GAD as an Elective Course

High schools and/or school districts wishing to offer the decathlon curriculum in an academic elective course can do so through courses approved by the Georgia Board of Education. These courses are listed in Rule 160-4-2-.03. A review of this rule and the courses listed for grades 9-12 yields some of the following as options (some of these options are specific to certain years and certain curricula; others are general and could be used any year):

  • 35.05100 - Study Skills I
  • 35.05200 - Study Skills II
  • 35.05300 - Study Skills III
  • 35.05400 - Study Skills IV
  • 45.01100 - Comparative Religions
  • 45.01200 - Current Issues
  • 45.01300 - Technology and Society
  • 45.01400 - The Humanities/Social Studies
  • 70.03100 - Directed Study I
  • 70.03200 - Directed Study II
  • 70.03300 - Directed Study III
  • 70.03400 - Directed Study IV
  • 44.00100 - Humanities
  • 23.32110 - Mythology
  • 23.32300 - Comparative Literature
  • 40.32110 - Astronomy: Stars and the Cosmos
  • 40.37110 - Oceans: Living Space for the Future
  • 45.07200 – Asian Studies

Schools/Districts should attempt to match the Academic Decathlon curriculum with potential courses annually to achieve the best correlation of standards for the selected content for that year. Courses should not be randomly selected. Matching the Academic Decathlon curriculum to a different course each year enables interested students to receive elective credit in four different elective courses should a student choose to be a part of this curriculum each of his/her four years in high school.

The rationale for offering the decathlon curriculum through an academic elective course is to:

  1. provide opportunity for a whole class (20+) of students to engage in this rich and rigorous curriculum,
  2. motivate underachieving students through a rich and rigorous course content,
  3. broaden student research, study, and communicatino skills through a thematically planned curriculum, and
  4. provide opportunity for bridging the achievement gap for participating students.

The nine students that may make up the Georgia Academic Decathlon team may come from those who participate in the course, but there may also be other students who would like to be a part of the team but who are not able to work the elective course into their schedule. To meet the requirements of Rule 160-4-2-.03, students who are members of the GAD team should not be required to take this course.

It is believed that coaches will see a positive benefit for students who engage in this challenging curriculum. Spillover effect is to be expected. Some coaches have reported that students' grades went up significantly as a result of studying the decathlon curriculum.

If you have questions about offering the Academic Decathlon curriculum through an academic elective course, please contact State Director, Cary Sell ( or Assistant Director, Michelle Crawford (


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