Sacred Heart Academy has earned the College Board AP® Computer Science Female Diversity Award for achieving high female representation in AP Computer Science A and AP Computer Science Principles. Schools honored with the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award have expanded young women’s access to AP computer science courses.
Out of the 20,000 institutions that offer AP courses, 818 achieved this important result during the 2018-2019 school year—nearly 20% more than the 685 schools recognized last year. In 2019, Sacred Heart Academy was one of only 36 to be recognized for closing the gender gap in both AP computer science courses.
“We are so proud of our students and their demonstration of creative and critical thinking skills. These young ladies have challenged themselves at Sacred Heart with the rigors of a concentrated computer science curriculum. Their study of AP Computer Science A and AP Computer Science Principles has fostered in them a lifelong love of learning and prepared them to be world-ready leaders in the ever-changing landscape of 21st century STEM-related career opportunities,” said Amy Nall, Assistant Principal, Dean of Studies.
Schools receiving the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award have achieved either 50% or higher female representation in either or both of the AP computer science courses, or the percentage of female computer science examinees meets or exceeds that of the school’s female population.
“Sacred Heart is empowering young women to see themselves as creators, innovators, and problem-solvers,” said Stefanie Sanford, College Board global policy chief. “We hope to see even more high schools inspire female students to harness the potential of an AP computer science education.”
The introduction of AP Computer Science Principles in 2016 was the largest course launch in AP Program history. In 2019, nearly 100,000 students took the AP CSP exam, more than doubling participation in three years. After completing AP CSP, many female students choose to go on and take AP CSA. In five years, the number of female AP CSA exam-takers has increased by nearly 60%.
Providing female students with access to computer science courses is necessary to ensuring gender parity in high-paying technology jobs and to drive innovation, creativity, and competition. A 2014 Google study found that women are more likely to pursue computer science if they are given the opportunity to explore it in high school.