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Title: Engaging Black Female Students in a Year-Long Preparatory Experience for AP CS Principles
In 2020, over 116,000 students took the Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles (AP CSP) Exam. Although Black female students have participated in AP CSP at higher rates than for the AP CSA course, their representation is still disproportionately lower than the school population of Black females. In this Experience Report, we present the early results of an NSF-sponsored effort that provides an AP CSP preparatory experience and CS career awareness to Black female students from rural, urban, and suburban communities in the state of Alabama. At the project’s core is a peer-learning community (PLC) facilitated by Black female teachers with deep knowledge of AP CSP. An intensive summer experience prepares students for the AP CSP course through culturally-responsive, project-based learning experiences designed to connect advanced computing concepts to the students’ personal lives and career aspirations. Interactions and support continue throughout the academic year to facilitate AP exam readiness. Online interactions among the PLC members serve to mitigate the barriers that young women of color typically encounter when pursuing CS education, increasing their persistence and success in CS. We examined whether students’ project participation enhances self-efficacy and perceived competency in CS, increases positive attitudes, awareness, and desire to pursue CS studies and careers, more » and mitigates perceived socio-cultural barriers to pursue studies and careers in CS. Our initial findings include AP CSP examination qualifying rates (87.5%) that exceed the 2019 national/statewide rates for all subgroups (including Alabama White male students), increased perceptions of Black females as belonging in CS, and gains in computing self-efficacy throughout the academic year. « less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1759197 1759262
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10293877
Journal Name:
Proceedings of ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE’21)
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
706 to 724
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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