The School-Based Enterprise (SBE), or school store, at Austin High School (AHS) was among 166 school-based enterprises in the United States to achieve Gold Level Certification this year and will be recognized at DECA’s International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, California. Student Rahma Khalid, with the assistance of her advisor Meredith Watassek, worked on the certification. The AHS school store has operated for just over a year and is to be commended for this achievement.
DECA’s SBE Certification Program was developed to provide recognition for outstanding achievement by school-based enterprises and to motivate SBEs to strive for excellence and growth.
School stores can be certified at three levels: bronze, silver or gold. In order to apply for the certification, SBEs must submit extensive documentation that demonstrates their adherence to various marketing and retail standards. After the documentation is submitted, a review committee evaluates the documentation to determine which level of certification has been achieved.
School-based enterprises are effective educational tools in helping to prepare students for the transition from school to work or college. For many students, they provide the first work experience; for others, they provide an opportunity to build management, supervision and leadership skills. While some in the education community have only recently discovered the value of school-based enterprises, marketing educators and DECA advisors have used them as a powerful learning lab for more than four decades.