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Often when I speak with students who are majoring in computer sciences, many of them tell me that they have never taken a computer science course until college. This is especially true for the female, black, and Latino students I've spoken with as a computer science professor.
But newly released data from the College Board suggests that things are beginning to change, especially for girls and students from groups that are underrepresented in computer science.
Figures - Number - School - Students - Advanced
Specifically, the figures show the number of black high school students who have taken Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles—a class that involves both computer programming and the social impact of technology—rose 121 percent since the course launched in 2016, from 2,981 to 6,589. The number of black students who scored a 3 or higher on the AP exam for this course increased 118 percent since 2017, from 1,269 to 2,766 in 2019, according to a College Board representative.
A score of 3 or better often enables exam takers to get college credit and bypass introductory computer science courses in college.
Number - Hispanic/Latino - Students - AP - Computer
The number of Hispanic/Latino students who have taken AP Computer Science Principles has increased 125 percent, from 8,334 to 18,780, since the course began. The number of Hispanic/Latino students scoring a 3 or higher on the AP CSP exam increased 116 percent since 2017, from 4,742 in 2017 to 10,264 in 2019, according to the College Board.
Finally, in the three years since the launch of AP Computer Science Principles, the number of female students who have taken the course has increased 136 percent, from 13,328 to 31,458, the College Board has reported.
Figures - Professor
What do these figures mean? As a professor who...
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