High School North has earned the College Board AP® Computer Science Female Diversity Award for achieving high female representation in AP Computer Science A. Schools honored with the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award have expanded girls’ access in AP computer science courses, and at the forefront of this for HSN are educators Camille Anne (“Camie”) Corrado and Jody Parchment.
“I congratulate our own Mrs. Camie Corrado and Ms. Jody Parchment, as well as our AP Computer Science students, on this AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award,” said High School North Principal Ed Keller. “We’re honored that our school earned this distinction, and we look forward to seeing these young women and others pursue and achieve success in computer science education and careers.”
More than 1,000 institutions achieved either 50 percent 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 2020-21 school year. High School North was one of 199 recognized nationally in the category of AP Computer Science A; one of only 17 in New Jersey; and one of only two in Ocean County, the other being Point Pleasant Beach High School.
“By encouraging young women to study advanced computer science coursework, Toms River High School North is closing the gap in computer science education and empowering young women to access the opportunities available in STEM career fields,” says Stefanie Sanford, College Board chief of Global Policy and External Relations. “Computer science is the foundation of many 21st-century career options, and young women deserve equal opportunities to pursue computer science education and drive technological innovation.”
Indeed, the district has prioritized targeting underrepresented populations—particularly girls—in the fields of STEM and computer science. Grant-funded programs such as TR:TechReady, Perkins, and, currently, the Bridge to the Future (B2F) program specifically target and encourage female participation, which has resulted in girls-only coding camps, various success stories, and a growing partnership with the #ForUsGirls Foundation.
"We look forward to seeing young women pursue and achieve success in computer science education and careers." - High School North Principal Ed Keller
AP Computer Science A (CSA) students learn to design and implement computer programs that solve problems relevant to today’s society. AP Computer Science A, which first debuted in 1988, continues to grow and female participation has increased 33% since 2017. Overall AP computer science course participation has increased 79% since 2017, broadening STEM career opportunities for more students.
“As female CSA educators, not only are Mrs. Corrado and Ms. Parchment helping to set our students on a path toward future success, they are serving as everyday manifestations of the very career success our students are seeking,” said Superintendent Stephen Genco. “I applaud them for this well-deserved recognition.”
Providing female students with access to computer science courses is critical to ensuring gender parity in the industry’s high-paying jobs and to drive 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 women represent just 24% of the five million people in computing occupations. Computing jobs are the number one source of new wages in the U.S., although 67% of all new jobs in STEM are in computing, only 11% of STEM bachelor’s degrees are in computer science.
According to a Google study, 54% of female computer science majors took AP CSA in high school. College Board research about AP CSP 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.
These findings highlight the importance of schools nationwide achieving gender parity in AP computer science classrooms. Female students remain underrepresented in our high school computer science classes, accounting for just 34% of AP Computer Science Principles participants and 25% of AP Computer Science A participants. Currently, 51% of high schools teach foundational computer science. 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.