MGSD Credit By Demonstrated Mastery General Guidelines and Information

The NC State Board of Education recently passed a policy allowing eligible high school and middle school students to earn high school course credit without having to actually take the course in the traditional manner. This process is called Credit By Demonstrated Mastery.

Credit By Demonstrated Mastery – the process by which a student earns high school course credit by scoring at the mastery level on multiple assessments designed to gauge the student’s understanding and ability to apply the concepts of the high school course without having to meet the traditional seat-time requirement. While all middle and high school students are eligible for the CDM process, it may not be the best option for all students to attempt to earn course credit.

A Student demonstrates course mastery through a multi-phase assessment process.

  • Phase I– a student must score at the mastery level on the specific course’s final exam. Per State Board policy re-testing on Phase I is not permitted. If the student meets the Phase I requirement, then he/she moves to Phase II of the assessment process.
    • EOC Tests
      • Math I (Delayed until July 2019) *Not available
      • Math 3 (Delayed until July 2019) *Not available
      • Biology > 261 (scale score)
      • English II > 165 (scale score)
    • CTE Courses
      • > 93 score on the CTE Post-Assessment
    • NCFE Courses
      • > 90 score on the NC Final Exam
    • Non-EOC/State-Created Assessment Courses
      • > 94 score on the MGSD Final Exam
  • Phase II – a student must score at the mastery level on an application project specific to the course. A course-specific review team scores the project to determine if it meets the mastery level requirement. Phase II projects can include oral interviews, a demonstration of lab skills, written reports, electronic presentations, or other similar-type assignments or combinations of the above examples. For some CTE courses an industry certification might serve as the Phase II assessment.

For information on specific course standards, please visit the NC Department of Public Instruction website ( and look under the “K-12 Curriculum” tab. For information on local course content not included on the NC Department of Public Instruction website, please contact your school counselor.

General Points about CDM:

  1. CDM courses count towards a student’s graduation requirements and are noted on the student’s high school transcript.
  2. If a student unsuccessfully attempts to earn course credit through the CDM process, no record of that unsuccessful attempt is included on the student’s transcript. A student may only attempt CDM for a particular course one time. Multiple attempts are not permitted.
  3. CDM courses do NOT count towards a student’s GPA and carry no quality points or course level distinction (Honors, Advanced, etc.). Only “regular” level courses are eligible for CDM credit.
  4. All middle and high school students can attempt to earn course credit through the CDM process.
    • Middle school students (current 7th graders) can earn credit for high school courses offered at Mooresville Middle School – (Math I and Spanish I)
    • High school students (and current 8th graders) can earn credit for any high school courses offered at Mooresville High School/NF Woods that are not exempt from the CDM process.
  1. The following courses are exempt from the CDM process (not an all-inclusive list):
    • CTE work-based courses (internships, apprenticeships, etc.)
    • CTE courses with clinical settings (example: Early Childhood I and II)
    • CTE Advanced Studies courses, Pilot Courses, and Courses in Field Test
    • All AP, Pre-AP, NJROTC, Performing Arts, PE, ESL, Occupational Course of Study, English IV, and Public Speaking courses.
    • A more detailed list of exempt courses can be found on the district website.
  1. In order to earn credit through the CDM process for a particular course a student must have already earned credit for any courses that are required prerequisites for the CDM course.
  2. The CDM option will be offered once a year (January-February) in compliance with state board policy.
  3. CDM is designed to award course credit to students who demonstrate “mastery” of the course content and not simply “proficiency.” Therefore, the assessment score requirements are set at high levels. 

Timeline and Important Dates:

  • Deadline to submit CDM applications is Friday – January 25, 2019. Applications should be submitted to your school counselor.
  • Phase I Assessment window is February 1-15, 2019.
  • Phase II Assessment window is March 4 - April 12, 2019.
  • Final results from the spring CDM process shared with applicants – May 2019.

Students and parents seriously considering the CDM option should meet with their school counselor to further discuss the process, the courses in question, and the long-term impact that earning course credit through the CDM process may have on the student’s high school and post-secondary plans.