Ready to start an Academic Decathlon or Academic Pentathlon team? Both programs are aligned with national standards and the curriculum is ready to go — all you need are students and the interest to learn a LOT about each year’s theme.
Five reasons why this is the year to start a team
- Coaches can earn three 500-level post-baccalaureate professional development credits from University of Alaska Anchorage and receive mentoring from experienced Decathlon coaches!
- Free Decathlon (high school) and Pentathlon (middle school) online curriculum to new teams!
- High school students can earn up to one college credit through the University of Alaska Southeast!
- We’ll provide recruiting tools to entice students to join your team that let them know about scholarship opportunities, medals, trophies and the chance to represent Alaska at National Competitions!
- This year’s theme is Water (Marine Biology, Jack London’s The Sea-Wolf, Micro and Macro Economics of Water, Social Science of Water on Human History and more)!
Alaska Academic Decathlon Program Information
Academic Decathlon is a state and national team competition that challenges students to strive for academic excellence. The program can be offered as an elective or as an after-school, extracurricular activity. The Academic Decathlon is considered one of the premier scholastic competitions for high school students and requires extensive reading to prepare for the ten events. Students are expected to participate in all events and are not allowed to specialize in any given subject area.
If your students decide to pursue college credit for the class, your school program must start no later than October 1, 2021. Along with your expectations, they will also have to meet the criteria of the college class that will include guest speakers and other materials related to the subject area.
This year, the Alaska Academic Decathlon is proud to partner with the University of Alaska Anchorage to offer 500-level post-baccalaureate professional development credits for coaches who choose to take advantage of this opportunity. Stay tuned for more information about this class.
What is a team?
Academic Decathlon teams consist of three students from each category (Honors, Scholastic and Varsity) and up to two alternate team members.
United States Academic Decathlon Categories and GPA Requirements:
Honor: 3.80-4.00 GPA
Scholastic: 3.20-3.799 GPA
Varsity: 0.00-3.199 GPA
How do I recruit students?
We will have fliers and other marketing material to help you recruit students. We suggest reaching out to guidance counselors and other teachers within your district to help identify students who would enjoy the program. Once you have a few students interested, let them help with the recruitment process!
Alaska Academic Decathlon Participation Fee (including participation at the State Competition): $550 per team
Curriculum Costs: Each team must use the United States Academic Decathlon curriculum. New teams are eligible to receive the online version of the curriculum at no cost. MOST teams order at least some of the hard copy study guides. Curriculum costs can vary from $700 to $1500.
Regionals and State Competitions: Regional events are organized by individual schools/coaches and can be online or in person. All new teams will be invited to participate in regional events that typically occur in December and January. The four-day State Competition will take place on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus February 17-20. Teams can stay at the Spring HIll Suites University Lake Hotel, an all-suites facility that provides free breakfast and parking. Teams are responsible for their own travel and accommodation costs for the State Competition.
Nationals: Alaska’s Academic Decathlon State Champions are invited to participate in the United States National Competition (location and date to be announced). Along with earning the opportunity to represent Alaska at this event, the winning team will receive a $5,000 travel stipend and travel assistance in booking air and hotel accommodations from the Alaska Academic Decathlon program. We will also cover the entry fee to participate at this event.
Alaska Academic Pentathlon Program Information - Middle School
This is a new program for Alaska. Welcome to our pilot year - we’re so excited to expand the Academic Decathlon program to include middle schools!
Alaska Academic Pentathlon is proud to partner with the University of Alaska Anchorage to offer 500-level post-baccalaureate professional development credits for coaches who choose to take advantage of this opportunity. Stay tuned for more information about this class.
The rapidly-growing Academic Pentathlon program allows middle school students a chance to start experiencing the benefits of Academic Decathlon® before entering high school. Here in Alaska, the Academic Pentathlon fosters a greater respect for knowledge, promotes inter-school academic competition, and further develops student communication skills.
Each student experiences the decathlon challenges of rigorous team and individual competition in five events:
- Fine Arts
- Social Science
Prior to regional and state competitions, students will write an essay. Forty percent of the overall Literature grade will be based on student essays - an excellent opportunity for students to not only demonstrate what they learned but how powerfully they can present an idea!
What constitutes a team?
Pentathlon teams consist of a maximum of nine team members and a minimum of six team members in grades 6–8. Each team must consist of at least two students from each GPA category: honor (3.8-4.00), scholastic (3.2-3.799) and varsity (0.0-3.199).
State and National Competition Information
All teams will be eligible to participate in the Alaska Academic Pentathlon State Competition, an online event. Following the state meet, trophies will be awarded to the top teams along with medals to individual event winners. Alaska’s winning team will represent Alaska in the U.S. Academic Pentathlon National Competition and will be awarded $5,000 toward travel costs.
All Pentathlon competitions (except for the national competition) take place online in a virtual testing environment so there is no in-state travel required for teams!
Alaska Academic Pentathlon Participation Fee: $450 per team (includes curriculum and all testing fees).
State Competition: The Alaska Academic Pentathlon State Competition is an online event. Trophies and medals will be awarded via an online award ceremony and shipped to coaches within ten days of the event.
Nationals: Alaska’s Academic Pentathlon State Champions are invited to participate in the United States National Competition (location and date to be announced). Along with earning the opportunity to represent Alaska at this event, the winning team will receive a $5,000 travel stipend and travel assistance in booking air and hotel accommodations from the Alaska Academic Decathlon program.