Strong Minds. Kind Hearts.

FA earns College Board Honor for Comp Sci program

FA earns College Board Honor for Comp Sci program

College Board awards Friends for achieving high female representation in AP Computer Science.

Friends Academy has earned the first College Board AP® Computer Science Female Diversity Award for achieving high female representation in AP Computer Science A. The College Board selected Friends, along with other 685 finalist schools, from the larger worldwide collection of 18,000 secondary schools that offer the two AP Computer Science courses. Only 167 schools, including Friends, earned the AP Computer Science Diversity Award for AP Computer Science A.

"This achievement validates our efforts to get girls interested in Computer Science earlier and to help keep them interested," praised Friends Academy Director of Technology Ken Ambach. "We have taken deliberate steps to introduce Comp Sci in earlier grades with programs like Scratch in the Lower School and Javascript coding in Middle School," added Ambach.

Schools receiving the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award have either 50% or higher female representation in one of the two AP computer science courses or a percentage of the female computer science examinees meet or exceed that of the school's female population.

"Moving forward, we plan to increase the amount of computer science we offer throughout all divisions," said Ambach. "Starting this past fall, new third and fourth grade computer classes integrated early coding activities into the curriculum."

According to the College Board, AP computer science course participation has increased 135% since 2016, broadening STEM career opportunities for more students. The number of female, rural, and underrepresented students of color taking AP computer science exams has more than doubled in that period as well. Additional research demonstrates that women are more likely to pursue computer science if they're given the opportunity to explore it in high school.

"As a Quaker school that strongly believes in equity both inside and out of the classroom, we are doubly proud of this achievement and award," finished Ambach.