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Let Oklahoma CareerTech Spring Conferences Begin

Valentine's Day kicked off the first of seven Oklahoma CareerTech Student Organization spring conferences. On Feb. 14-15, the DECA State Career Development Conference was held in Tulsa. DECA is the co-curricular student organization for Marketing Education.

More than 35,000 students from the seven CTSOs, ranging from middle school through adult, will put competencies learned throughout the year to the test in Tulsa, Okmulgee, Stillwater and Oklahoma City. State winners then proceed to the national level.

Annually, each organization hosts a state spring leadership and skills conference for students to compete in events, elect state officers and gain leadership training and networking opportunities.

Each CTSO is integral to the Oklahoma CareerTech System, according to State CareerTech Director Phil Berkenbile.

“These activities are extremely beneficial to the students because they are part of the curriculum,” Berkenbile said. “Students receive career exploration, clinical, internships, on-the-job training and leadership opportunities, education and training for marketable job skills and college preparation.”

Business and industry leaders are also a vital part of state conferences. Professionals often serve as judges or sponsors for competitive events, as they preview their future workforce.

Nearly half of all Oklahoma high school students – 80,575 – and 36,000 in Grades 6-8 are enrolled in CareerTech courses. Some 72,000 middle school through senior high school students and adults are members of Oklahoma CareerTech’s seven student organizations. Each organization supports related programs found at 550 schools and 57 technology center campuses across the state.

“Students who are CareerTech graduates are better prepared for future employment,” Berkenbile said. “They earn industry-valued skills, credits for high school graduation and Oklahoma’s Promise, college credit and industry certifications and seem to transition more smoothly from school to career because of the experiences provided through CareerTech training.”

Oklahoma CareerTech Student Organization 2012 spring conference schedule includes:

  • Business Professionals of America State Leadership Conference will host students at Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology in Okmulgee on March 6-7. BPA is the organization affiliated with Business and Information Technology Education.
  • DECA hosted its 69th Annual DECA State Career Development Conference on Feb.14-15 at Tulsa Southern Hills Marriott. DECA is the co-curricular student organization affiliated with Marketing Education.
  • The 66th Annual Family, Career and Community Leaders of America State Convention will be held at the Oklahoma City Cox Convention Center on April 5. FCCLA is the CTSO affiliated with Family and Consumer Sciences Education.
  • FFA, the student organization affiliated with Agricultural Education, will host the 86th State FFA Convention on May 1-2 at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City.
  • The HOSA State Leadership Conference will be held on April 11-13 at the Meridian Convention Center in Oklahoma City. HOSA is the co-curricular student organization affiliated with Health Careers Education.
  • The SkillsUSA 47h Annual State Leadership and Skills Championship will be held at the Tulsa Convention Center on April 15-17. SkillsUSA is the co-curricular CTSO affiliated with Trade and Industrial Education.
  • The Technology Student Association State Conference will be held at the Oklahoma State University Wes Watkins Center and Payne County Expo Center, Stillwater on May 1-3. TSA is affiliated with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

For more information about the Oklahoma CareerTech system visit

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