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Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness of DECA Programs in Preparing Students to be College and Career Ready

Paula Minchello, Johnson & Wales University

Abstract

Career and Technical Education (CTE) offers students classroom instruction, hands-on learning, and work-related activities (Treschan & Mehrotra, 2014). Many CTE program areas have a Career Technical Student Organization (CTSO) founded on industry/education standards or specific course curricular. This study focused on one CTSO, the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA). CTSOs help students explore career paths and prepare youth to assume leadership roles (Reese, 2003). However, there is little research on the perceptions of teachers as to the effectiveness of CTSOs.^ This study examined the perceptions of DECA Advisors and CTE educators as to the effectiveness of DECA programs in preparing students to be college and career ready and was guided by the following questions: How do DECA Advisors perceive the effectiveness of DECA programs in preparing students to be college and career ready? What components of DECA programs (related classes, community service, fundraising, competition, conferences, school store, and out of school events) do DECA Advisors perceive to have the greatest impact on student outcomes? Are there differences in the perceptions of DECA Advisors and CTE educators with respect to: gender, ethnic background, type of district, and type of school on DECA programs?^ This mixed methods sequential explanatory study was conducted in a state located in New England with DECA Advisors (n=41) and CTE educators (n=14). The quantitative research instrument used was a survey. Both DECA Advisors and CTE educators (N=55) completed the survey. A one-way ANOVA revealed differences (p<.004) between years of teaching experience and DECA Advisors perceptions of DECA programming. Two major differences revealed were; DECA increasing student self-confidence (p<.001) and DECA providing a foundation for business education (p<.001).^ A focus group was conducted with selected DECA Advisors (n=4). Thematic analysis revealed four themes and three notable findings concerning faculty perceptions as to the effectiveness of DECA. The four predominant themes revealed were: collaboration, leadership skills, self-confidence/self-efficacy, and life skills.^ Educational leaders and CTE teachers can use the findings from this study in decision making relative to the integration of CTSOs into their districts or schools.^

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Secondary education

Recommended Citation

Minchello, Paula, "Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness of DECA Programs in Preparing Students to be College and Career Ready" (2017). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI10276526.
http://scholarsarchive.jwu.edu/dissertations/AAI10276526