Techniques Magazine Techniques April 2011 : Page 33

in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges across the globe. “There’s been so much change in our educational system and in the needs of our students to meet the demands of our economy, that it was important for us to develop a message that concisely commu-nicates who we are and what we do,” said Ed Davis, executive director of DECA. DECA’s new brand is a result of a two-year process that involved members, busi-ness partners and branding professionals in identifying the organization’s value in relation to the global economy and current education needs. Only the fifth visual update in DECA’s history, the en-hanced logo embraces the organization’s affinity for the diamond while displaying a bold, modern design. While the logo is perhaps the most visual change, the goal is to leverage DECA’s new message to strengthen the career and technical student organization. That’s where the mission statement and guiding principles do the talking. The evolution of the DECA logo from 1950 to now. Communicating the Message “DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hos -pitality and management in high schools and colleges across the globe.” The new mission statement highlights DECA’s connection to four of the 16 career clusters—marketing, finance, hospitality and tourism, and business management and administration. As career clusters have become an inte-gral part of many career and technical education (CTE) programs, as state and local education agencies reformed their programs and curriculum, and as DECA members have more career interests—the enhanced message now provides DECA advisers with opportunities to realign their programs, develop programs of study using DECA activities, and remain relevant to members’ needs. During the past three years, DECA has concurrently aligned its competitive www.acteonline.org events program to the career clusters model, and integrated the National Curriculum Standards for marketing, finance, hospitality and tourism, and business management and administra-tion into its classroom learning activities. These activities—college and business partnerships, competitive events, confer-ences, educational partners, educational publications, school-based enterprises and online challenges—together com-prise DECA’s newly coined Comprehen-sive Learning Program, and showcase DECA’s connection to classroom instruction. DECA’s guiding principles explain how DECA fulfills its mission in two distinct statements—the first addresses the process and the second addresses the result. DECA’s Comprehensive Learn-ing Program integrates into classroom instruction, applies learning, connects to business and promotes competition. As a result, DECA prepares the next genera-tion to be academically prepared, com-munity oriented, professionally respon-sible, and experienced leaders. “Since DECA’s beginning, one critical component is that it’s an integral part of classroom instruction,” Davis said. “It’s not something extra that our advisers and students do outside of class. Our new message and the enhanced development of our programs reinforce this concept and continue to communicate the value of DECA to administrators, counselors and other key decision makers.” Today, DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges across the globe. To help demonstrate the impact of participation, DECA partnered with the National Research Center for College University Admissions (NRCCUA) to mine data and build profiles of members that have been used in developing tar-geted messages for specific audiences. For example, DECA has generated profiles of members who work at its National Ad-visory Board companies to show career interests, grade point average and college plans compared to state and national av-erages. Likewise, that data can be used in a more global sense to show how DECA members are more career-focused, higher achieving and are more likely to attend college. To show evidence of learning, DECA recently introduced a new transcript program that provides meaningful data comparisons of student achievement on career cluster exams; the transcripts as-sess knowledge and skill statements from the National Curriculum Standards and April 2011 Techniques 33

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