The Impact of AP CSP
AP CSP is designed to attract a greater diversity of students to the field, focusing on creative problem solving and real-world applications to better prepare them for college and career. Students do not need previous computer science experience to take this course. A high school algebra course like Algebra 1 is the recommended prerequisite.
Five Steps to Start
Here’s how to bring this dynamic course to your school.
Step 1: Add the Course and Identify and Recruit Teachers
Once you’ve decided to offer AP CSP and added it to your catalog, complete the interest form to get updates and free resources.
If your school offers foundational computing courses and/or AP Computer Science A, teachers of these courses are a natural fit for AP CSP. However, because of the broad, multidisciplinary nature of the course, teachers in other disciplines, such as the arts or social sciences, can also teach AP CSP. While certification requirements vary from state to state, often a background in computer science is not required for you to teach AP CSP, or for students to succeed in the course. Please check with your local state and district regarding requirements to teach computer science.
To give educators an overview of the course’s principles and pedagogy as well as its benefits to students, share the resources in our Recruitment Toolkit.
Step 2: Explore Curriculum Options
Like all AP courses, AP CSP 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. Endorsed providers 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., one student per computer) for adequate time 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
This course is designed to 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 CSP 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 CSP 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.
My students would make the connections between the different aspects of computing and society. They liked the relevance and the ability to research things that excited them.
— Barbara Froehlich, AP Computer Science Principles Teacher