Engaging Industry Through a Student-Lead Speakers Series

Posted on Categories Business, Community, Workforce Engagement, Career Information and Exploration, College and Career Pathways, Student Engagement

At a Glance

Students in the DECA chapter at State College Area High School planned and implemented a speaker series featuring business professionals from the community.


At State College Area High School, students in the DECA chapter organized a speaker series that is designed to provide students an opportunity to hear local business professionals discuss their work. Speakers cover a wide range of issues, including the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in their fields and how they have achieved their career goals. 

During the 2015-16 school year, the speakers represented a variety of professions and included a think tank entrepreneur, a franchise owner, a former collegiate and NHL coach and marketing specialist, and a local chef.

Once a month during the lunch block, a speaker addresses students who signed up for that particular session. The event is held in the school’s small café, which allows for the speaker and the students to engage in discussions. Students either bring their own lunch or pay for a catered lunch. The speaker is provided the catered lunch.

Origin / Implementation

First offered during the 2015-16 school year, the speaker series is designed to offer students the opportunity to learn from and interact with local business professionals. The DECA student president wrote a proposal to the school administration and received approval to implement the series. It is planned, organized and executed by students in DECA. The students are responsible for lining up the speakers.

The sessions are promoted on the announcements and through posters. Those teachers of the discipline that the speaker represents are personally contacted by the DECA students so that they can share the information with their students. Students sign up to attend through the school’s Moodle system.

Results / Impact

During the 2015-16 school year, about 25 to 30 students attended each session, which is the capacity for the café in which they took place. Plans are in place for the speaker series to continue in future years.


State College Area High School

Sharon Perry, Director of CTE
Email: sap19@scasd.org