Xavier College Prep recognized for female representation in computer science

Xavier College Preparatory (File photo)

Xavier College Preparatory has earned the first College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award for achieving high female representation in AP Computer Science A and AP Computer Science Principles.

Schools honored with the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award have expanded girls’ access in AP Computer Science courses. Out of more than 18,000 secondary schools worldwide that offer AP courses, Xavier is one of 685 to accomplish this, according to a press release.

“We’re honored by this recognition and are proud of our students studying computer science for their achievements,” Sister Joan Nuckols, principal, said in a prepared statement.

“We’re committed to continuing to provide our students with access to AP Computer Science courses to help prepare a more diverse workforce in critical STEM jobs. As an all girls school, we couldn’t be more proud of these exceptionally talented female computer scientists.”

Schools receiving the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award have either 50 percent or higher female representation in one of the two AP computer science courses or a percentage of the female computer science examinees meeting or exceeding that of the school’s female population.

Twenty eight schools have earned the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award for both AP Computer Science A and Computer Science Principles.

“By inviting so many of our students to advanced computer science classrooms, Xavier College Prep has taken a significant step toward preparing their students for the widest range of 21st-century opportunities,” Trevor Packer, College Board senior vice president of the AP Program, said in a prepared statement.

“We hope this inspires many other high schools to engage more female students in AP Computer Science and prepare them to drive innovation.”

The AP Computer Science Principles course launch in 2016 was the largest in program history, a release claims.

AP Computer Science Principles has promoted the growth of AP computer science in high schools. AP computer science course participation increased 135 percent since 2016, broadening STEM career opportunities for more students.

The number of female, rural and underrepresented minority students taking AP computer science exams has more than doubled in that period.

Providing female students with access to computer science courses contributes to gender parity in the industry’s high-paying jobs and drives innovation, creativity, and competition.

According to UNESCO’s Institute of Statistics data, less than 30 percent of the world’s researchers are women; in North America and Western Europe, it’s 32 percent.

Research shows, a release states, women are more likely to pursue computer science if they’re given the opportunity to explore it in high school.

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