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Carteret County Documents

CCS FAQ  (word doc)


Please contact your child's school counselor.



1. What is Credit by Demonstrated Mastery?

This is an option which allows students to demonstrate mastery of a course’s content, getting credit

and a pass/fail grade for the course by taking an assessment and completing an artifact. In 2013 the

NC Dept. of Public Instruction instituted State Board Policy GCS-M-001-13: Credit by Demonstrated

Mastery in order to ensure students grow optimally in our public schools and have effective seat time.

Transitioning away from seat time, in favor of a structure that creates flexibility, allows students to

progress as they demonstrate mastery of academic content, regardless of time, place, or pace of

learning. Failed attempts at CDM are not reflected on a student’s transcript.


2.  Who is eligible to request an opportunity to earn credit by demonstrating mastery?

Any North Carolina public high school student, grades 6-12, who is able to show a deep

understanding of the content without seat-time and classroom learning experience is eligible.


3.  Is a credit earned through the CDM policy intended to be “different” than a credit earned in

the traditional manner (completing the course)?

No. Carteret County Schools will assess students and evaluate artifacts based upon the same

standards that are applied to students earning course credit in the traditional sense. The achievement

levels required to earn a CDM credit (i.e., assessment scores greater than or equal to 94% plus a

required artifact) already reflect a more rigorous expectation of students who want to earn credit in

this manner that those of students who complete the course with seat-time.


4. Is there a limit to the number of courses for which a student may earn credit using the CDM


No. Students may earn credit using CDM for as many courses as they wish. However, students may

only make one attempt per course. Students who are unsuccessful after one attempt must register

for and complete the course to receive credit.


5. Can the school or district deny a student the opportunity to attempt to earn CDM credit?

No, the NC state board policy prohibits this. However, there are courses which are excluded from

CDM by the state. Honors, AP, and IB courses are excluded, as are CTE work-based learning

courses (co-op, internship, and apprenticeship), CTE courses that have a clinical setting as a

requirement of the course, CTE Advanced Studies courses, English Language Learner (ELL)

courses, and Healthful Living required courses.


6. May students earn CDM credit for honors courses?

No. CDM is only available for some standard-level courses. CDM credits are awarded as a pass/fail

grade and therefore do not impact a student’s grade point average.


7. Does CDM replace differentiation in meeting the learning needs of students?

No. CDM is not a replacement for differentiated services to meet the learning needs of all students.


8. May a student receive credit through CDM for a course not offered at his/her school?

Yes, but only for those courses offered at other high schools within Carteret County Schools. CDM is not available for courses which are not available within the district.


9. How does CDM credit impact course prerequisites and sequencing?

When courses are taught in a predetermined sequence, a student may only apply for CDM for the

next course in the sequence. For example, a student who has not taken Math I would not be

permitted to obtain CDM credit for Math II.


10. Are credits earned through this policy accepted by outside organizations such as the


No. Students considering collegiate athletic should be advised that NCAA Division I and Division II

colleges and universities do not recognize test-out credits in terms of meeting college entrance credit

requirements, and therefore CDM is strongly discouraged for potential collegiate athletics. Credits

earned through CDM shall be used to count toward minimum credits for the purpose of high school

athletic eligibility.


11. May students earn credit by demonstrated mastery for Career and Technical Education

(CTE) Courses?

Yes, with the exception of specific courses excluded by the NCSBE policy (work-based learning

courses such as co-ops, internships and apprenticeships; courses that have a clinical setting as a

requirement such as ProStart, Early Childhood Education I/II and Nursing Fundamentals; Advanced

Studies courses). For CTE courses, an industry credential may be accepted as the required artifact

component. Students will still be expected to complete the post-assessment, if one is available, or a

teacher made exam if the state does not provide a post-assessment. If the student earns credit, the

post-assessment score would be reported in the technical attainment performance measure.


12. May a student earn the CPR credit through CDM?

No. CPR is part of the Healthful Living requirement and NC State Board of Education policy

specifically excludes CPR from CDM.


13. When a student earns credit by demonstrated mastery for a course, what should schools

use to replace the course in the student’s schedule?

Generally, students should replace the course with the next course in the sequence, i.e. a student

using CDM to earn a Math I credit should schedule Math II in its place. High school students might

also use CDM credit to create space in their schedule that can be filled with a community college

course available through Career & College Promise or other advanced course, such AP and IB. The

NC Virtual Public School is also a source of courses for students who need to replace a course for

which they have earned a CDM credit.

14. If a student chooses to earn credit by demonstrated mastery, will the student have to take

that EOC for the course they passed through CDM?

Yes, students attempting to earn a CDM credit for a course with an EOC must take the EOC as the

assessment component of the CDM attempt. A timeline with specific testing windows will be provided

to applicants.


15. How does the CDM policy and its implementation impact quality points and a student’s

grade point average (GPA)?

CDM credits are awarded as a “pass” and appear as such on the student’s transcript. No course

grade is received and the course is not included in the GPA calculation. Failed attempts will not be

reflected on a student’s transcript.


16. Can students graduate early based upon credits earned through this policy?

Yes. Carteret County School recommends that early graduation decisions be made through discussion between parents, students, counselors, and school administrators.


17. Can students enrolled in a course decide to earn CDM partway through the course?

No, the CDM policy is for students who wish to accelerate without enrolling in a course.


18. Can a student take a course after receiving credit by demonstrated mastery for that


No, it is not recommended.


19. Can students potentially stay at home and graduate?

No, the CDM policy does not relieve schools, parents or students of the requirement that students

attend school until age 16.  Earning credit by demonstrated mastery does not count in student attendance.


Process to Demonstrate Mastery

Phase I       (if passed move to phase II an artifact)

Student completes a standard examination of the assessment required for the course to demonstrate foundational knowledge. Examinations shall include where applicable

  • End-of-Course (EOC)
  • Career and Technical Education (CTE) Post-Assessment, or
  • Locally developed final exam


Re-testing is not permitted.

For EOC courses students must achieve the following scale scores:

Math I > 264

Biology > 261

English II > 165


For CTE courses students must achieve a scale score of 93 to qualify for Phase II


For non-EOC courses, students must achieve a 94 or higher on the local exam to qualify for Phase II artifact development.


Phase II

Student completes Artifact Development process and any other criteria a local school district requires to demonstrate deep understanding and application of course content.

Credit is indicated on transcripts as follows: 


EOC courses “CDM” 


non-EOC courses “CDM”