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Our Mission

DECA’s mission is to prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.

DECA’s core values and attributes are competence, innovation, integrity and teamwork. These values are central to DECA’s mission and purpose in classrooms around the world.

Our Story

DECA was founded as Distributive Education Clubs of America.” Distributive Education was the traditional name for marketing and entrepreneurship education when DECA was first founded. In the modern era “distributive education” is no longer used and we’ve grown to be an international organization with thousands of members beyond the U.S. with a common mission statement: DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.

We have eight guiding principles that will give you more insight into our commitments to the students, schools, and communities we aim to serve. Each of our eight principles is represented in our organization's emblem—the DECA Diamond. The inner four points of the DECA Diamond represent the purpose of our compressive educational programs. Simply put, these four points help to answer the question, “What does DECA do?”






The outer four points of the DECA Diamond are also symbolic to the efforts of Illinois DECA. These four points help to answer the question, “What does DECA aim to achieve?” For our students, and all of our stakeholders, DECA strives to ensure they are:

Using these eight principles, DECA continues to excel as a co-curricular organization that connects the learning students are doing in the classroom with real world experience and industry connections. We believe this differentiates us from many clubs and extracurricular activities that students participate in because our organization is designed to be an integral part of the classroom instruction.

Illinois DECA, a Chartered Association of DECA Inc. since 1947, has 70 plus chapters and over 4,400 members.  DECA, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit student organization with more than 250,000 members in all 50 United States, the District of Columbia, Canada, China, Germany, Guam, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Spain. The United States Congress, the United States Department of Education and state, district and international departments of education authorize DECA’s programs.



  • Integrates into the classroom learning

  • Applies learning

  • Connects to business

  • Promotes competition

  • Academically prepared

  • Community oriented

  • Professionally responsible

  • Experienced leaders

Competitive Events 2
Competitive Events

As an integral part of the classroom curriculum, DECA’s industry-validated competitive events are aligned with the National Curriculum Standards in the career clusters of marketing, business management and administration, finance, and hospitality and tourism. DECA’s flagship evaluation process involves students in both a written component such as an exam or report and an interactive component with an industry professional serving as a judge. DECA’s competitive events directly contribute to every student being college and career ready when they graduate from high school.

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