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Procedure: Social Studies Mastery-Based Learning and Credit

Demonstrating Mastery/Proficiency in Social Studies 

The district will manage the assessment process so that students seeking mastery-based credit can demonstrate mastery/proficiency in social studies skills. Mastery-based credit can be used either for awarding credit in place of a traditional course, or for credit recovery purposes.

  • The student may recover one social studies credit following a failed or incomplete social studies course if the student meets standard on an end-of-course exam for a social studies course (where an end-of-course exam is available); or
  • A student may recover up to one social studies credit if the student meets standard on another approved state alternative that meets the graduation requirement.

 General Education Development Test

The State Board of Education in consultation with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction determines what constitutes a passing score for a General Education Development (GED) test. Any student may obtain one social studies credit for achieving a passing score on a GED test in social studies. Additionally, any student may obtain one credit for successfully completing a course or courses in preparation for taking a GED test.

For students in or from institutional education facilities, the district will award at least one (1) Social Studies credit for achieving a passing score on the Social Studies section of a GED test. The district will also award students in or from institutional education facilities additional credit for successfully completing a course or course in preparation for taking a GED test.

Other Assessments

Students may obtain one social studies credit for passing a district-created assessment that is aligned to state learning standards. Students do not need to have attempted and failed a course before being eligible for these options

  • Locally created written or oral test;
  • Written report by the student;
  • Student-designed portfolio of work;
  • Student presentation or oral defense of their learning in the course;
  • Hands-on demonstration of knowledge and skills;
  • A combination of assessment approaches, as defined by the district; or
  • Other locally developed methods.

Equivalency course of study: Students may receive credit for learning experiences outside of school that align to state learning standards, in accordance with Board Policy 2413 – Equivalency Credit Opportunities and WAC 392-410-300.

Successful completion of next higher-level course: Credit may be awarded for a course when the student successfully completes the next higher-level course in a sequence that includes a natural progression of the state learning standards from the previous course. State or locally determined learning standards will be used as the guide when making decisions regarding what courses should qualify.

Mastery-based credit is available in social studies courses if the student achieves a C or higher grade in the next-higher level course.

The district collects and annually reviews disaggregated data to see which subgroups of students are receiving mastery-based credit. If disproportionality is found, the district takes appropriate actions to ensure equitable access to these crediting opportunities.


Adoption Date: April 28, 2020
Revised: March 26, 2024