Course Challenge

What is a Course Challenge?

We recognize that some students within CBe-learn are able to demonstrate a high level of achievement of the learning objectives of particular courses without being enrolled into the course. CBe-learn allows student to challenge a maximum of three provincially-developed courses at the 10, 20 or 30 level for credit through a rigorous and comprehensive challenge process. 

Students who are not successful in the course challenge process will not be allowed to challenge the same course a second time. In order to receive course credits, the student will be required to register in and successfully complete the course. A course challenge has no instructional component to it. As a result, teachers will not provide any preparation, tutoring or other support for the content of a course challenge.

Administrative Regulation 6021

The course challenge process abides by Administrative Regulation 6021 - Course Challenge

CBe-learn school administration will ensure the course challenge process is administered within Alberta Education policy, procedures and guidelines and within Calgary Board of Education jurisdiction policy, procedures and guidelines.

Course challenge is a provision mandated by Alberta Education that allows senior high school students who believe that they have acquired the knowledge, skills and attitudes as defined by the program of studies for a given course and are ready to demonstrate that achievement, to participate in a summative assessment/evaluation process, be given a final course mark, and, if successful, credits in that course.  (Calgary Board of Education Administrative Regulation 6021) 

Credits Awarded

With a passing mark, students will receive full credits for the course and a percentage mark will be recorded on the student’s transcript for the course challenged. 

Students successfully completing a 30-level course challenge will earn a “P” for pass at the 10 and 20 level as retroactive credits. Only courses listed in the Guide to Education are eligible for retroactive credit. 

A course challenge in a diploma examination course applies only to the school-awarded component of that course. The diploma examination component must be written in order for the student to receive credit in that course.

Course Challenge Process

A student’s readiness for course challenge shall be determined through consultation that includes the principal, student, parent(s) and subject teacher(s). The principal shall make the final decision about the student’s readiness for the course challenge based upon this consultation. 

  • The principal shall assign the administration and evaluation of assessment for a course challenge to a certified teacher who is currently teaching, or has recently taught, the challenged course. 
  • The student shall submit their application for a course challenge by February 1 of the current school year, and shall take the responsibility for providing evidence of readiness to challenge a course. 
  • The student must complete all three of the course challenge components in order to be granted credit.

Course Challenge Components

A variety of assessment techniques that measure the level of student attainment of course objectives shall be included in the course challenge process. Students must earn a minimum of 50% in each of three components of the course challenge to be granted credit, in accordance with Alberta Education regulations. The weighing of each component of the course challenge will be decided by the teachers of that subject area in accordance with any applicable existing policies and regulations.  

The three components of the course challenge include:

  1. an interview
  2. demonstration / portfolio
  3. written exam(s)

The three components must be scheduled within a two-week time frame, at a date and time the student and teacher can meet. All components will take place at Lord Shaughnessy High School under the supervision of a senior high online teacher.

30-Level French & International Languages Course Challenge

30-level language course challenges are offered twice per year in a centralized format. There are fall (October-November) and spring (February-March) sessions. A student requests a 30-level language course challenge via their Principal (or Assistant Principal or Student Services/Guidance counsellor) before the second Wednesday of October for the fall session, or the first Wednesday of February for the spring session.

For further information on the 30-level Languages Course Challenge process please refer to the CBE’s French & International Languages Course Challenge Guide for Students & Family.

The Language Course Challenge Consent Form (page 15 of the guide) must be signed and submitted to the student’s principal (or designated staff member) no later than the second Wednesday in October (fall), or the first Wednesday in February (spring).


For further questions about the course challenge process at CBe-learn, please contact Guidance Counsellor Learning Leader Irene Welch

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