Foxcroft is Only School in Virginia to Earn Both AP CSA and AP CSP Female Diversity Awards

Foxcroft is the lone school in Virginia and one of only 68 worldwide to earn the prestigious College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Awards for achieving high female representation in both AP Computer Science A (AP CSA) and AP Computer Science Principles (AP CSP) courses during the 2022-23 academic year.
This is the third time Foxcroft has received both the AP CSA and AP CSP Female Diversity Awards and the fifth time it has received AP Computer Science Female Diversity Awards. The prior Awards were for both categories for the 2021-22 and 2019-20 academic years, AP CSA during the 2018-19 academic year, and AP CSP for the 2017-18 academic year.

“Foxcroft continues to lead the way in STEM education for girls,” said Head of School Cathy S. McGehee. “We encourage our students to take computer science. The technology field is one where women continue to be underrepresented, and efforts such as ours can make a difference. Congratulations to our AP Computer Science students and their outstanding teachers.”

More than 1,100 institutions achieved 50% or higher female representation in AP computer science courses or a percentage of the female computer science exam takers meeting or exceeding that of the school’s female population during the 2022-23 school year. In 2023, Foxcroft was one of only 68 to be recognized for improving gender representation in both AP computer science courses.

“Our students’ broad participation in Computer Science has helped grow other programs at Foxcroft, including eSports, the FIRST Tech Robotics Challenge, and several Computer Science-focused concentration projects,” shared Innovation Lab Director (and AP CSP teacher) Alex Northrup. 

The first year of AP Computer Science Principles in 2016-17 attracted more students than any other AP course debut, and participation is rising. In 2023, 164,505 students took the AP CSP Exam — more than triple the number of exam takers in the course’s first year. In 2023, 55,572 women took the AP CSP Exam, more than four times the number who tested in 2017. AP Computer Science A, which first debuted in 1988, continues to grow. In 2023, 94,438 students took the AP CSA exam, including 24,147 women — a 69% increase in female participation since 2017.

Providing female students with access to computer science courses is necessary to ensure gender parity in the industry’s high-paying jobs and to drive innovation, creativity, and representation. The median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $100,530 in May 2022. However, women represent just 24% of the five million people in computing occupations.
According to a Google study, 54% of female computer science majors took AP CSA in high school. College Board research about AP CSP also finds AP CSP students are nearly twice as likely to enroll in AP CSA and that for most students, AP CSP serves as a stepping stone to other advanced AP STEM coursework. Additionally, research from the International Coalition of Girls’ Schools (ICGS) shows that attending an all-girls school strengthens interest and success in STEM fields. Specifically, in math and computer skills, girls’ school graduates rate confidence in their abilities at least 10% higher than their co-educated counterparts. 
These findings highlight the importance of schools nationwide achieving gender parity in AP computer science classrooms. Overall, female students remain underrepresented in our high school computer science classes, accounting for just 34% of AP Computer Science Principles participants and 26% of AP Computer Science A participants. Currently, 57.5% of high schools teach foundational computer science.
This website uses cookies to ensure the best experience for visitors to our website.
By continuing to use this website, you consent to our use of these cookies.
See our Privacy Policy for additional information.

An all-girls boarding and day school in Northern Virginia, Foxcroft prepares young women in grades 9-12 for success in college and in life. Our outstanding academic program offers challenging courses, including Advanced Placement classes and an innovative STEM program. Our premiere equestrian program is nationally recognized, and our athletic teams have won conference and state championships. Experience the best in girls' boarding schools: visit Foxcroft.