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CTSO? FLC? SCDC? Your guide on DECA jargon.

I get it. DECA jargon can be very daunting the first time you hear it. Do you ask what it means, straight away? Do you slyly google it when nobody is looking? Well, never fear, reader, because I have the complete guide to vocabulary and terms commonly thrown around in DECA speeches, travel information, and applications. Let’s tackle this together.


CTSO – Career and Technical Student Organization. DECA is one of eight CTSOs recognized by Congress and the United States Department of Education. Other common CTSOs you might recognize are FFA, FCCLA, and FBLA.

CTE – Career and Technical Education. These are programs that deliver comprehensive programs of study to help students succeed in education and careers. DECA is an example of this.

Advance CTE - Advance CTE is the longest-standing national non-profit that represents State CTE Directors and state leaders of career and technical education.

Career Clusters – An initiative by Advance CTE, career clusters provide a way for schools to organize instruction and student experiences around 16 broad categories that encompass all occupations. The four career clusters relating to DECA are marketing, business management and administration, finance and hospitality and tourism.

Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act – this act was authorized by the U.S. government in 1984, aiming to increase the quality of technical education. This is a main source of federal funding for CTSOs. The Perkins V act increased this funding exponentially in the 21st century.

SBE – School-Based Enterprise. A school base enterprise is a simulated or actual business/industry conducted by a school. It replicates a specific business or industry and is a learning experience that provides direct links between students, their curriculum, and the world of work. An example of this would be a school-run gift shop or cookie shop. SBEs can qualify for many awards and scholarships.



SCDC – State Career Development Conference. This is the conference that is held in Baton Rouge, LA, where you compete statewide against your other DECA members.

ICDC - International Career Development Conference. This is the real deal – the conference where you compete against everybody from all over the globe, in attempts to win the highest accolade – the DECA glass.

ELS – Emerging Leader Summit. All state officers go to this. Taking place over the summer, it is like a training for their upcoming term.

FLC – Fall Leadership Conference. This annual conference is a place to network and home in on your 21st century skills – whether that be teamwork, competition, or career choices.

Voting Delegate - these are the DECA members at conferences that are eligible to vote on the pool of state officers that are campaigning for the next year's term.



Performance Indicators – Performance indicators are place markers used to evaluate students in their roll-play competitions. It is kind of like hitting all the points of the rubric in your AP Lang essay to make an A+.

Principles events – these competitions are exclusively for your first year DECA members who want to get their feet wet before diving into a more specialized area.


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