North Carolina District Begins Offering Credits Based on Mastery

North Carolina's Mooresville Graded School District has begun offering credit by demonstrated mastery (CDM) to middle and high school students.

Launched this month, the CDM program follows a 2013 decision by the North Carolina State Board of Education to allow schools to award credits based on mastery without requiring students to complete a course or log a certain amount of seat time.

"While the CDM process is open to all eligible high school and middle school students, it may not be in the best interest of all students to attempt to earn course credit through the CDM process," according to information released by the district. "The CDM process is designed to provide opportunity for an individual student who has an exceptional mastery (a much higher level of understanding than proficiency) of course content prior to taking a course and who wishes to earn credit and move onto another course that will be more meaningful."

The district will assess students for mastery in two phases. In the first phase, students will be required to demonstrate a thorough understanding foundational understanding of the concepts of the course they're trying to earn credit for. Students who fail to demonstrate such understanding will not be eligible for the second phase of assessment and will not be allowed to retake the test or appeal the decision.

In the second phase, students will be required to demonstrate an ability to apply the concepts of the course in a meaningful context.

Students who successfully complete both assessment phases will be awarded credit without a letter grade, and any course credit earned through CDM will not be included in GPA calculations. Students who do not pass the second phase can appeal the decision and apply for a second review of their second phase assessment.

More information about Mooresville Graded School District's CDM process is available at mgsd.k12.nc.us.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].