ASH Recognized for Closing the Gender Gap in AP Computer Science A
Sacred Heart has earned the College Board AP® Computer Science Female Diversity Award for achieving high female representation in AP Computer Science A and expanding girls’ access in AP Computer Science courses. In 2020, Sacred Heart was one of 232 schools recognized in the category of AP Computer Science A.
“Over 20 years ago, Sacred Heart was a pioneer among schools in the New Orleans area for implementing a laptop program for Upper School students, opening a STEM wing on its campus and expanding STEM-focused course offerings for students,” said Headmistress Sr. Melanie A. Guste, RSCJ. “We have consistently maintained our focus and priority in this realm since then, with integrating developmentally-appropriate technology throughout both campuses, the addition of the Katherine & Robert Boh Innovation Lab & Makerspace, and a focus on STEM content starting as early as our Little Hearts program. Our students cultivate an interest in these fields at a young age and follow their passion and expertise in later years, taking advantage of our many STEM-related clubs and electives to support their academic studies. We are proud of the Sacred Heart alumnae who have already forged their own path in STEM-driven industries, and we know that there are many more students in the pipeline to become leaders in these areas.”
Today’s students need the power to shape technology, not just cope with it,” said Stefanie Sanford, College Board chief of global policy and external relations. “Young women deserve an equal opportunity to become the next generation of entrepreneurs, engineers and tech leaders. Closing the gap in computer science education empowers young women to build the future they want.”
AP Computer Science A students learn to design and implement computer programs that solve problems relevant to today’s society. The number of female AP CSA exam-takers has grown steadily, up nearly 25% since 2017. Overall AP computer science course participation has increased 79% 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.