New FBLA CTE Requirements

Varun Shenoy

On April 3rd, all Cupertino FBLA members were sent an email titled “FBLA Membership CTE Requirement Next Year” that read: “Starting next year, CA FBLA will require all FBLA members to take a CTE course in order to be nationally recognized and be able to participate in Bay Section, state, and national competitions and individual projects.”

In 2015, the California Department of Education (CDE) mandated members of Career Technical Student Organizations (CTSO), such as FBLA or DECA, to enroll in a Career Technical Education (CTE) course offered at their school. CHS currently offers qualified CTE classes in business, engineering, woodworking, journalism and culinary arts. Interestingly, computer science classes do not meet current state requirements for CTE. In 2017, these new guidelines, combined with an uncertified CTE-approved advisor, forced Cupertino’s DECA club to shut down after several members could no longer participate.

FBLA has managed to sidestep these regulations due to lax regulations at the local Bay Section. However, section-level leadership is enforcing these rules in the upcoming 2019-2020 school year. While Cupertino’s FBLA chapter has succeeded numerous times in the past, placing in sweepstakes and multiple competitive events annually, this is all susceptible to change over the next year. A primary reason for FBLA’s large membership is due to its unique competitions at the intersection of business, law, technology, and design. These new requirements will undeniably lead to drop in chapter members. A similar fate to the one that DECA faced may be in store for FBLA.

Regardless, Cupertino FBLA promises to not limit the FBLA experience of members who cannot engage in nationally recognized events. The final line of the email states, “Even if you are not a nationally recognized FBLA member, you will still be able to participate in business tours, guest speakers, socials, and other programs run by Cupertino FBLA.”

Unless students begin enrolling in CTE courses en masse to continue participation in FBLA competitions, the future of Cupertino FBLA remains uncertain.