Following Successful Pilot, to Offer Equity-Minded Advanced Placement Computer Science Curriculum Nationwide | News

New AP curriculum aims to increase access, participation, and long-term career success for high school students from communities currently underrepresented in tech

SEATTLE, May 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Following a successful year-long pilot, national nonprofit organization today announced it is expanding its equity-minded Advanced Placement Computer Science A (AP CSA) curriculum nationwide for the 2022-2023 school year. It will also offer aligned professional learning for educators interested in teaching the new curriculum starting this summer.

The CSA curriculum, supported by a $15 million donation from Amazon Future Engineer, incorporates research-backed culturally responsive strategies to ensure equitable learning opportunities and outcomes. While covering traditional concepts that prepare students for the AP CSA exam, the curriculum uniquely emphasizes creativity and real world connections in a user-friendly and visually rich multimedia environment. By providing students with multiple avenues to learn and understand the computer science content,‘s CSA aims to  increase engagement, confidence, and a sense of belonging for students from all backgrounds, especially those from underrepresented groups.

“Taking an AP CSA exam is a strong indicator that students will pursue computer science in the future. But just 14% of the 70,000 students who took the AP CSA exam in 2020 were from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups,” said Jacqueline Smalls, Chief Programs Officer at, citing data released by College Board, which administers the AP program. “And only 25% of test takers identified as female. By incorporating students’ diverse interests and experiences into computer science, we can engage students from all backgrounds, empowering them to envision themselves as capable software engineers.”

The curriculum is expanding nationwide after being piloted in 80 schools across Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The pilot served about 1,500 students.

“With‘s CSA curriculum, students aren’t just learning how to program, they’re constantly building their identities as software engineers. This curriculum was transformative for my classroom environment,” said Jennifer Manly, an educator at Paint Branch High School in Burtonsville, Maryland who participated in the pilot. “One of the challenges of teaching AP CSA in the past has been that I lose students along the way. I have noticed a significant difference in how well all of my students are able to master the content while genuinely having fun. Over 50% of my class intends to go on to major in computer science.”

She continued, “’s curriculum includes culturally responsive teaching strategies throughout the course, making space for students to bring their strengths into the classroom while creating a shared classroom culture.”

With the expanded curriculum comes an aligned professional learning opportunity for educators. Educators can locate training details and information about scholarships, here. Applications are currently open.‘s Education Advisory Council, composed of representatives from nonprofits, colleges, and universities, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and its Industry Advisory Council, which includes representatives from a variety of employers, helped shape the CSA curriculum.

“The CSA Curriculum teaches more than programming skills to help prepare students for jobs of the future,” said Victor Reinoso, global director of Amazon’s philanthropic education initiatives. “It helps students build and model critical career skills, while learning how to conduct code reviews, trace code segments, read documentation, and write code with both the user and other developers in mind. Through this project-based learning approach, students also have ample opportunity to engage in collaboration and problem solving.”

About is a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to computer science in schools and increasing participation by young women and students from other underrepresented groups. Our vision is that every student in every school has the opportunity to learn computer science as part of their core K-12 education. The leading provider of K-12 computer science curriculum in the largest school districts in the United States, also created the annual Hour of Code campaign, which has engaged more than 15% of all students in the world.


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