Beverly Hills High School Earns Computer Science Diversity Award

Studying computer science can open doors for students, giving them the tools to excel, and setting them up for high-paying careers, but girls have been left behind for far too long. That statement by the College Board explains the purpose of its AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award. Beverly Hills High School was recently recognized with the award for the 2019-2020 school year.

Schools receiving the award have achieved either 50 percent or higher female exam taker representation in one or both AP computer science courses, or a percentage of female computer science exam takers that meets or exceeds that of the school’s female population.

BHHS was one of 232 institutions recognized in the category of AP Computer Science A, an introductory college-level computer science course.

Students enrolled in the course cultivate their understanding of coding through analyzing, writing, and testing code as they explore concepts like modularity, variables, and control structures. Students learn to design and implement computer programs that solve problems relevant to today’s society.

“During an unprecedented year, BHHS female students have demonstrated perseverance and dedication in their study of AP Computer Science,” said Dustin Seemann, Assistant Superintendent of Education Services. “We could not be more proud of BHHS female students for staking their claim as the next generation of STEM and computer science professionals. We can’t wait to see their passion for next generation technology lead to lifelong success.”

“BHHS’s students need the power to shape technology, not just cope with it,” says 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.”

Overall AP Computer Science course participation has increased 79 percent since 2017, broadening STEM career opportunities for more students. The number of female AP CSA exam-takers has grown steadily, up nearly 25 percent since 2017.

The median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $88,240 in May 2019. However, a analysis of 2017 Bureau of Labor Statistics data finds women represent just 24 percent of the five million people in computing occupations.

According to College Board data, female students who take an AP Computer Science course in high school are more than five times as likely to major in Computer Science in college, compared to similar female students who did not.  The study also finds that for most students, AP Computer Science courses serve as a stepping-stone to other advanced AP STEM coursework.

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