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          You Asked We Answered

          <Skip Navigation LinksHome > Membership > BPA Shares > You Asked We Answered

          How does BPA plan to foster communication between local officers and state officers from different states? Many states have a wealth of knowledge and leadership that many other states don't and it would be extremely useful for lower level officers to be able to communicate across the organization and not just within their local or state organizations.

          o   This is exactly what BPA Shares is intended to do. Your National Officer Team put together this survey to gain knowledge about what states all over BPA Nation are doing. The data from the survey is from members sharing their experiences from their state organization. By making it available on bpa.org, this is our way to share what the different states are doing. 

          Is the BPA hard to work with?

          o   Absolutely not! Everything that you need to know in order to be a successful member of BPA can be found at our website www.bpa.org. If searching through the website doesn’t work, contact your local, regional, state, or national officers. They have a wealth of knowledge and love to hear from members and offer them help.

          Please promote BPA Cares better. Are there plans to redesign the national site? Information is scattered and it is hard to find everything.

          o   This year, BPA Cares has undergone major changes. Our submission system has been revamped into a Google Form submission for every submittable award. In addition, we have also changed some of the requirements and criteria for a couple awards. Descriptions of requirements and eligibility for the award are not only written in the BPA Cares Handbook, but they are also online. I highly recommend you take a look at our new and improved BPA Cares page here: http://www.bpa.org/service/bpacares. We hope this makes it both easier and more accessible to our members!

          How will BPA benefit me in college?

          o   I think that we can most accurately receive this answer from looking to the BPA pledge. We are a Career and Technical Student Organization that seeks to equip our membership with skills in leadership, professionalism, communication, and many more fields! College is definitely an opportunity that will force you to rely on all of these skills, and BPA allows for our membership to develop and refine these skills early.

          How many chapters of BPA are there in the country? What are some of BPA's greatest success stories? What are the prizes for placing at Nationals?

          o   Chapters: 1,736

          o   I think some of BPA's greatest successes involve students who have learned so much from being in the organization (skills like public speaking, professionalism, conflict resolution, etc.) and make a great impact in their professional careers in the future. BPA Members have gone on to be successful in all different fields

          o   The prizes for placing at Nationals includes plaques and medals. For the Secondary Division, a maximum of ten (10) winners for non-judged events shall be recognized on stage at the awards session at the National Leadership Conference. For judged events all finalists shall be recognized on stage at the awards session at the National Leadership Conference. For general/open events, the top ten (10) scores, plus ties, will be recognized on stage at the awards session. For the Middle Level Division a maximum often (10) winners shall be recognized at the National Leadership Conference in each contest. For the Post-secondary Division, a maximum often (10) winners shall be recognized at the National Leadership Conference in each contest."

          What is BPA cares award?

          o   BPA Cares is a program coordinated by National BPA that rewards our local chapters and members who participate in community service through BPA. Chapters who excel in one or more of the BPA Cares awards will be recognized onstage at the National Leadership Conference. More information about BPA Cares can be found in the BPA Cares Handbook at www.bpa.org.

          How can we help expand and promote BPA on the middle level? How can we smoothly transition from middle to secondary?

          o   I believe that the best way to expand and promote the middle level is to ensure that they are welcome at the National Leadership Conference. The National Officer team is committed to this task by providing the National Officer for a Day program at NLC. This program allows Middle level members to get a firsthand glance at what the National Officer team does at NLC.

          o   In order to transition smoothly to the Secondary division, I would encourage Middle level members to ask questions of their new advisors. An important note is that all Middle level members transition to Secondary should have a head start in BPA because of their previous involvement.

          Can we have study guides for BPA competitions that explained the answers?

          o   Currently, there are no study guides available.  These would need to be developed by a special committee created by the Board of Trustees. My suggestion would be that a recommendation be submitted via the Recommendation system so that it can be considered by CEAC and the Board.  While there are no Study Guides, regional tests can be shared by a State via their policy after state conferences.

          What does being a certified member actually do for you? Are there scholarships that you can get through BPA? Can you go to college and be a National officer?

          o   By completing the Student Member Certification Series, you gain knowledge about vital areas within BPA. For example, our sessions give you tips on recruiting, competing, fundraising, etc. By completing all the corresponding assignments, you earn your student certification. This allows you to take the knowledge you gained from the series and implement it for personal and chapter success. We want to reward the individuals who learn about all the different programs we offer in the series, which is why we offer the certification as an incentive.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

          o   Yes, there are scholarships specifically for BPA members. If you click on the link below, it will take you to our scholarship page. Completing one general application automatically makes you a contestant for three separate scholarships. Those scholarships are the “Sherrell Wheeler Scholarship,” “Tomorrow’s Business Professional’s Scholarship,” and the “National Technical Honor Society Scholarships.” This general application is updated around mid-January. There is also a separate scholarship for members who have competed in Adobe sponsored events. You can read more about it if you click the link. http://www.bpa.org/service/scholarships                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

          o   Yes, you can go to college and be a National Officer. If you are elected a national officer during your senior year of high school, you will still serve in the secondary division when you start college the following year. The important thing to keep in mind is that you must be enrolled in college to serve your term. BPA also has a post-secondary division, so if you are already in college, there is a different division for you to run for office in. Again, you must be enrolled in college to serve your term. Both the secondary and post-secondary division teams work together to serve BPA.

          What is a good tool to get people to become involved?

          o   The best tool to get people involved is word of mouth. Students respect their friends or peers input. If you want to get people involved talk to students and show them how happy BPA has made you and the fun things you get to be involved with. Make a 30 second short speech about the best things in BPA to get them intrigued about BPA.

          How do people get so many points to qualify for the top Ambassador award? My adviser tells me that some people won't turn in their points for multiple awards like I have but keep them and accumulate them over time. I have earned 3 Ambassador awards on one year I worked hard to earn over 1300 points, but that was not enough to win the top award.

          o   The top Ambassador Award recipient typically averages well over 1400 points. They accomplish this by completing several activities to be able to do so. Some of these members do save their awards and will not apply for each level, until they believe they could earn the top Ambassador Award. This is a choice that they make.

          Is there any chance, BPA can somehow incorporate language into the organization? The language barriers are real life problems for all types of jobs.

          o   Our promotional products can be translated into any language necessary on the local level. Nationally, the materials are written in English.

          What should we be doing at weekly meetings?

          o   You should be planning the community events you will participate in. You should be submitting your torch points. This will allow you to keep on top of them so you can earn your Statesman and Ambassador Awards. I would suggest picking out what competitions you will be participating in and practicing or rehearsing for them.

          How are the national leadership conference locations determined; when will another conference be held in the Midwest?

          o   There is a 4 year rotation schedule listed in our Policy & Procedures Manual and managed by the Board of Trustees. Every four years we are in Orlando or Anaheim. The other two years are "wild cards" and rotate throughout the country. The next Midwest location will be reviewed for 2022.

          Is there still a way to participate in BPA somehow after high school, such as in College?

          o   Yes, BPA has a post-secondary division. Some colleges have post-secondary chapters, so you would just have to talk with a counselor or someone else who is familiar with what organizations your college offers. If your college doesn’t have a chapter, you can always join the virtual chapter. Being a virtual member still allows you to participate in BPA, but you won’t have physical meetings with your chapter. Some associations have state virtual chapters and for those that don’t, you can join the national virtual chapter. This allows you to continue your membership, compete, and run for national office if you so wish. The list of virtual chapters and who to contact can be found at the following link. http://www.bpa.org/membership/virtualchapter

          What are some innovative ideas for community service in small towns? We have so many other groups that it is hard to come up with fundraising and community service projects.

          o   Community service could include participating in food or clothing drives, partnering up with a local service organization for an event, or raising money for charity with a bake sale. Another great way to get involved with your community is by contacting your local Special Olympics organization. The Special Olympics is BPA's national philanthropy and they usually have events that need BPA members to be volunteers. Also, by volunteering with Special Olympics you qualify for the Special Olympics BPA Cares Award.

          I have one question, for a technical organization BPA seems to lack focus on the growing computerized world, why is that?

          o   Please be more specific. We have added the following "computerized" opportunities in the last 5 years alone: 1. Virtual online events, virtual national membership, expanded computerized only events at national including Open & Objective Exams, full online certification testing lab, SOURCE online community for communication

          Why is computer construction not an available as a competition?

          o   As far as I know, this event has never been submitted for consideration.  Any new competition must be submitted via the Recommendation System and then reviewed by CEAC, SAAC and the Board of Trustees for adoption as a pilot event. The regional test must be provided for consideration when the recommendation for a new event is submitted.

          What are some of its biggest challenges as a national organization in staying up-to-date with modern technology?

          o   Cost, trends

          What is BPA Like? It is a great experience to be a part of?

          o   Business Professionals of America is what you and those around you make of it. In BPA, "you only get out what you put in" is definitely applicable, but I believe that the return for your hard work can be much greater. The dedication pays off itself because the skills that you improve during preparation are invaluable even when challenges arise outside of BPA or school. So even if you don't leave a Leadership Conference with a physical medal or plaque in hand, you are benefitting from competing. Additionally, BPA gives you the chance to make friends with so many people from your region, state, and nation!

          What is BPA?

          o   BPA is a Career and Technical Student Organization for students in middle school, high school, and college. The mission of Business Professionals of America is to contribute to the preparation of a world-class workforce through the advancement of leadership, citizenship, academic, and technological skills.

          What other activities are there available in BPA? What is the overall purpose of BPA?

          o   BPA Cares is another opportunity within BPA for yourself and your chapter. This program is divided into three categories: service learning awards, special recognition awards, and professional awards. We also have the Leadership Academy, Intern Opportunities at Nationals, Student Certification series, Microsoft Office Certification through Certiport, Fair Trade Challenge, and many others. I would suggest visiting bpa.org for more information on the many opportunities within BPA.

          o   Business Professionals of America is committed to being the premier intracurricular career and technical student organization. Members will demonstrate success by becoming highly skilled and competent professionals contributing to the evolving global market.

          How to get involved in competitions?

          o   As far as competitions, go I would speak with your advisor first. They are a great resource. I would suggest reading the Workplace Skills Assessment Program regarding specific competitions. Your approach to selecting a competition can vary. I use the approach of trying to find something that is outside the box. Something I may not be completely comfortable doing. You may want to select an event that you enjoy. There are five categories so I am sure you will find one that fits.

          How much are BPA dues and where do they go?

          o   Secondary and post-secondary national dues are $12; middle-level dues are $8. States dues vary and you may have local chapter dues. Membership dues provide a vital portion of the money used to host conferences, events, and people to keep our organization moving forward. Paying for the special event at NLC, open events and other competitive event room rental, and promotional material that is distributed nationally are just a few of the many ways dues are spent.

          What are other chapters doing?

          o   We wanted to know the answer to this question as well. That’s why we developed BPA Shares to allow different chapters and states to share what they are doing. You can check out the feedback from members to get your answers.

          What type of events are going to be at the conferences?

          o   There is going to be a plethora of events at all the conferences this year. In order to see a list of the events at your state conference you will need to look into your state's website or information packet. At the national conference this year there has not been a set list of events announced yet. However, there will be the opening session and Grand Awards session per the usual, and expect some fun and exciting events this year in celebration of our 50th anniversary.

          What are Torch Awards?

          o   The Torch Awards Program recognizes outstanding actively involved members on the local, regional, state, and national levels. There are nine torches in seven activity divisions. The torches are leadership, service, cooperation, knowledge, friendship, love, hope, faith, and patriotism.

          What is the torch awards system and how is it used? Will being in BPA benefit me in college?

          o   "The Torch Awards System is an online log book for all of your applicable activity’s, so that you may be recognized at the chapter, regional, state, and national level. Go here to log into the online Torch Award System: http://www.bpa.org/service/torchsystem. Use your member ID (in the form XX-XX-XXXX, with dashes) and the password your advisor set for you when they entered you into the Membership Registration System at the beginning of the year. 

          o   As far as helping you in college, I think that we can most accurately receive this answer from looking to the BPA pledge. We are a career and technical student organization that seeks to equip our membership with skills in leadership, professionalism, communication, and many more fields! College is definitely an opportunity that will force you to rely on all of these skills, and BPA allows for our membership to develop and refine these skills early. "

          How to navigate the torch award system

          o   Here is a place where you can read all about how to operate that Torch Awards System, http://www.bpa.org/service/torchelp. If this does not answer all of your questions, ask your local Advisor for help, and read this for more information http://www.bpa.org/service/torchfaq.

          How many workshops do you have?

          o   The number of workshops at NLC varies from year to year. However, the final number and selection of NLC workshops will be available at http://www.bpa.org/nlc/program this will be published in April 2016.

          What networking opportunities are available?

          o   We have over 5000 members from all over the nation who attend our National Leadership Conference. While there, members can network at the different workshops, activities such as our special event, go on tours together, meet new people at the hotel, and much more. This is truly a great way to meet new people in an environment designed to foster lifelong friendships.

          What are the leadership conferences?

          o   The Leadership Conferences are where members compete in the various competitive events outlined in our Workplace Skills Assessment Program (WSAP). Events offered may vary slightly at the regional and state levels. However, traditionally there are 3 levels of competition: Regional/District, State, and National. As far as the National Leadership Conference, in addition to competitive events, you can participate in a service day, interning, taking certification tests, participating in open events, and much more. For more information about this year's NLC, visit http://www.bpa.org/nlc. For more information on your Regional/District and/or State Leadership Conferences, ask your local advisor.

          How do the BPA contests work?

          o   BPA contests work in a few different ways, depending on whether you are competing in a judged event or a non-judged event. For a non-judged event you go into a room and take a test or create something in a certain amount of time. Then you’re scored on time and the performance of your work. Next, depending on the size of your district or of your state the certain amount of people that move on is different. For example, in Indiana the top ten in non-judged events move on, if there is at least ten people in that competition. Second, judged events work where you either have prepared something before that day or are given something to prepare that day, then present on. Judged events are all presented. Most of the time in a judged event there will be a final round, in which the top people will present again in order to get the final placing.  Again depending on the size of your state it will determine how many move on. Full a full list of the contests, how they work, and what is needed in each contest check out the WSAP tab under the compete section on bpa.org.

          How will this class help me in college later in life?

          o   BPA offers its members a variety of skills that will directly translate to success at the collegiate level. Besides the technical abilities that BPA allows you to develop, such as writing ability and computer literacy, BPA also allows you to perfect your soft skills. The leadership and community service opportunities afforded by BPA will allow you to increase your communication skills, time management ability, and leadership skills.

          How many members did BPA have last year?

          o   43921

          How long has BPA been going?

          o   Business Professionals of America actually began in 1966, under the name of the Office Education Association, or OEA. We made the change over to being called BPA in 1988. This National Leadership Conference will be our 50th anniversary, meaning to say that BPA has been an organization for the past 50 years.

          How is BPA funded?

          o   Membership dues, sponsorships, partnerships, event fees

          Why is it that when I sign up for college, DECA is listed and BPA is not?

          o   Some colleges have DECA and not BPA. Others have BPA and not DECA. Just like at the secondary level, it depends on what school it is. However, even if BPA isn’t listed, you can still join the virtual chapter. The list of virtual chapters and who to contact can be found at the following link. http://www.bpa.org/membership/virtualchapter

          What is the most important thing about BPA?

          o   I would say there is no one most important thing about BPA. Broadly answering the question, I'd say the best thing about the organization is that skills that are able to be learned through participation in competition, torch awards, BPA Cares, and general chapter activities. Members learn skills ranging from public speaking to project management and also build an invaluable network with other members and high achieving individuals, a network that is sure to last a lifetime. BPA also allows students to explore various topics that allows them to potentially narrow their choice of a career. These things combined together are the most important things about BPA in my opinion.

          What kind job possibilities come from BPA?

          o   Many of our members find employment working with the skills they learned as members of BPA. Oftentimes the soft skills you learn through BPA will allow you to perform well in interviews and internships and find a job. Also, technical skills such as website design and video production can be used as a side job or marketed to employers.

          Where did you guys find your mascot BOB and why do you guys tell us where he is every episode?

          o   Click the link below to read more about BOB. We wanted to introduce everyone to BOB, so we incorporated him into the series. It also allowed us to verify that everyone was watching the archived videos by requiring BOB’s new location. http://www.bpa.org/news/2491

          Will we be able to travel to different countries for competitive events?

          o   There is not a current plan for international events.

          When was BPA first created and who organized it?

          o   BPA was first established as Office Education Association in 1966, and was later renamed to Business Professionals of America in 1988. Iowa, Kansas, and Wisconsin were the first three OEA states.

          How can I be BPA endorsed?

          o   Though BPA does not offer any official endorsements for its student members, BPA does help prepare its' members to enter a world class work force.  Through our ever changing WSAP our students are receiving the best possible preparation for this task.  There are internal endorsement programs such as the Student Member Certification series completed in the fall via webinar by those students wishing to gain an integral knowledge of BPA and skills that can be brought back to their chapter.

          Are the competitions fun

          o   Absolutely! Once you find a competition you enjoy and learn from it is fun. Many students can say they love their events and enjoy all the hard work that goes into them because the reward feels amazing. Not only is there a reward from placing and moving on, but it is a personal reward to learn and grow from the competition. Also, not only are you competing at the competitions, but you also get to talk and network with other people.

          What are the benefits I will received for being in it?

          o   The benefits of being a member of BPA are endless! A few benefits that attract members to join include the opportunity to create lifelong friendships with fellow members, the technical application skills, and the ability to travel around the country as well as the new experiences that will occur throughout a member’s time within the organization.

          What could my chapter do to better promote us as a whole?

          o   For recruitment and promotion, having an excited chapter makes for great marketing. Having your members advertise BPA through word-of-mouth and on social media is a personable way to reach other students in your school. If you haven't tried advertising with posters/flyers around the school or setting up a booth at school club fairs, we would suggest that. We would also recommend reaching out to your middle schools and maybe even visiting and presenting a PowerPoint on BPA to get your incoming students excited about this organization (this can also get you Torch Award points as well!). Promotional videos are also great if you have the resources and the outlet to do that. The important thing about recruitment is to be short and to the point, emphasize the benefits of BPA, and include your academic and personal growth stories. You want to entice them with visuals and engaging activities. If allowed, invite your CTE or other classes to a meeting!

          How large is the competitive pool for post-secondary participants? Is the National Leadership Conference held during the same time every year?

          o   The competitive pool for post-secondary participants varies annually, but on average consists of about 2300 participants.

          o   The National Leadership Conference is held around the same time each year but varies based on the contract that is made between the site and National BPA. This year, NLC is from May 5-9th in Boston and we are celebrating our 50th Anniversary.

          Why isn't the webinar given more than once to get more students to participate?

          o   The National Officers represent nine different states and we have many responsibilities, so it’s rather difficult to coordinate our schedules to have more than one live session. That’s why we offered the archived video so everyone could still view the webinar after the live session. Although it isn’t the same as live, it still allowed members to earn their certification.

          Why is there an additional charge for Virtual Contests?  

          o   Because these events are national only events and students are not required to attend the National Leadership Conference we charge a small fee to cover our overhead to run the events.

          I want to know some fun ways to get my local chapter more involved in BPA. I want them all to have at least Diplomat in torch awards this year. I also want to learn more about BPA cares and what it is about.

          o   A great way to get your chapter more involved is through community service. This is a great way to get your chapter to bond, while helping impact the community. I recommend that you review the BPA Cares Handbook, at http://www.bpa.org/service/careshb. After reviewing the handbook, your chapter can begin to plan service activities. In turn, being active in your community will help benefit your chapter as it works towards earning the Diplomat Torch Award.

          Is there anything more I can do to get involved in BPA?

          o   As a member, the opportunities available to get involved are endless! Though the Student Member Certification Series has ended for this membership year, that is a great way to get members involved and learn more about the organization, while earning their certification. More information about the Student Member Certification program can be found at http://www.bpa.org/membership/StudentCert. In addition, members can complete the Life Skills Achievement Program through Next Step Academy to earn training in various areas. Furthermore, members can learn more about the organization and the opportunities available to them by attending our Webinar Wednesdays. More information about Webinar Wednesdays can be found at http://www.bpa.org/about/webinars. Two great ways to get involved in BPA that encourage community service are the Torch Awards and BPA Cares programs. Both programs are designed to get members and chapters involved and actively serving their local community, while recognizing them at the National Leadership Conference. More information about these programs can be found at http://www.bpa.org/service/torch and http://www.bpa.org/service/bpacares.

          What type of special skills or dedication does it take to be successful in BPA?

          o   Personally, I think it all depends on what you want to get out of BPA. I throw myself in full speed. I am active in many areas on the local, state and National levels. I think it helps to have a willingness to learn and step outside of your comfort zone. It takes a lot of practice if you want to compete on the state and national levels. There opportunities for everyone within BPA. Commitment to excellence and a drive to succeed are the most important factors in your success. Again, you get what you put into it.

          I would like to know more about what the trip to Boston will be like?

          o   We will be hosting a webinar March 2nd with information on the Boston National Leadership Conference. You can register to attend the webinar here: http://www.bpa.org/about/webinars. In February you can also read the Pre-Conference Publication, located here http://www.bpa.org/nlc/preconferencepublication.

          What is the best process to recruit people to the chapter?

          o   The best form of recruiting is through word of mouth. Encourage your current members to spread the word about BPA and some of the experiences they have had. Connecting to potential members on this level, is one of the best forms of recruiting. In addition, you could create a presentation and include some of the benefits and what members can achieve through joining BPA.

          When will BPA go national? When will BPA open a school for its members?

          o   BPA is already national with chapters in 23 states and Puerto Rico. National BPA hosts the annual National Leadership Conference as the highest level of competition offered through our organization. There are currently no plans to open a BPA school.

          How does BPA in the United States connect with foreign countries?

          o   We drive within the CTE/CTSO realm as officiated by the US Department of Education. We have an open door policy for membership in the international community and permit membership on the national level for membership throughout foreign countries. Currently, we have membership in Puerto Rico.

          How successful are the people who are in BPA? Are they successful in the future?

          o   Members of BPA are very successful. These members gain technical application skills within their fields that make them stand apart from their classmates. This helps them in their future because the technical skills, and experience of competing within their fields compliments their resumes well when they apply for college or careers.

          What kind of activities are available for our chapter to get involved more with BPA? What kind of things are required from our chapter?

          o   As a chapter there are several options for involvement on the National level. Examples include Chapter Social Week (http://www.bpa.org/news/2486) or application for a BPA Cares Awards (http://www.bpa.org/service/awardofexcell)

          o   For specific requirements of your chapter, you will need to register here http://www.registermychapter.com/bpamem/NewChap.asp and fill out all required fields. For more specific advice, you’re welcome to contact a National Officer.

          I would like to know what is it like to be in BPA. How is it for beginners?

          o   For beginners, BPA can be exciting because you aren't sure what to expect. Friends may talk about their own experiences, but it can be different for everyone. It's important to remember that, as a new member, the main purpose of your first year is to learn and build a strong foundation for success during future years of membership. There are so many resources for new members, and it's exciting to learn about everything that you have access to as a member of BPA. Don't hesitate to reach out to older members, or even to your National Officers!

          What schools are attracted to BPA students? Will BPA make my college resume look good?

          o   Any school with business classes or programs tend to be the ideal environment for a BPA chapter. However, a BPA student does not have to be going into business to benefit from BPA. BPA offers opportunities that prepare students for the career world.

          o   While your extensive involvement and recognition in BPA will strengthen your resume, BPA offers much more than that. The soft skills you gain through BPA will take you far in any career you pursue and in life.

           What is it like? As a member? To be there for a long time? What requirements are needed to be a part of BPA? Is there any certain areas we have to complete to compete?

          o   To be a member for a long time is wonderful! It means that I start each year with the excitement of knowing the new events I want to try and activities that I want to participate in as a chapter.

          o   The requirements are different for every division, but here are all of them! College / Post-secondary Division: For post-secondary (one-year, two-year, baccalaureate, or post-baccalaureate) students enrolled or formerly enrolled in initial, refresher, or upgrading business, career technical, business education and career or related education programs. High School / Secondary Division: For high school students enrolled or formerly enrolled in initial, refresher, or upgrading business, career technical, and career or related education programs. Associate Member Designation is for high school students enrolled or formerly enrolled in initial, refresher, or upgrading business, career technical, and career or related education programs for special populations. Middle Level Division: For middle school students enrolled or formerly enrolled in initial, refresher, or upgrading business, career technical, and career or related education programs. Alumni Division: For former active members of any student division. Professional Membership: A professional member may be a person associated with BPA. (Such members may include teachers, teacher-coordinators, teacher-educators and supervisors, employers and/or training station sponsors of business education, friends of Business Professionals of America, corporate sponsors, and others appointed by the governing educational body willing to contribute to Business Professionals of America's growth and development). Professional members are stand-alone members, not serving as part of a chartered division.

          Besides these specific requirements, you must pay your membership dues. For more information on local requirements, get in contact with your chapter advisor. If you have not joined a chapter yet, be sure to use the chapter zip code locator to find one. http://www.registermychapter.com/bpamem/ZipSearch.aspx

          o   There are different areas to complete to compete based on what you are competing in: for a more in depth description of requirements, find your event and research it at http://www.bpa.org/compete/downloadcenter

          My chapter has never got involved with the Special Olympics and I would love to get more information on how we could get involved.

          o   The best way to get involved with Special Olympics is by contacting the state or local organization in your area. Local Special Olympic organizations are always hosting events that need volunteers working through BPA.

          What are some of its biggest challenges as a national organization in recruiting members?

          o   The biggest challenge to recruiting membership is all of the different options that today's students have when it comes to extra-curricular organizations. However, the National Staff is always willing to assist local advisors or state associations in addressing their concerns for recruiting membership.

          How come the organization isn't offered in all fifty states of the United States?      

          o   As much as we’d love BPA to be part of all 50 states, that unfortunately is a bit difficult. Establishing a BPA state charter can be a lengthy process and it requires going through a state’s Department of Education. Furthermore, if that state already has other CTSOs, such as DECA or FBLA, then they are reluctant to add a new CTSO.

           I am always confused on the dates that things are taking place, such as state and national conferences. I know the general time period they will be taking place but I never know the exact date.          

          o   For state conferences, go to bpa.org. In the tan strip that states "State and Local Links," select the state you are looking for. After selecting your state, hover over the name and there may or may not be a tab under it that says "Current Conference Dates," which tell let you know when the upcoming SLC is. Some states provide this information on the BPA website and some don't. Your advisor should know in advance before that register you for SLC when the date is, so you can always ask him/her. As for the National Leadership Conference, you can find the dates all over the website! If you hover over the "NLC" tab and click on the title "General Info," it starts by telling you the dates of our 2016 conference (May 5-9).

          How can we get a high school with only 9th and 10th graders to be more experienced in competitions?         

          o   For judged events, you can always have practice runs within your local chapter. Additionally, you can probably request practice exams for written and computer competitive events so that the members can familiarize themselves with the range of knowledge and skills they will need to succeed at the leadership conferences.

          Why can we only compete in two events, and only one which can be a team?     

          o   We have to limit the number of events members can participate in due to the time constraint, judge constraint, and scheduling conflicts. NLC is only a few days long so there wouldn’t be enough time/judges to make arrangements for people to compete in more events. Furthermore, it would be difficult to plan more events for over 5000 members without the times the events are scheduled conflicting. Our competitive events run smoothly at the current number.

          Which states have BPA? Where are the national BPA headquarters?

          BPA has members in 23 states across the Middle, Secondary, and Post-secondary divisions. All states are registered in one or more of these divisions. To find the full list of which states are part of BPA and at what level, go to bpa.org. In the tan strip that states "State and Local Links," it gives you the option to select a state affiliated with BPA. However, BPA also has a virtual chapter where students from across the nation are involved in BPA.

          Our National Center (BPA headquarters) resides in 5454 Cleveland Ave, Columbus, Ohio.

          What are the first steps to starting a BPA Chapter at the Postsecondary level?        

          o   The first step to establishing a Post-Secondary Chapter is to verify if your state is affiliated with BPA. If you live in a state with an established state association, contact your state advisor. If you do not live in an affiliated state, you will establish an independent chapter. You should identify a local advisor for your chapter. With your local advisor, review the Local Chapter Handbook and complete the New Charter Application. You should begin to recruit members at this time and work on being approved by your school. After your charter application has been accepted, and you have your school’s approval you should host your first meeting. After your first meeting, you should draft and approve your chapter’s constitution. These are just a few of the first steps to take. For more information, please visit http://www.bpa.org/membership/stepbystep.

          How hard is it to get to Nationals?           

          o   Qualifying for the National Leadership Conference can vary in difficulty based on what event you are hoping to qualify in and what state you are from. Fortunately, BPA allows each state to send three competitors in judged events, five competitors in non-judged events, and two teams from all team events to Nationals. Additionally, open events are a great way for you to increase your chances of qualifying for NLC.

          How are we affiliated with Special Olympics? I just need some clarification on the relationship. 

          o   Special Olympics is the National Philanthropy of Business Professionals of America. Our national service is directed at advancing the goals of Special Olympics. Our national activity is the Chain of Love which is a way for our chapters across the nation to come together and raise money for Special Olympics.

          Is there a way for more information to be provided about the various events besides the WSAP?            

          o   CEAC, Staff and the Board are currently working on information. Information is also posted from time to time in The Source.

          Does the national winners of events get to meet important people in society, like the president?      

          o   First, it would be difficult to decide which people are "important" in society and which would come to the conference, as "important" is a subjective term. Many important people do attend the NLC, such as the guest speakers, staff, and volunteers that make it all happen. And of course, we wouldn't have a conference without you, the members. So in that sense, every attendee is pretty important. Second, people like the president are probably very busy and it would be difficult to get them to appear. Many high-profile individuals are willing to attend events and even speak, but for a high price. Lastly, members who place at the national level have done so because they have worked hard, not because they were entitled to it. By maintaining this work ethic throughout their life, they will surely meet many of society's prominent members and probably be very important themselves one day.

          Why can I never find any relevant deadlines for my state conferences?         

          o   Deadlines for activities concerning your state can usually be provided by your local advisor or on your State's BPA website. However, if you do not get the information you are looking for from either of those sources, contact your State Advisor (whose email address your local advisor should have) or ask your local advisor to contact your State Advisor to find out those specific dates concerning your state. National BPA does not set any of those dates.

          Why were programs such as BPA started in the first place? A lot of the history has to do with what happened, but not a lot of whys.      

          o   Many parts of the website, including the history, provide reasons for the existence of Business Professionals of America. Though they aren't always explicitly written, there are many sections where you can see why BPA was founded. For example, in 1963, "the need for a student organization for students enrolled in career/technical office/business programs was recognized." Also, the whys are answered in the mission of BPA--in short: "to contribute to the preparation of a world-class workforce".

          How can you get more involved if you don't have a lot of time?      

          o   There are many ways to get involved with BPA whether it be before NLC or at NLC with not that much time. First, you can become involved before NLC by applying to receive any level of Torch. The state level of Torch does not require that many points. Second, at NLC you can be an intern which only requires a few hours of your time at NLC. Also, you can walk in the Special Olympics Walk which will take place on the way to Fenway this year. Next, you can volunteer in a numerous amount of activities for the Day of Service in Boston. Finally, you can compete in open events to test your knowledge in various things about business.

          How do you find more specific submission deadlines for Torch Awards? "Varies by region and state" is not really specific enough. Also, how do you find out which region you are in? Are there specific names or do you just list the school you go to? 

          o   Torch Award deadlines for the Executive (10 points in each category), Diplomat (30 points in each category), and Statesman (50 points in each category) are set by your local chapter, region/district, and state, respectively. National BPA only sets the deadline for the Ambassador Torch Award (70 points in each category), which is April 1st. You should be able to find out those deadlines from your local advisor. If your local advisor does not have that information, they or yourself can contact your State Advisor who will be able to provide you or direct you to the person who can provide you with those deadlines. Also, if your State has a BPA website, those deadlines may be listed on there as well. In regards to finding out which region you are in, that also varies by state. States determine the procedure for creating regions, their names, and what schools they include. Your local advisor should also be able to provide you with that information and if they do not know, your State Advisor can most likely answer that as well.

          How do other chapters make money?     

          o   Click this link to see the BPA Shares responses on how other chapters have fundraised money: http://www.bpa.org/membership/sharesfund

          Why don't we get told what book the tests are based from?     

          o   The tests aren't written to be textbook specific

          What happens to those who get torch points for nationals but cannot afford it?  

          o   If you earn your Ambassador Torch Award, but cannot afford to go to Nationals, you still earn recognition. Your name will be in our program at NLC as well as on the big screens during our National Honor Awards Session. Furthermore, you will still receive your Ambassador pin and certificate. Whether that be through your advisor or it being sent to your chapter, you will still receive it. As an Ambassador, you will receive benefits even if you’re not attending, but we recommend fundraising to lower your costs. We appreciate your hard work in our Torch Awards Program and we’d love to see you in the audience being recognized with all the other recipients.

          How can I get my future bosses to truly understand the importance of BPA?      

          o   You can get your future bosses to truly understand the importance of BPA by thoroughly explaining what you did with BPA and what BPA has done for you. First, you can explain the competitions you competed in and what exactly you learned from them. Another important thing to do is explain to them what BPA stands for such as the mission statement or the Torch categories. Also, anything else you were involved with within BPA such as serving in a leadership position or completing a Torch award. Finally, explain to them how much the organization truly meant to you, how much it truly affected you, and the networking you had the opportunity to perform.

          How can I become a better member of BPA?      

          Get involved! The best way to become a better BPA member is to get involved in the programs that we have. If you enjoy community service, plan a service project for your chapter to complete! Maybe you would like to volunteer time with Special Olympics or another organization. Service activities will help qualify you for Torch points, as well as your chapter for BPA Cares Awards. We encourage you to participate in National Officer Programs! Participation in the Student Member Certification series will allow you to expand your knowledge of BPA and earn you the title of being a certified member. Participating in the social media events hosted by the National Officers will provide you with the opportunity to learn more about BPA, bond with your chapter and celebrate BPA Week. Participation in these events will also qualify your chapter to apply for the Social Media BPA Cares Award. You could read blogs posted in the News section of our website to keep up-to-date on all the events occurring within our organization. You are always welcome to contact a National Officer to communicate about any topic. Another incredible option is for you to serve your fellow member by running for office. Whether it is running for a local, regional, state or national office, being elected and serving your fellow member will help you grow as a BPA member. Whichever programs suit you, by becoming more actively involved in them, you will in turn, become a better member.

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