Webb Honored for Boosting Diversity in AP Computer Science

The College Board has recognized Vivian Webb School with an AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award for expanding young women’s access to AP Computer Science Principles in 2021-22.

VWS is one of just 112 schools in California and 832 across the globe to be recognized for the CSP achievement.

“I am thrilled that Webb has received this honor,” said Dr. Theresa Smith, head elect. “It is a recognition of how our program empowers students to pursue their own paths to success, whether that’s in the arts, humanities, math or the sciences.

Research shows that female students who take AP computer science in high school are five times as likely to major in computer science in college compared with matched peers. But, despite growing demand, women still only earn 18% of computer science bachelor’s degrees and make up just 28% of the science and engineering workforce, according to the National Girls Collaborative Project.

The award honors schools that have either reached 50% or higher female examinee representation or whose percentage of the female examinees met or exceeded that of the school’s female population.

“Through your leadership in diversifying computer science education, you’re preparing your female students for the high-paying, in-demand jobs of the future and giving them the opportunity to help solve some of society’s most challenging problems,” the announcement reads.

Andrew Neyer, chair of Webb’s Mathematics & Computer Science Department, credits Webb’s strength at engaging young women in computer science to the course’s recent slate of teachers, Christina Duron, Carissa DeRanek and Maria Suarez, who currently holds the post.

“These teachers have all worked hard to make computer science feel accessible to all students – young women in particular,” Neyer said.

February 28, 2023

13:12 PM PST