The X Factor
Northwest Early College High School Earns Consecutive AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award
Posted on 01/24/2023
This is the image for the news article titled Northwest Early College High School Earns Consecutive AP Computer Science Female Diversity AwardNorthwest Early College High School (NWECHS) has once again been recognized for expanding female students’ access to advance their prowess in the world of computer science.

NWECHS has, for another year, earned the Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award for achieving high female representation in AP computer science principles and coursework.

College Board honors schools that have either reached 50% or higher female examinee representation in one of or both AP computer science courses, or whose percentage of the female examinees met or exceeded that of the school's female population. A total of 1,105 schools were recognized for their work toward equal gender representation during the 2021–2022 school year.

“We always strive to provide the best opportunities to all our students and ensuring our female students get the skills they need to be successful in this typically male dominated, well-paying job field is something we will continue to focus on,” said NWECHS Principal Frank Clark.

Providing female students with access to computer science courses is critical to ensuring gender parity in the industry’s high-paying jobs and to driving 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 the data, female students who take AP CSP in high school are more than five times as likely to major in computer science in college, compared to female students of similar backgrounds and academic preparation who did not take CSP. The study 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. Overall, female students remain underrepresented in 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 the nation’s high schools teach foundational computer science. The 1,105 schools that received this year’s AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award serve as inspirations and models for all U.S. high schools.