Bellarmine Preparatory School Earns AP Computer Science A Female Diversity Award
Recognized for Closing the Gender Gap in AP Computer Science A
Bellarmine Preparatory School 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 2021-22 school year. In 2022, Bellarmine was one of 209 recognized in the category of AP Computer Science A.
“We’re thrilled to congratulate our female AP computer science students and their teachers on this step toward gender parity in computer science education,” said Principal Cindy Davis, “We’re honored that our school earned this distinction and look forward to seeing these young women and others pursue and achieve success in computer science education and careers.”
“I have been involved in Computer Science professionally and as a teacher for over 35 years. I have always been impressed by the women that I have worked with and taught. Women seem to have a unique ability to put their egos aside and focus on solving the problem at hand," said Computer Science Teacher Michael Schneider, "I am honored and humbled that we have so many young ladies involved with our Computer Science program at Bellarmine. We need to continue to grow that number. Women rock and the field needs more of them."
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 39% since 2017. Overall AP computer science course participation has increased 103% since 2017, broadening STEM career opportunities for more students.
“Computer science is the source code of our economy and so much of our daily lives,” said Trevor Packer, College Board Head of the AP Program. “In the five years since we began the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award, it’s been heartening to see schools like Bellarmine welcome so many more young women into this vital field.”
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 $97,430 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 finds that students are nearly twice as likely to enroll in AP CSA after taking AP CSP.
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 33% of AP Computer Science Principles participants and 25% of AP Computer Science A participants. Currently, 51% of high schools teach foundational computer science. The 1,105 schools that receive this year’s AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award serve as inspirations and models for all U.S. high schools.