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What counts as a credit under the Michigan Merit Curriculum?
The MMC requires that credit be awarded based on a student's demonstration that they have successfully met the content expectations for the credit area, not by the commonly used Carnegie unit, which is based on seat time. The subject area standards, expectations, or guidelines outline the content required for earning the total credit in each content area as specified in the legislation. Districts determine the credit pathway options. A district may choose to assign a full subject area credit to a course, or they may choose to design courses and learning experiences for students that provide opportunities for students to earn partial credit in one or more content areas.
How can students earn credit?
Students may earn credit if they successfully demonstrate mastery of the subject area content standards, expectations, or guidelines for the credit. The assignment of credit must be based, at least in part, on student performance on assessments designed to measure the extent to which they meet the standards, expectations, and guidelines. Assessments and criteria for success are determined by local districts. In addition to traditional course pathways, schools can also offer credit-bearing learning opportunities in a variety of ways, including:
- Integrated Content and Course Sequences
- Project-based Learning
- Independent Teacher-guided Study
- Testing out
In addition, the district may allow students to satisfy credit requirements through the following if the student demonstrates mastery of the content standards aligned to that credit:
- Career and Technical Education
- Work-based Learning Programs
- College Coursework
- Early College
- Advanced Placement Courses
- International Baccalaureate Courses
- Online classes
How do the NCAA rules impact district-level course decisions?
The NCAA suggests that districts considering flexible learning options visit the NCAA Eligibility Center and read the Non-traditional Course FAQ. If districts feel that students' non-traditional course meets the requirements listed, districts may call (877) 622- 2321 for review.
Will colleges accept students who earn credit through non-traditional classes, such as integrated Mathematics or project-based learning?
Colleges and universities see a variety of transcripts from multiple states and countries that vary in course name and format of reporting. Individual institutes of higher education make the ultimate determination in accepting students. Districts may want to contact the institutes for clarification on their application requirements.
Can a course count towards credit in more than one content area, can we "double-dip"?
Yes, courses can be used to grant more than one credit. Since credit is based on student proficiency with the content, how and where they learn the content has no bearing on credit. When students satisfactorily demonstrate proficiency on district-determined measures, they must be awarded credit. For instance, a student who takes a class that addresses both physics and mathematics concepts should be able to earn partial or full credit in both subjects once they demonstrate knowledge of the content.
How does teacher certification impact granting MMC credit?
Students earn credit if they successfully demonstrate mastery of the subject area content standards, expectations, or guidelines for the credit regardless of who they learn it from. Teacher certification does not impact earning or granting credit. The MMC legislation is the only place that outlines granting credit and is separate from the teacher placement and certification law.
What the Michigan Merit Curriculum Law Says About Earning Credit:
A pupil is considered to have completed a credit if the pupil successfully completes the subject area content expectations or guidelines developed by The Department that apply to the credit. For a Career and Technical Education (CTE) credit, a school district or public school academy may supplement those content expectations and guidelines with additional guidelines developed by the school district or public school academy.
A school district or Public School Academy shall base its determination on whether a pupil has successfully completed the subject area content expectations or guidelines developed by The Department that apply to a credit at least in part on the pupil's performance on the assessments developed or selected by The Department under section 1278b or on one or more assessments developed or selected by the school district or public school academy that measure a pupil's understanding of the subject area content expectations or guidelines that apply to the credit.
A school district or public school academy shall also grant a pupil a credit if the pupil earns a qualifying score, as determined by The Department, on the assessments developed or selected for the subject area by The Department under section 1278b or the pupil earns a qualifying score, as determined by the school district or public school academy, on one or more assessments developed or selected by the school district or public school academy that measure a pupil's understanding of the subject area content expectations or guidelines that apply to the credit.
If a pupil successfully completes one or more of the high school credits required under Subsection (1) or under Section 1278a(1) before entering high school, the pupil shall be given high school credit for that credit.
The board of a school district or board of directors of a public school academy that operates a high school shall ensure that each pupil is offered the curriculum necessary for the pupil to meet the curricular requirements of this section and section 1278a. The board or board of directors may provide this curriculum by providing the credits specified in this section and section 1278a, by using alternative instructional delivery methods such as alternative course work, humanities course sequences, career, and technical education, industrial technology courses, or vocational education, or by a combination of these. School districts and public school academies that operate career and technical education programs are encouraged to integrate the credit requirements of this section and section 1278a into those programs.
This Section and Section 1278a do not prohibit a pupil from satisfying or exceeding the credit requirements of the Michigan merit standard under this Section and Section 1278a through advanced studies such as accelerated course placement, advanced placement, dual enrollment in a post-secondary institution, or participation in the international baccalaureate program or an early college/middle college program.