NORTH CAROLINA STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION
Policy Manual

Policy Identification
Priority:
  Globally Competitive Students
Category:  Course for Credit
Policy ID Number:  CGS-M-001

Policy Title:  Policy defining "Course for Credit"

Current Policy Date:  12/05/2013

Other Historical Information:  Previous board dates: 05/05/1988, 08/02/2001, 02/07/2002, 12/05/2002, 07/01/2004,11/04/2004,05/03/2007, 06/05/2008,06/04/2009,10/01/2009, 12/02/2010, 12/06/2012, 12/06/2012, 12/06/2012

Statutory Reference:  GS 115C-81

Administrative Procedures Act (APA) Reference Number and Category:  


1.         A credit course, one for which credit toward high school graduation is awarded and which qualifies as part of the instructional day:

 

1.1   must consist of 150 clock hours of instruction in a traditional schedule or

 

1.2   must consist of a minimum of 135 clock hours of instruction in a block schedule; developed curriculum guides, or Advanced Placement syllabi in which high school students are enrolled; and

 

1.3   must be directed by a teacher.

 

2.         Public University, Community College, and Private College Courses

 

2.1   Courses taken for high school graduation requirements at community colleges and private or public colleges/universities are exempt from the 135 or 150 instructional hours with the exception of the following courses required for high school graduation, which must be taken at the high school or middle school where indicated:

-  English I, II, III, IV (English I may be taken in the middle school);

-  Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, and any higher level mathematics course with Algebra II as the prerequisite that will be used to fulfill the fourth mathematics requirement or Integrated Mathematics I, II, III (These mathematics courses may be taken in middle school.)

-  Biology, Earth/Environmental Science, and a physical science course that is used to fulfill the third science requirement (These science courses may be taken in middle school.);

-  Civics and Economics, US History, World History (These social studies courses may be taken in the middle school.)  NOTE:  Students entering grade 9 for the first time in 2012-2013 and beyond will be required to take US History Part I and Part II – OR – AP US History and one additional social studies elective (see GCS-N-004);

-  first year of a World Language (This World Language course may be taken in middle school.);

-  second year of the same World Language (This World Language course may be taken in the middle school.); and

-  one credit of Health/Physical Education.

 

2.2   Students participating in the Career & College Promise program are exempt from the requirements of 2.1 above and may earn high school credit for successfully completed college courses (“dual credit”) according to the Career & College Promise program guidelines established by the Department of Public Instruction.

 

3.         Beginning in the 2007-08 school year, students who pass mathematics or foreign language courses during grades 6-8 that are described in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study for grades 9-12 must achieve level III or IV on an EOC, if available, to meet that high school graduation requirement. High school mathematics and foreign language courses taken in grades 6-8 which do not have an EOC shall use high school course codes and shall be aligned to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study for grades 9-12. The courses will count toward graduation requirements, but the students’ GPA will be computed with courses taken during the high school years.

 

4.         Beginning in the 2008-09 school year, students who pass science courses during grades 6-8 that are described in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study for grades 9-12 must achieve level III or IV on an EOC, if available, to meet that high school graduation requirement.  High school science courses taken in grades 6-8 which do not have an EOC shall use high school course codes and shall be aligned to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study for grades 9-12.  The courses will count toward graduation requirements, but the students’ GPA will be computed with courses taken during the high school years.

 

5.         Beginning in the 2009-2010 school year, students who pass social studies courses during

            grades 6-8 that are described in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study for grades

            9-12 must achieve level III or IV on an EOC, if available, to meet that high school graduation requirement.  High school social studies courses taken in grades 6-8 which do not have an EOC shall use high school course codes and shall be aligned to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study for grades 9-12.  The courses will count toward graduation requirements, but the students’ GPA will be computed with courses taken during the high school years.

 

6.         Beginning in the 2010-2011 school year, students who pass English I during grades 6-8 as described in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study for grades 9-12 must achieve level III or IV on an EOC, if available, to meet that high school graduation requirement.  Courses taken in grades 6-8 which do not have an EOC shall use high school course codes and shall be aligned to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study for grades 9-12.  The courses will count toward graduation requirements, but the students’ GPA will be computed with courses taken during the high school years.

 

7.         Laboratory facilities must meet safety requirements and state and national guidelines for laboratory expendables and equipment to allow the same opportunities for laboratory work as the high school laboratory in the local education agency.

 

8.         Each local superintendent may grant a waiver to allow students to take the courses listed above at the Public University, Community College, and Private College and exempt them from the 135 or 150 instructional hour requirement, if these courses are not available to the student at his or her local high school. Courses taken at a Community College that have a corresponding end-of-course assessment at the high school require that the assessment be taken.

 

9.         Each local superintendent shall ensure that all required and elective courses have sufficient rigor, breadth, and depth to be awarded high school credit.

 

10.       An e-learning course qualifies for course credit if it meets the following requirements:

 

10.1     Any K-7 e-learning course or 8-12 course taken for credit toward a diploma must first be approved for credit by the NC Virtual Public School (NCVPS).

 

10.2     E-learning courses offering instruction in courses included within the NC Standard Course of Study must meet the Standard Course of Study competency goals and objectives.  E-learning courses offered for Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate credit must align with nationally validated standards for AP and IB, where available.

 

10.3     E-learning courses offering instruction in courses not included in the Standard Course of Study curriculum must have rigor, depth and breadth comparable to courses included in the Standard Course of Study.  When determining whether an e-learning course has such rigor, depth and breadth, the NCVPS shall consider whether the course meets the SREB (Southern Regional Education Board) and/or NACOL (North American Council for Online Learning) criteria for awarding credit or is offered for credit toward a degree by a University of North Carolina institution, an institution in the North Carolina Community College System, or a regionally accredited college.

 

10.4     Where available, end-of-grade tests, end-of-course tests, and post assessments must be used as an indicator of student mastery.  The student’s base school schedules and administers EOC and EOG tests.  These scores shall be included in the determination of the base school’s ABCs and AYP status.

 

10.5     Enrollment in an e-learning “for credit course” shall count toward satisfying local board requirements related to minimum instructional days, seat time policies, student attendance, athletic and/or extracurricular obligations. Furthermore, LEAs are instructed to be purposeful in establishing processes and procedures to enroll and manage such e-learning students in an environment where they can be successful.

 

11.   Credit may not be awarded for school bus driving, office assistance, teacher assistance, or laboratory assistance.

 

12.   Beginning in the 2011-2012 school year, Credit Recovery and Repeating A Course for Credit shall be governed by the following definitions and parameters:

 

12.1     The term “credit recovery” will be used to refer to a block of instruction that is less than the entirety of the Standard Course of Study for that course. Credit recovery, therefore, delivers a subset of the Standard Course of Study or Blueprint of the original course in order to specifically address deficiencies in a student’s mastery of the course and target specific components of a course necessary for completion. The length of credit recovery courses shall be dictated by the skills and knowledge the student needs to recover and not be a fixed length of seat time. When credit recovery is exercised, the original record of the course being completed and failed will remain on the transcript.

 

12.2     The term “repeating a course for credit” will be used to refer to a high school course repeated via any delivery method when the entire Standard Course of Study for that course is being taught to the student for a second time.

 

12.3     Students “Repeating a course for credit” will receive a grade and take the associated End-of-Course assessment. Those students who have already made a Level III or IV on the associated End-of-Course (EOC) assessment may elect to either retake the EOC or use the previous passing EOC score as 25% of their final grade. If the student retakes the EOC, the higher of the two scores will be used in the calculation of the final grade.

 

12.4     The LEA shall allow a grade pass or a fail for each credit recovery course. The mark will not affect the student’s GPA.

 

12.5     A student wishing to modify his or her GPA is to repeat a course for credit and not seek a credit recovery solution.

 

12.6     A local school board may not limit the number of credit recovery courses taken by a student prior to graduation.

 

12.7     The EOC test associated with credit recovery should be administered no later than 30 days upon the completion of the credit recovery course.

 

13.  Credit by Demonstrated Mastery (CDM)

13.1     Credit by Demonstrated Mastery is the process by which LEAs shall, based upon a body-of-evidence, award a student credit in a particular course without requiring the student to complete classroom instruction for a certain amount of seat time. 

13.2     “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.

13.3     Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, to inform student placement for the 2014-15 school year, LEAs may offer Credit by Demonstrated Mastery for NC students in grades 9-12 for high school courses and in grades 6-8 for high school courses offered in middle school.  LEAs may choose to make CDM available for students in grades 6-8 for middle grades content. 

Beginning with the 2014-15 school year, to inform student placement for the 2015-16 school year, Credit by Demonstrated Mastery shall be available for all NC students in grades 9-12 for high school courses and in grades 6-8 for high school courses offered in middle school.  LEAs may choose to make CDM available for students in grades 6-8 for middle grades content. 

13.4     Students shall demonstrate mastery through a multi-phase assessment, consisting of (1) a standard examination, which shall be the EOC/EOG where applicable, or a final exam developed locally and (2) an artifact which requires the student to apply knowledge and skills relevant to the content standards.  LEAs may require additional requirements, such as performance tasks.

This multi-phase assessment process builds a body-of-evidence that allows a committee to determine if the student has a deep understanding of the standards for the course or subject area, as defined by the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, thereby earning credit for the course without experiencing it in the school setting. 

 

13.5     DPI shall develop implementation guidelines for this policy.  These guidelines shall provide guidance for LEAs regarding scoring of assessments as well as local implementation.  The guidelines shall establish minimum scores for the standard examination and artifact creation. Students must attain minimum scores to earn Credit by Demonstrated Mastery. 

13.6     The following courses are excluded from Credit by Demonstrated Mastery:

-   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

-   English Language Learner (ELL) courses

-   Healthful Living required courses

-   AP and IB courses