Credit by Demonstrated Mastery
What is CDM?
High school and middle school students are able to earn credit for some courses without spending a set number of seat hours taking the course in a classroom. Under the state's Credit by Demonstrated Mastery (CDM) option, uniquely qualified students may "test out" or bypass a course if they have already mastered the content. The CDM program provides another opportunity for students to learn new content and challenge themselves with the next level of rigor in a subject and is available to all students in NC under State Board of Education policy SBE-GCS-M-001, Section 13. This option is not designed to replace existing accelerated pathways, such as the Academically and Intellectually Gifted (AIG) programs.
Who Can I Contact?
The best person to contact in regards to CDM is your child's counselor. You may also contact Kelly Hinson, Director of Gifted Learning at email@example.com.
How Do I Determine My Child's Eligibility to Participate in CDM?
All students in North Carolina Public Schools taking high school courses in grades 9-12 and middle school students taking high school courses offered in grades 6-8, based on school district's availability are eligible. However, consideration must be given to your child's level of knowledge of course content prior to considering CDM. Your child will be asked to demonstrate mastery through two assessment phases. The first assessment is the final exam offered in that course. With a passing score of 90% or higher the student completes the second phase. During the second phase of assessment students are asked to complete a set of tangible artifacts and present these to a CDM committee at the school. This phase is scored based on a rubric and the student receives a pass/fail grade. If the student passes the second assessment, CDM is granted. The assessments must be completed with no instructional support from school staff, parents, or experts in the field. Please refer to the resource links found at the bottom of this page for more information on eligibility and specific CDM processes/considerations. **Advanced Placement, Honors, International Baccalaureate, Healthful Living, and some Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses are not eligible.
What is the Timeline for CDM Application?
Fall Timeline-Attempting to earn CDM during fall semester for courses scheduled in the Spring:
-August-September-Students /Family contacts school of interest in CDM and completes Student/Parent Agreement found at link at bottom of page under resources.
-All Student/Parent agreements must be submitted to the school counselor by September 7th
-During the weeks of September 19th-30th the student will complete Phase 1 of the CDM Assessment Process (Phase 1 involves the student being administered the appropriate examination for the course he/she is seeking credit. This could be an EOC or some other final exam)
-Immediately following the assessment, the results of Phase 1 will be shared with student/family
-If student successfully completes Phase 1 then student will then be invited to complete Phase 2 of the CDM Assessment Process during the month of October (Phase 2 includes student completion of actual work artifacts that can be reviewed)
-First two weeks of November a school-level artifact review will be conducted, this can include student interview
-Mid-November results will be provided to student/family, needed schedule changes will be sent to counselor, a ten-day appeal window will begin.
-First week of December appeals are conducted.
-Second week of December final appeal decisions are made, shared with student/family, spring schedules adjusted if needed.
Spring Timeline-Attempting to earn CDM during spring semester for courses scheduled in the fall:
-January-Students/Family contacts school of interest in CDM and completes student/parent agreement found at link at bottom of page under resources.
-All Student/Parent agreements submitted to the school by January 30th.
-During the weeks of February 15th-February 28th student completes Phase 1 of the CDM Assessment Process (Phase 1 involves the student being administered the appropriate examination for the course he/she is seeking credit. This could be an EOC or some other final exam)
-Immediately following the assessment, results of Phase 1 will be shared with student/family
-If student successfully completes Phase 1 then student will then be invited to complete Phase 2 of the CDM Assessment Process during the month of March (Phase 2 includes student completion of actual work artifacts that can be reviewed)
-First two weeks of April a school-level artifact review will be conducted, this can include student interview
-Mid-April results will be provided to student/family, needed schedule changes will be sent to counselor, a ten-day appeal window will begin
-First week of May appeals are conducted
-Second week of May final appeal decisions are made, shared with student/family, spring schedules adjusted if needed
Summer Timeline-for students attempting to earn credit during the summer for courses scheduled in the fall:
***This time period is reserved for students that move into the district after the spring window or who missed the spring window due to extenuating circumstances. Summer consideration is on a case by case basis and student/family should contact the school within the month of June if interested. No consideration will be given after June 30th. Phase I testing happens between July 18th-July 31st. Timeline will be established to ensure all phases are complete by start of school.
How Will My Child's CDM Credits Appear on Transcripts?
Students will not receive a letter grade for the course. 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.
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. Students may make one attempt to earn credit per course. Retests are not offered.
What if I Still Have Questions?
Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions document below for common topics. For all other questions, contact your school counselor or email Kelly Hinson, Director of Gifted Learning, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student Parent CDM Agreement
North Carolina DPI CDM Information
Policy Overview Powerpoint