Oklahoma DECA members kicked off the spring season of CareerTech student organization state meetings this month with their 2017 State Career Development Conference.

The DECA students competed in individual and team events and heard from keynote speaker Chip Lutz, a retired U.S. Navy officer. DECA is affiliated with marketing education.

The other six Oklahoma CareerTech student organizations will soon follow with their own spring meetings. The organizations, which are affiliated with CareerTech education programs, help develop leaders for Oklahoma, said CareerTech State Director Marcie Mack.

“CareerTech student organizations are intercurricular to CareerTech programs,” she said. “CTSO engagement affords students the workplace opportunities in leadership, scholarships, public speaking, networking and community involvement. The skills students gain through CTSO experience are critical to their educational and career success.”

Oklahoma Business Professionals of America members will meet March 6-8 for the State Leadership Conference, where they will hear from Susan Bennett, the voice of Siri; attend leadership workshops; and compete in various events. BPA is affiliated with business, marketing and information technology education.

HOSA, Technology Student Association, SkillsUSA and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America will all meet in April.

The Oklahoma HOSA State Leadership Conference will be April 3-5 in Norman. Approximately 2,600 students will participate in competitive events, network with other students and health care professionals, attend leadership workshops and participate in community service. HOSA is affiliated with health careers education.

The State TSA Conference will be April 5-7 in Norman. Students will meet professionals, vote on their next state leadership team, raise money for the American Cancer Society and compete in events such as prepared presentation, structural engineering, debating tech issues and robotics.

“Students have the opportunity to meet others from around the state and compete in events to earn a spot at the national conference that will be held in Orlando, Florida, in June,” said Dawn Frank, TSA state adviser and CareerTech STEM program specialist. TSA is affiliated with science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.

Approximately 6,000 students are expected to attend the FCCLA State Convention April 7 in Oklahoma City. They will attend workshops, elect new state officers and learn who will represent Oklahoma at the national competition this summer.

“The theme for the convention is ‘Boundless.’ We want students to realize that their opportunities through FCCLA are unlimited,” said Denise Morris, state adviser. FCCLA is affiliated with family and consumer sciences education.

The SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference April 23-25 in Tulsa is expected to draw approximately 2,000 students. They will compete in leadership and skills contests, elect state officers, participate in community service projects and attend leadership development sessions.

“This is the final SkillsUSA event — celebration — in our state for this school year,” said Darren Gibson, state director and CareerTech technical program specialist. “Students have competed at local and regional contests to earn their place of competing at this state conference. The gold medal winners will advance to the National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, in June.”

SkillsUSA is affiliated with trade and industrial education.

Oklahoma FFA will finish out the 2017 CTSO state meetings when approximately 10,000 students gather May 2-3 in Oklahoma City. The students will elect officers, attend leadership and career success workshops, receive state awards and degrees and receive college and career materials from business and industry partners and colleges and universities.

“It is the big year end event that provides an opportunity for students to receive recognition for their success in competitive events, for the most outstanding senior FFA members to receive their State FFA Degree and for eight new individuals to be elected by the membership as the 2017-18 state FFA officer team,” said Kent Boggs, state FFA executive secretary. “It also provides motivation to younger members to work hard for their opportunity to make it to the big stage at future state FFA conventions.”

FFA is affiliated with agricultural education.

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education provides leadership and resources and assures standards of excellence for a comprehensive statewide system of career and technology education. The system offers programs and services in 29 technology center districts operating on 58 campuses, 395 comprehensive school districts, 15 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities and 30 Adult Basic Education service providers.

The agency is governed by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and works closely with the State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education to provide a seamless educational system for all Oklahomans.

Laura Wilson, Writer/Editor
Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education
1500 W. Seventh Ave., Stillwater, OK 74074
405-743-5522 – laura.wilson@careertech.ok.gov