Sacred Heart Academy Earns AP Computer Science A
Female Diversity Award
Recognized for Improving Gender Representation in AP Computer Science A
Sacred Heart Academy has earned the College Board AP® Computer Science Female Diversity Award for achieving high female representation in AP Computer Science A. Schools honored with the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award have expanded girls’ access in AP computer science courses.
More than 1,100 institutions achieved either 50% or higher female representation in one of the two AP computer science courses or a percentage of the female computer science exam takers meeting or exceeding that of the school’s female population during the 2022-23 school year. In 2023, Sacred Heart Academy was one of 225 recognized in the category of AP Computer Science A.
“Computer science is the source code of our economy and much of the career landscape,” said Trevor Packer, Head of the AP Program. “In the six years since we began the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award, it’s been heartening to see schools like Sacred Heart Academy welcome so many more young women into this vital field.”
AP Computer Science A (CSA) students learn to design and implement computer programs that solve problems relevant to today’s society. AP Computer Science A, which first debuted in 1988, continues to grow and female participation has increased 69% since 2017, to 24,147 women. Overall AP computer science course participation has increased 147% since 2017, broadening STEM career opportunities for more students.
Providing female students with access to computer science courses is critical to ensuring gender parity in the industry’s high-paying jobs and to drive innovation, creativity, and representation. The median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $100,530 in May 2021. However, women represent just 24% of the five million people in computing occupations.
According to a Google study, 54% of female computer science majors took AP CSA in high school. College Board research about AP CSP also finds AP CSP students are nearly twice as likely to enroll in AP CSA, and that for most students, AP CSP serves as a stepping stone to other advanced AP STEM coursework.
These findings highlight the importance of schools nationwide achieving gender parity in AP computer science classrooms. Female students remain underrepresented in our high school computer science classes, accounting for just 34% of AP Computer Science Principles participants and 26% of AP Computer Science A participants. Currently, 57.5% of high schools teach foundational computer science. The 1,127 schools that receive this year’s AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award serve as inspirations and models for all U.S. high schools.