Sponsorship of South Salem DECA business club kicks off Diploma to Degree program 

Students of the largest DECA program in the state were welcomed into Oregon Institute of Technology’s, “Oregon Tech’s,” Diploma to Degree program Thursday, which will provide a gateway to college for Oregon high school students interested in business. South Salem High School DECA students are the latest to join the partnership, which kicked off in December in Klamath Falls.

The partnership is the first of this kind in Oregon, also referred to as “Jump into Business,” which will provide increased access for high school students to business degree programs at Oregon Tech. The South Salem DECA program is the largest high school business program in the state, with a record 210 students participating. Presented at the event was a check for $2000 to support the DECA program.

“I am impressed with the Oregon Tech programs and excited for our students to have an opportunity to earn college credit,” said South Salem High School teacher and DECA adviser, John Dixon. “The staff at Oregon Tech have been amazing in helping set this up.”

Dixon started the South Salem DECA program in 2005, with six students advancing to State that year. The program has steadily grown under his tutelage, now taking 170 students to State and last year qualifying 64 students for Nationals in Orlando, Florida. In Orlando, 16 students made Finals and took home two National trophies. The program has also developed vital business partnerships with local industry ranging from banks to grocery stores.

Students at participating high schools who are active participants in business clubs and take dual credit courses can apply for this accelerated pathway to a college degree. High school graduates in the program who enroll in an Oregon Tech bachelor’s degree program in Business will receive tuition discounts on their first and last terms at Oregon Tech. The program guides students into early credit opportunities while in high school, resulting in considerable savings of time and money, with seamless transfer and zero loss of credit for those who pursue a business degree at Oregon Tech. Dual credit courses taken as part of the program will also transfer to other Oregon colleges and universities.

Professor Sandra Bailey, faculty lead from Oregon Tech’s Business Management Department, looks forward to using the program to build upon high school experiences known to increase persistence in college. “The experience students gain through FBLA and DECA competitions at the regional, state and national levels is invaluable,” stated Professor Bailey. “Oregon Tech is happy to support student participation in co-curricular activities developing professionalism and acquiring leadership and business skills.”

Specifically, the goals of this partnership are to:

  • Reduce barriers for students as they work toward and achieve their educational goals
  • Create new opportunities for students to access accelerated learning through dual credit courses at their high schools and on the Oregon Tech campus
  • Provide seamless coursework from high school to a bachelor’s in the field of Business at Oregon Tech
  • Improve student success, retention, time to degree and degree attainment

The Business & Technology programs at Oregon Tech provide students with technology-infused business skills, giving graduates the edge in today‘s data-driven global marketplace. Programs include Accounting, Business Management, Cybersecurity, Health Informatics, Healthcare Management, Information Technology, Operations Management, Marketing, and Technology & Management.

Students apply to the Diploma to Degree Program through their local high school counselor or business teacher and must maintain a high school GPA of 3.0. Students must also participate in FBLA or DECA at their respective high schools. The program tuition discount is stackable with additional scholarships and awards for which students qualify. More information about the program is available at www.oit.edu/jumpintobusiness.