Program of Work: The Heart of Your Chapter

Jenny Patino, University of Wisconsin-Madison DECA

With the fall semester coming to a close, now is a great time to take a look at your chapter’s success so far in the year and begin planning for the next semester if you haven’t already. Hopefully, by now your chapter’s leadership team has listed your goals and plans for this year. If not, you’re at the right point of the year to start developing and polishing a program of leadership (or program of work).

Your program of work outlines the majority of your school year by listing ideas for events and conferences, as well as highlighting the goals of your chapter and officer team. Your POW identifies what your goals are and gets your team on track to have a successful year. Our POW at the University of Wisconsin-Madison states our organization’s mission, our individual officer goals, team goals and gives a general outline of what our year will entail. This allows your team to see deadlines and begin planning instead of scrambling later on in the year. It is the heart and framework of any chapter.

Despite your POW organizing your chapter, one of the most important reasons to have one is to help guide your success on the Collegiate DECA Passport Program. The minute you create your POW, you’ll have an easier time to see what you need to integrate into your year by comparing the two. Your POW and Chapter Passport Program work hand-in-hand to develop your chapter throughout the year.

To develop and create your POW, sit down with your chapter’s officer team and talk about your goals for the remainder of the year. My team and I sat down the week we were elected to set a general framework for the summer and as the fall semester came around, discuss our objectives for the semester. From there, tasks were delegated to each of our respective officers. For example, our Vice President of Marketing updates our social media and our Vice President of Finance manages our chapter budget. Delegating tasks and defining your executive board’s roles is extremely important in being able to lead a growing chapter.

Having an engaging year with your members involves planning various events ranging from professional development workshops and booking guest speakers to community service and social events. Your chapter’s success depends on ensuring these events are successful and well attended, so it’s incredibly important to highlight and define these in your POW early on. Competition plays a large role in our chapter and because of this, it plays a large role in our Program of Work. Competition season brings many deadlines so it’s important to acknowledge those and organize those into your POW and chapter calendar right off the bat.

So you’ve developed your POW… what’s next? Keep referring to it throughout the year and make sure your team does too. The great thing is that you can always reflect and revise throughout the year to adjust to your chapter’s needs. With a fully developed POW, you’re ensured to have a great year!

Categories: Chapter Development, Chapter Resources