Bring AP Computer Science A to Your School

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Webinar: Bring AP Computer Science A to Your School
This webinar for administrators and potential AP Computer Science A (CSA) teachers addresses the value and structure of AP CSA, best practices in course implementation, recruitment strategies for underrepresented students, and more. Watch recorded webinar.

The Impact of AP CSA

AP CSA is designed to help students cultivate their understanding of coding as they do hands-on work to design, write, and test computer programs that solve problems or accomplish tasks using Java. More than 190,000 students took AP computer science exams in 2020, including AP CSA and AP Computer Science Principles (CSP), more than doubling the access to computer science education since the AP CSP course launched.

Five Steps to Start

Here’s how to bring this course to your school.

Step 1: Add the Course and Identify and Recruit Teachers

Teachers in other disciplines, such as physics, calculus, statistics, and computer science principles, with knowledge of object-oriented programming, especially in Java, can also teach AP CSA. Please check with your local state and district regarding requirements to teach computer science.

Professional development opportunities are available from College Board and several endorsed providers. The AP Mentoring program is available to both new and experienced AP CSA teachers. This program provides support for teachers throughout the school year. Learn more. 

Step 2: Explore Curriculum Options

Like all AP courses, AP CSA gives your teachers the flexibility to customize a curriculum based on the course’s curriculum framework.

As an alternative, your school may be interested in curricula developed by College Board–endorsed providers. Expert education organizations offer a full curriculum with preapproved syllabi, lesson plans, formative assessments, and professional development. Learn more.

Step 3: Check Your Resources

Make sure that your school meets these requirements:

  • Each student has access to course materials.
  • Each student has individual access to a computer (i.e., 1 student per computer) for adequate time to meet the course lab requirement and to complete course activities.
  • Each student has access to the internet as well as to the tools and programming environments you’ll use.

Additionally, it would be ideal for students to have access to support multimedia explorations such as 3-D graphics and sound.

Step 4: Recruit Students

A well-designed implementation of AP CSA can engage all students, including those traditionally underrepresented in computer science, in the world of computing and technology. These students may need extra encouragement to participate in a computer science course. Administrators and teachers should provide additional outreach to parents and students to increase participation.

See proven strategies for recruiting underrepresented students to the AP CSA classroom.

Step 5: Submit Course Audit Form and Syllabus

The AP Course Audit has clear guidelines on curricular and resource requirements for AP courses. Review AP Course Audit resources for AP CSA and submit the course audit form and your syllabus. If you select an endorsed provider you can submit their preapproved syllabus. Learn more about the AP Course Audit.