Credit by Demonstrated Mastery 

What is Credit by Demonstrated Mastery? 

Credit by Demonstrated Mastery (CDM) is the process by which a student may earn credit for a high school course by demonstrating a deep understanding of the content; without course enrollment or seat time. CDM was designed to respond to the needs of students, families, AIG community, school personnel and leadership.

CDM specifically offers North Carolina students the opportunity to personalize and accelerate their learning, thus allowing for optimal student growth while providing an opportunity to have effective seat time to learn new content. 

In the last two years, NCDPI has updated various aspects regarding the implementation of CDM, and those changes are outlined in the CDM Back to School memo (link below).  Updates included an extension of testing windows due to COVID19, the release of North Carolina Final Exams (NCFEs) for local use, better alignment of CDM and World Languages proficiency levels, and an integration of the new CTE test administrations with CDM based on new federal reporting requirements. 

CDM remains an instructional practice that will help us to differentiate and accelerate students who have a clearly expressed need. 

How does a student earn CDM?

Students shall demonstrate mastery through a multiphase assessment, consisting of:

Phase 1: A standard examination, which shall be the EOC/EOG where applicable, or a final exam developed locally; and

Phase 2: An artifact which requires the student to apply knowledge and skills relevant to the content standards.    

While the CDM process is open to all students, it not designed for whole groups of students. Likewise, it is not intended to replace the general accelerated pathways local school districts often provide for advanced students.

CDM Testing Windows for the 2023-2024 school year:
Summer 2023 July 18-31, 2023
Fall 2023 September 18-29, 2023
Spring 2024 February 16-29, 2024
Summer 2024 July 18-31, 2024

Selected CDM Implementation Resources

The CDM Implementation Guide was developed to support districts and charter schools in implementing the CDM policy efficiently and effectively. The guide contains suggestions for developing teams at the school and/or district level to support the CDM process and looks at short and long-term considerations for implementation. 

The CDM Procedural Guide from Accountability Services is updated each year to support testing and accountability directors in ensuring appropriate steps are taken to follow the CDM policy. The guide includes procedures for setting up test administration sessions for state-administered assessments within the outlined testing windows and procedures to ensure students receive appropriate credit upon successful completion of the CDM process. 

CDM Frequently Asked Questions due to COVID-19

CDM Back to School MEMO