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As part of a commitment to provide equitable educational opportunities for students at all grade levels, the Piedmont Unified School District (PUSD) was proud to learn Piedmont High School has earned the College Board AP® Computer Science Female Diversity Award for achieving high female representation in AP Computer Science Principles. 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, PHS was one of 832 schools recognized in the category of AP Computer Science Principles (CSP).

“We congratulate our AP computer science students from Piedmont and Millennium High Schools, their teachers and school/district administrators who have worked so hard to build opportunities and achievement in computer science education,” said PUSD Interim Superintendent, Dr. Donald Evans. “We are honored that Piedmont High School has earned this distinction and will continue our work in and out of the classroom to ensure students of all genders and backgrounds have the resources and opportunities for success.”

“Computer science is the source code of our economy and so much of our daily lives,” added 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 Piedmont High School welcome young women into this vital field.”

The first year of AP Computer Science Principles in 2016-17 attracted more students than any other AP course debut, and participation is on the rise. In 2022, 134,651 students took the AP CSP Exam - more than triple the number of exam takers in the course’s first year.

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.

College Board research about AP CSP is encouraging. 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 background 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.

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. View complete list of award-winning schools. Visit the College Board website for more information.

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