Credit by Demonstrated Mastery (CDM)

  • What is Credit by Demonstrated Mastery (CDM)?

    CDM is an option for students to obtain credit for standard-level high school courses without taking the course in the classroom or through NCVPS. CDM cannot be used for honors or Advanced Placement (AP) courses.  Under the guidelines established by the State Board of Education, CDM is only available for students that achieve mastery of course material "at a level that demonstrates a deep understanding of the content standards and the ability to apply his or her knowledge of the material."

    For more information about CDM, click here to visit the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) CDM website.

    How can students earn CDM?

    Earning CDM requires that the student successfully complete a two-phase process as follows:

    Phase I: Standard Examination

    • Achieving a Level V score on an End of Course (EOC) test in a subject for which an EOC test is offered 
    • Achieving a score of 93% or higher on courses for which a CTE Post Assessment is available
    • Achieving a score of 94% or higher on an assessment for a course in which an EOC or CTE Post Assessment is not available. 

    Phase II: Artifact (work product)

    • The artifact will be a project that demonstrates the student's ability to apply the knowledge and skills of the course. It will be developed and assigned by the school and may take the form of a written project, a skills demonstration, an oral presentation or interview, and/or other assessments appropriate for the course.

    What courses are eligible for CDM?

    CDM is available for most standard level high school courses in grades 9-12 and for students in grades 6-8 with prior approval of their principal and the high school principal. The following courses are excluded from CDM:

    • Career and Technical Education (CTE) work-based learning courses (co-op, internship, apprenticeship)
    • CTE courses that have a clinical setting as a requirement of the course, such as ProStart, Early Childhood Education I/II and Nursing Fundamentals  
    • CTE Advanced Studies courses or any CTE course without state technical standards
    • English Language Learner (ELL) courses
    • Healthful Living required courses
    • Honors and AP Courses

    Note: Due to the implementation of the new North Carolina Mathematics standards and the new Math III end-of-course test, Math I and Math III will not be eligible for CDM until February 2019.

    When can students attempt to earn CDM?

    The windows for CDM testing are set by North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. The upcoming CDM testing windows are as follows:

    • Spring 2019: February 1-14, 2019

    What should I do if I'm interested in pursuing CDM?

    If you/your student is interested in earning course credit through the CDM process, start the conversation with your school counselor, who can discuss the process and potential impact of successful CDM on future scheduling and course selections.

    Who should I contact with other questions related to CDM?

    For more details on CDM, please contact Dr Susan Mochen, Watauga High School and Watauga Innovation Academy Assistant Principal (; 828.264.2407) or Ike Smith, Director of Instructional Support Services (; 828.264.7190).