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Credit by Demonstrated Mastery

Credit by Demonstrated Mastery (CDM) is a new two step process in North Carolina public schools where qualified students may earn credit for a high school course if they demonstrate a mastery of content. Students will be able to earn credit for a course without spending a certain number of hours in the classroom. This process is available to give eligible students the opportunity to take more advanced and rigorous courses during their high school experience.  CDM is not available to encourage or expedite early graduation from high school.  CDM may not be used for course recovery.

Who can take advantage of CDM? 
According to the State Board of Education’s Policy GCS-M-001, Section 13, CDM is available to all public school students in grades 9-12 for high school courses. Middle school students are also eligible for high school courses offered in the middle school setting. All Cleveland County School students may apply to earn credit for high school level courses offered in grades 8-12. 

What courses are excluded from CDM? 
  1. AP/IB courses (CDM is not meant to replace current accelerated programs) 
  2. Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses in a clinical setting (i.e. Nursing or Early Childhood Education)
  3. CTE work based learning courses (i.e. apprenticeship, co-op, and/or internship)
  4. CTE advanced studies courses or any course without state technical standards 
  5. English Language Learner (ELL) courses 
  6. Healthful Living required courses 

How do CDM results look on a student’s transcript? 
  1. Students will not receive a letter grade for the course. 
  2. Students who successfully complete the process will receive a "pass" result on their transcripts for the course, and will be eligible to enroll in the next level course in that subject area. 
  3. Students who do not earn the course credit will not be penalized. Results of the assessment process will not be reflected in the student's grades or school transcript. 
  4. Students may make one attempt to earn credit per course. Retests are not offered. 

When does CDM begin? 
CDM begins in the second semester of the 2014-2015 school year for course placement in 2015-2016. 

What is the CDM Timeline in Cleveland County Schools? 
  • January 26-27, 2015 Students and families receive information about CDM 
  • February 6, 2015 Application deadline for winter testing window (by 3:00 p.m.) 
  • February 16-27, 2015 Winter testing window
  • Mid-March, 2015 Winter testing results shared with students and families 
  • Late May 2015 Winter Phase II results shared w/ families
  • July 2, 2015 Application deadline for summer testing window (by 3 p.m.) 
  • July 20-31, 2015 Summer testing window
  • Early-August, 2015 Summer testing results shared with students and families 
  • Mid-August 2015 Summer Presentation/Project/Interview results shared w/ families 
  • August 21, 2015 Application deadline for fall testing window (by 3 p.m.) 
  • September 1-15, 2015 Fall testing window 
  • Mid-November, 2015 Fall testing results shared with students and families 
  • Mid-December 2015 Fall Presentation/Project/Interview results shared w/ families 

Other Important Notes 

  1. All applications should be returned to the student’s counselor. 
  2. Each testing window is considered Phase 1 (A student must demonstrate that he or she has mastered the standards of the selected course with a level V on all EOC exams; 90% or higher on NC Final Exams; 94% or higher on all locally developed exams, or a 93% or higher on all CTE post assessments to move to Phase 2). 
  3. Phase 2 is a rigorous process where students will be required to demonstrate content mastery by completing a portfolio with a variety of artifacts that could include written essays, presentations, and other performance tasks.  This CDM portfolio will be reviewed by a committee of educators, who will then invite student applicants to answer questions or offer clarifications the committee members may have before a recommendation can be made for or against the awarding of course credit.

Please contact your child’s guidance counselor or principal for questions about Credit by Demonstrated Mastery (CDM). You may also contact: 

Dr. Anita Ware, Director of Secondary Education 
Phone: 704-476-8075 

Dr. William Dixon Jr., Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction 
Phone: 704-474-8026 
Greg Shull,
Jan 31, 2015, 10:12 AM