Clarke Central High School Earns the College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award

Staff Report

Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

Clarke Central High School has earned the College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award for achieving high female representation in AP Computer Science A. According to the College Board, 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, Clarke Central 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 Dr. Robbie Hooker, CCSD Superintendent.

“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,” added Dr. Swade Huff, Clarke Central principal.

“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 Clarke Central High School 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,” according to the course description. 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. 

Providing female students with access to computer science courses is critical to ensuring gender parity in the industry’s high-paying jobs and 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 5 million people in computing occupations. 

According to College Board research, 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.