By Web Editor Carolyn Ge & Staff Writer Richard Chenyu Zhou
For the 2016-17 school year, MSJ implemented a Marketing course for students who are interested in participating in DECA. The class was created in response to the CA requirement for Career Technical Student Organizations such as DECA to have an accompanying Career Technical Education (CTE) course. The 120 students who take the class, taught by Social Studies Teacher Belinda Eugster, are split across sixth and seventh periods.
The CA Board of Education required Career Technical Student Organizations to have accompanying CTE courses in February 2015, which MSJ did not offer alongside its programs. Through letters sent by parents and students to FUSD emphasizing the value that the DECA program offered to students, the district decided to implement a Marketing class to ensure that DECA complied with the new standards.
In each week of the Marketing class, there are three workshop days and two lecture days. Each workshop day covers a different aspect of DECA: the role-play, the written exam, and the case study. On lecture days, students cover business and marketing curriculum and listen to guest speakers, such as local entrepreneurs, who share their experiences in the business world. Eugster is developing a hands-on curriculum with the DECA officers geared towards producing results in competitions. Once the district-approved textbook arrives, Eugster also plans to include it in her teaching plan.
DECA also implemented a secondary membership program for students who want to be part of the organization but cannot enroll in the class. Secondary members prepare for competitive events just as Marketing students do, but secondary members compete at mock conferences instead of real ones. This benefits them if they decide to sign up for the class next year because they will already have experience with DECA conferences.
One major difference between this year and last year is that fewer students will participate in DECA. This year approximately 120 students are enrolled in the course, a significant decrease compared to the 400 students in the program last year. Students will only need to take the course once to be able to participate in DECA for all following years of high school, so class sizes are expected to drop significantly in the future.
An advantage of this change is that students will have more time to collaborate and work on their projects than before. DECA Adviser Tyler Robinson said, “Students can focus on DECA on a daily basis and get a significant amount of practice throughout that. That’s huge for them. Instead of once a week, they now get five times a week.” The DECA marketing class requirement allows dedicated students to commit more to the program and lessens the pressure to spend extra time on DECA as an extracurricular.
Regarding the future of the program, DECA Co-President Senior Alisha Agarwal said, “We’ve already seen a great deal of interest from students wanting to take the marketing class in future years, so we’re confident that DECA is only going to continue to grow.”
Photo by Staff Writer Richard Chenyu Zhou