Credit by Demonstrated Mastery

  • Credit by Demonstrated Mastery or CDM is the process by which Johnston County Public 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.

    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 does not factor into their GPA, 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. The district provides this opportunity for a student to continue into higher level courses. *Note for athletes - Multiple CDM awarded credits could impact future goals. Please review athletic guidelines with your counselor. CDM courses would not be used in initial-eligibility procedures. NCHSAA Handbook; NCAA Eligibility Center

    This multi-phase assessment, includes two phases - Phase 1 and Phase 2. Phase 1 includes an assessment to establish a student’s mastery of the foundational skills and content of the course/subject. Prior to the exam, a student may review the content standards for the course or subject area at If the student scores a minimum, pre-determined score relative to the course/subject, the student will continue to Phase 2. In Phase 2, a student participates in an assessment that reflects deep understanding of the content standards, including the ability to apply the skills and knowledge expected at the end of the course. This process may require an artifact such as a presentation, project, or interview as evidence of the student’s abilities.

    Students may apply for CDM for a course by following these steps:

    Meet with a school counselor or school designee to ensure understanding of the process and implications of further coursework if successful at CDM.
    Complete a CDM Application in full and submit form by the determined deadline (available from school counselor or School CDM Contact).
    Maintain confidentiality and do not share any portion of this process with other students or adults beyond parent/guardian, and adhere to the Testing Code of Ethics regarding assessments.

    For more information contact:

    The Office of Advanced Learning
    Dorlisa Johnson-Cowart
    Executive Director of Middle School Curriculum & Advanced Learning K-12
    919-934-4361 ext. 4010 or ext. 4028