With nearly a 70-year history, DECA has impacted the lives of more than ten million students, educators, school administrators and business professionals since it was founded in 1946. Their strong connection with our organization has resonated into a brand that people identify as a remarkable experience in the preparation of emerging leaders and entrepreneurs. DECA’s programs and activities have constantly evolved as we use the latest technology and apply cutting edge educational research. Our core focus has remained consistent and is captured in our mission.  In 1947, when DECA began, DECA was an acronym that stood for Distributive Education Clubs of America.  While no longer, an acronym, DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in Marketing, Management, Hospitality and Finance.

DECA is an international organization made up of individual Chartered Associations.  While advised by adult advisors, on both the individual school as well as the state level, it is a high school business organization composed of thousands of young people. Here in New Jersey, as the 8th largest association in DECA, we have over 120 registered chapters that make up nearly 9,000 members. Led by their advisor/teacher, there is a hierarchy of leadership within each school/chapter, and each year at a state-wide conference the student members of NJ DECA elect a group of state officers that act as the student leadership for all of the chapters within the state.

Student members of DECA compete at different competitions throughout the school year on the local, state and even national levels. However, DECA is more than just competitions.  DECA is a multi-faceted organization that focuses on integrating into classroom instruction, applying learning, connecting to business and promoting competition..

One of the programs that the NJ DECA membership takes on each year is a community service/ fundraising project.  For the 2016-2017 academic year, the Community Service Project is New Eyes for the Needy.  With a stated goal of $35,000, the NJ DECA State Officer team will provide leadership to the individual NJ DECA chapters and members in conducting and participating in local fundraising events culminating with a presentation to New Eyes for the Needy in June.


be_a_heroIf you are, there are a few things you should know about the program here in New Jersey.  Chartered as a State Association by DECA, Inc., New Jersey DECA is the only body authorized to establish local chapters within individual NJ schools. New Jersey DECA is a sanctioned Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO), and is funded by a grant from the State of New Jersey, which is administered by Kean University.   Per the NJ Department of Education, NJ DECA is a co-curricular activity with the DECA activities integrated into a student’s marketing, business, hospitality, management, entrepreneurship or business finance class. As such, classroom activities are designed to help develop leadership and social skills in preparation for not only the DECA competitive event programs, but for life after high school.

Each NJ DECA member (student and advisor) is required to pay yearly dues of $14.  $8 of that are National DECA dues, with the remaining $6 going towards NJ DECA dues.


DECA is fun.  It’s competitive.  It’s rewarding.  It’s an organization that promotes networking and social interaction, and it’s an insight into the world of business.  Whether you are a student, teacher or school administrator, there is something positive that you can derive from being part of DECA.   


Simply, DECA brings your classroom to life and gives you the tools to promote your program, enrich your classroom using instructional tools, extend learning beyond the classroom and enhance your teaching skills.

  • DECA can help attract your ideal students.clusters
  • DECA brings visibility for your program.
  • DECA connects you with a network of 5,000 teachers with similar interests and course assignments.
  • DECA’s business partners provide local, state and international assistance.
  • Learn how you can Be a Hero by becoming an Advisor.

DECA’s Comprehensive Learning Program is also designed to help you:

  • Align you curriculum with national curriculum standards.
  • Integrate activities that teach or reinforce specific career and academic standards.
  • Engage your students in a small learning community and provide opportunities for leadership.
  • Facilitate career preparation and goal setting among your students.
  • Involve business leaders in various advisory roles and integrate the use of business leaders into classroom activities.
  • Develop business-based opportunities for students such as internships, field trips and projects.
  • Provide support for students to practice their management and leadership skills by incorporating project management into the curriculum.
  • Communicate curriculum standards and the value of involvement in DECA to counselors and administrators to build support for your classes and program.


During the past 65 years, DECA has positively impacted countless students along the way of their educational process to make them college and career ready.edu_problem_based_learning-e1411765335235

  • DECA annually provides over $300,000 in scholarships and awards to DECA members.
  • DECA’s Competitive Events Program provides opportunities for achievement and recognition.
  • DECA makes learning engaging and enjoyable because it brings learning to life.View our  promotional video  to see DECA members in action and hear from them how DECA changes lives and makes classroom learning so much more enjoyable.



DECA strives to be on the cutting edge of educational reform by integrating innovative and current best practices into its Comprehensive Learning Program.

  • DECA’s Competitive Events Program is aligned with national curriculum standards in the career clusters of marketing, finance, hospitality, and business management.
  • DECA helps the school by helping its students focus on college and careers.
  • DECA chapter activities, such as community service and competitive events, bring positive visibility to the school within the community.View our high school programs page to see how
    DECA connects to your curriculum and supports academic achievement.
  • For more information, please see our information on supporting educational initiatives.

Competitive Events

edu_common_core1There is a competition component to DECA.  Not totally unlike certain athletic competitions, the student members of DECA compete at different business related academic competitions throughout the school year on the regional, state and even national levels. Compete, and do well at a regional competition and you qualify for the state competition.  Compete, and do well at the State competition and you get to compete at the International Career Development Conference, which this year will be held in Nashville, TN.

For additional insight into the DECA Competitive Events Program go to our competitive events page.


  • After you have read through this information, you may have additional questions.  If so, please contact the NJ DECA State Advisor, Jeff Victor, via email at jvictor@njdeca.org , or call him on the telephone at (908) 737-4146.
  • Sarah Williams is the assistant director in DECA, Inc.’s high school division. Her primary responsibilities include working with new chapters and new advisors. However, please remember that the decision to establish chapters lies with the State Advisor.  E-mail her at sarah_williams@deca.org or call her at (703) 860-5000.
  • All NJ DECA information can be found on our website at njdeca.org.   Additional information is available on the National DECA website, DECA.org
  • New Jersey DECA follows the policies and guidelines set forth by the NJ Department of Education.  As a result, while reading through the material available from both national DECA and NJ DECA, you might find some differences.  In those cases, NJ DECA policies prevail.

Items to Consider When Starting a New DECA Chapter:

Are you interested in beginning a New Jersey DECA chapter at your high school?  Give us a call at the NJ DECA State Office, but before you do please look over the following list of requirements.

  • Per NJ Department of Education rules, students who wish to participate in DECA must be currently or previously have been enrolled in a Marketing, Sales, Service, Hospitality, Business Finance, Management or Entrepreneurship course.  The corresponding course rule applies to all sanctioned Career and Technical Student Organizations in New Jersey (FBLA, FFA, SkillsUSA, HOSA, TSA, FCCLA).
  • DECA is a co-curricular activity.  DECA activities are to be incorporated into the course of study.  DECA clubs cannot be approved as Chapters.
  • All NJ DECA chapters must have an adult Chapter Advisor who would organize and run the DECA Chapter.
  • All NJ DECA high school chapters must have the approval of the school administration to run the program.  The NJ DECA program would include:
    • Competitions and Conferences – there are associated costs and travel time requirements for students
    • At least 10 students must participate as registered members of DECA
    • The Chapter Advisor must be available to travel with his/her students to participate in conferences/competitions
    • The Chapter Advisor needs to commit to attending occasional off-site meetings, such as the monthly meetings of the regional Marketing Teacher Association, which might take place during the school day.
  • Requirements for students to become members – to become a registered member of NJ DECA, a student must be currently or previously have been enrolled in a Marketing, Sales, Service, Hospitality, Business Finance, Management or Entrepreneurship course and pay annual dues to both NJ DECA and DECA, Inc.  For 2017-2018, dues are $15 — $8 to DECA, Inc. and $7 to NJ DECA.

If you'd like an application to start a chapter, please download the Program Validation Form and submit to jvictor@njdeca.org.  You also may fill out a new chapter application with National DECA here.