Ursuline Academy has earned the College Board's AP® Computer Science Female Diversity Award for expanding young women's access to both AP Computer Science A and AP Computer Science Principles, the two computer science courses offered by the College Board. This award acknowledges 1,020 schools for their work toward equal gender representation during the 2020-21 school year.
Ursuline is one of only 61 schools to be recognized for achieving this important result in both courses. During the previous school year, Ursuline was awarded the Female Diversity Award for offering AP Computer Science Principles, and since then, has added Computer Science A due to increasing demand for coding and computer science among students. In just the second year of AP computer science being offered at Ursuline Academy, 79% of the students achieved a score of 3 or better on the 2021 exam.
“It is an honor to receive this recognition from the College Board. We’re adapting our curriculum to better prepare our students for the world in which they will live, and it has been exciting to see their eagerness to explore computer science as a foundation for future professional opportunities,” said Head of School Kate Levesque.
Providing female students with access to computer science courses is necessary 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 $91,250 in May 2020. However, a code.org analysis of 2017 Bureau of Labor Statistics data finds that women represent just 24% of the five million people in computing occupations. The 1,020 schools that receive this year’s AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award serve as inspirations and models for all U.S. high schools, and as a starting point for increasing the representation of women in the field of computer science.