New Organization
Over 225,000 high school students participate in DECA, but the majority of high school members do not continue their DECA journey once in college since there are much fewer Collegiate DECA chapters available. In 2016 Andrew Stebbins decided to start a Collegiate DECA chapter at Missouri State University (MSU) because he enjoyed his experience in competing at the high school level.
Despite the organization being new to campus, our chapter has grown to have 24 undergraduate members and three additional professional members. Once a student has committed to DECA, that student becomes a member and will choose two categories to participate in for the state competition. The category they choose can be either an individual event or team event. However, before the student is allowed to compete at the state competition, they have to participate in a mock competition. The mock competition allows the member to experience the environment of the state competition as well as receive feedback from judges.
International Career Development Conference
Competitors or teams that place at the state competition will be invited to attend the Collegiate DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Washington, D.C., this April. More than 10,000 DECA members demonstrate their knowledge and skills by participating in DECA’s Competitive Events program. Members know going in that their competition will have a 150-multiple question exam and a case study. A role-play is a stage of the competitive event, where a member is given a situation and has to answer five key performance indicators.
The better the participant performs on the case study, the closer their score will be to 100. ICDC also invites large companies to host career exhibits, so members of DECA have the opportunity to meet potential employers in their respective field.
Giving Back to the Community
While members are not preparing for competition, they are giving back to Springfield’s community. MSU’s Collegiate DECA chapter has hosted three community service events in the fall semester alone. Their community service chair, Charlie Stebbins, has helped the organization by allowing the chapter’s members to volunteer their time in assisting with the Ronald McDonald House.
Volunteer activities included putting together donation letters, organizing and sanitizing donated board games, stamps, and other supplies, as well as, cleaning bedrooms for incoming families. All of this was accomplished in conjunction with the Ronald McDonald House coordinator Melanie Ward.
This article was written by Missouri State University Collegiate DECA member, Madeline Phillips. You can follow Missouri State University Collegiate DECA on Twitter @MOStateDECA.