The Texas Association of Health Occupations Students of America began in 1972 as a state organization of students enrolled in Texas health occupations education programs. Groundwork for the formation of the Texas Association of Health Occupations Students began with a survey of interested students in 1970-71. This survey polled all of the students enrolled in secondary health occupations training programs in Texas. The students, most of them members of the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America, Texas Association, were asked to give their opinions on the formation of a new organization limited in membership to students enrolled in health occupations education. The majority of students were in favor of forming the new organization.
The results of this survey were read to coordinators of health occupations programs in an annual in-service workshop in San Antonio during July 1971. A steering committee was appointed to investigate, make recommendations, and develop a framework for the new organization. This committee was directed to report to health occupations students in the spring of 1972, and develop a mechanism for the new organization to be initiated in the 1972-73 school year. Using recommendations from students, educational administrators, and advisory committee members, the committee developed a proposed set of bylaws. They were presented to health occupations students attending the VICA state meeting in Dallas, on April 22, 1972. Bylaws were adopted by the students and a name for the organization was selected. Plans were also announced for a leadership conference to be held in May 1972. Elbert Marcom, Director of Health Occupations Education, Texas Education Agency, appointed Catherine Junge to serve as State Advisor for the new organization.
The leadership conference was held at Bastrop, Texas, May 19-20, 1972. Two junior students and their coordinator from each of the 53 health occupations programs in Texas were invited to attend. The purpose of the conference was to develop guidelines for the new organization and to elect state officers to serve for 1972-73. As an indication of the enthusiasm generated by the “Bastrop Happening”, 42 out of the 74 students attending the conference were interested in running for office. These delegates also helped organize and conduct area leadership conferences for local chapter officers in October and November of 1972.
An Executive Council Meeting was held in August, 1972 at Burnet, Texas, to consider ideas regarding the scope and direction of the organization. This meeting was attended by seven elected state officers, two alternates, Catherine Junge, Elbert Marcom, two health occupations consultants, Texas Education Agency representatives, four local chapter advisors, and a Texas Association for Careers in Health representative. The name Texas Association of Health Occupations Students was chosen by a majority of the members. The acronym TAHOS was pronounced Tejas, for the Tejas Indians from which Texas derived its name.
Statewide membership as of December 1972 totaled 68 chapters with 1,870 members. The first state meeting was held in April 1973 in Austin. This meeting included competitive activities, election of state officers for 1973-74, the organization of four area divisions and election of area officers for 1973-74, and an awards banquet.
In November 1975, representatives from TAHOS met with persons from five other states having a health occupations student organization. These states were Alabama, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Oklahoma. They took the first steps toward forming the national student organization. A Constitutional convention was scheduled for November in the bicentennial year of 1976. Delegates, advisors, and observers met in Arlington, Texas November 17-19, 1976, for the Constitutional Convention. The delegates adopted Bylaws to form Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) and elect the first National HOSA officers.
In May 1978, the first National HOSA Convention was held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The organization had grown to include representatives from 17 states. Highlights of the convention included the election of new National officers, initiation of several leadership competitive events, and an awards banquet.
In March 1979, at the TAHOS State Convention in Austin, Texas, the delegates voted to amend their bylaws to comply with the national organization’s name. Therefore, the name of the organization was officially changed to Health Occupations Students of America, Texas Association (HOSA, TA).
El Paso, Texas
Related: About HOSA