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What is CDM?

Credit by Demonstrated Mastery is the process by which Johnston County Schools shall, based upon a body-of-evidence, award a student credit in a particular high school course without requiring the student to complete classroom instruction for a certain amount of seat time.  “Mastery” is defined as a student’s command of course material at a level that demonstrates a deep understanding of the content standards and application of knowledge.

State Board of Education Policy (GCS-M-001.13) passed in October 2013. 

Who is eligible for CDM?

All students for high school courses in grades 9-12.

How is CDM credit indicated on a student’s transcript?

  • CDM courses do not earn grades or quality points towards GPA
  • CDM is available for standard-level high school courses, but NOT Honors

Credit is indicated as “Pass” on a student’s transcript.

How will students demonstrate mastery in the CDM process?

Students must successfully complete both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the CDM process to receive credit for a high school course. A student will only progress to Phase 2 if they obtain the appropriate minimum score on the Phase 1 assessment (This score is specific for each course). The phases are explained below:

Phase 1:

Mastery on a standardized examination
  • EOC where applicable, OR
  • A locally-developed Final Exam

Phase 2:

Mastery on content-specific artifacts and/or portfolio.
  • Reviewed at the LEA level by a team of content experts
  • Students and parents will be notified of results at the end of each phase. Students may only attempt CDM for a course once, and only for one course per CDM window.

What does Phase 2 involve?

Phase 2 involves students completing a series of artifacts, projects, and/or performance tasks to exhibit mastery of content specific standards.  Phase 2 tasks will differ between courses due to the nature of the course involved. Students will be given a specific time span of a few weeks to complete artifacts and submit. A review panel of content area experts will then meet to determine results. Students and families will be notified if they met expectations for both Phase 1 and 2, resulting in course credit being awarded. An appeals process will be in place for students who are not awarded credit and wish to challenge the decision.

Is CDM applicable to all courses?

No, the following courses are excluded:

  1. CTE work-based courses (internships, apprenticeships, co-ops)
  2. CTE courses that have a clinical setting as a requirement
  3. CTE Advanced Studies courses
  4. English Language Learner (ELL) courses
  5. Healthful Living required courses
  6. AP/IB courses

How do students apply for CDM?

Students may apply for CDM for a course by following these steps:
  • Complete a CDM Application in full and return by the determined deadline (available from school counselor).
  • Agree as part of the application that the any student who passes the Phase 1 assessment, commits to fulfill all Phase 2 artifact requirements.
  • Meet with a school counselor to ensure understanding of the process and implications of further coursework if a student is successful at CDM.
  • Applications, timelines and other forms can be found on the CDM website at www.johnston.k12.nc.us/cia/cdm

What are the long-term considerations of CDM?

The intent of the CDM process is to provide subject acceleration for students who have already mastered the content standards for a particular course. However, it is important to keep in mind how obtaining credit will impact the student’s course of study for the remainder of high school. Since CDM only awards general level credit and it not factored into GPA’s, students will want to work with counselors to select additional advanced level courses (AP, IB, or CCP) to fit their needs if CDM credit is awarded.
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