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Equity in Computer Science Honored

Webb was honored to receive the College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award for attaining exceptional female representation in AP Computer Science Principles in 2019. Webb was one of just 3 percent of schools so honored in the United States—out of more than 20,000.
 
This award from the College Board is meant to acknowledge the outstanding work Webb is doing to close the gender equity gap in computer science. Webb’s longstanding, programmatic goal is to enroll an equal number of Vivian Webb School and Webb School of California students in the computer science program.
 
“The fact that our numbers of VWS students enrolling in APCSP are increasing year by year is another great metric that is encouraging for the future,” says Director of Studies Michael Hoe ’04.
 
Our computer science program is also unique among independent and boarding schools for another reason—our special partnership with faculty at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont.
 
Webb’s introductory course introduces students to the complex process of designing and writing computer programs. Students work in a high level programming language with simple syntax and elegant powers of abstraction as a means to discover best practices in programming. Through a variety of individual and group projects, students develop the analytical mindset and problem solving skills necessary to code in a myriad of common computer languages.
 
Webb also offers AP Computer Science Principles, a multidisciplinary approach to teaching the underlying principles of computation. In this course, students develop computational thinking skills vital for success across all disciplines, such as using analytical tools to study and work with large data sets as well as visualize, and draw conclusions from trends. Students develop an online portfolio of computer science projects throughout the year which is submitted to the College Board and assessed along with a comprehensive end-of-the-year AP exam.
 
And beyond the AP, Webb offers advanced courses in computer science in partnership with faculty from Harvey Mudd College. Students move from our computer science course to take CS5, HMC’s introductory course. From there, they have access to other advanced offerings. Harvey Mudd faculty and students support Webb students in their studies, both on our campus and at HMC’s facilities.
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