Business Professionals of America is the premier CTSO (Career and Technical Student Organization) for students pursuing careers in business management, office administration, information technology and other related career fields.
BPA has 45,000 members in over 1,800 chapters in 25 states and Puerto Rico. As a co-curricular activity, Business Professionals of America has the ability to enhance student participation in professional, civic, service and social endeavors.
1) Workplace Skills Assessment Program (WSAP)
A major program of Business Professionals of America is the Workplace Skills Assessment Program (WSAP). The WSAP prepares students to succeed and assesses real world business skills and problem solving abilities in finance, management, IT and computer applications. It is BPA's showcase program and facilitates students demonstrating their career skills at regional, state and national conferences in more than 90 competitive events.
Some of BPA's other major programs include the National Leadership Academy, Officer Elections and scholarships. The Torch Awards Program and BPA Cares Program recognize students and chapters, respectively, for their leadership and service to their chapter and community.
2) The Torch Awards Program
The Business Professionals of America's Torch Awards Program is designed to promote professionalism and leadership in both career development and personal growth. Students complete activities in the seven Torch categories--Leadership; Service; Cooperation; Knowledge; Friendship; Love, Hope, Faith; and Patriotism--then log their activities in an online Torch Résumé.
There are four levels of recognition in the Torch Awards Program:
- Executive Torch Award: Given at the local chapter level, the Executive Torch Award requires 10 points in each Torch category. An Executive is defined as "a person having administrative or managerial authority in an organization."
- Diplomat Torch Award: Depending on your state, this award might be awarded at the local, regional, or state level. The Diplomat Torch Award requires 30 points in each Torch category. A Diplomat is defined as "one skilled with tact in dealing with people."
- Statesman Torch Award: Given at the state level, the Statesman Torch Award requires 50 points in each Torch category. A Statesman is defined as "one who is a leader in the promotion of the public good and in national affairs."
- Ambassador Torch Award: Given at the national level, the Ambassador Torch Award requires 70 points in each Torch Category. An Ambassador is defined as "a diplomatic official of the highest rank appointed and accredited as representative of the organization."
A student who earns an award through Business Professionals of America's Torch Awards Program will be presented with a certificate and pin commemorating their achievement. Students receiving the Ambassador Torch Award will receive their pin and certificate at the National Leadership Conference. Most importantly, though, a student participating in the Torch Awards Program builds a rich catalog of service and leadership experience to be proud of. The Torch Awards Program is open to all BPA members in the Middle Level, Secondary, and Post-secondary Divisions.
3) Service Learning
BPA Cares Guidelines
A BPA chapter aligned with the goals and mission of Business Professional of America is concerned with service. Business Professionals of America recommends chapters become involved in one or more of the BPA Cares programs it offers. Participation in this program means that members are engaging in worthwhile projects while having the opportunity to receive recognition from the national organization.