Oak Knoll Earns AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award

College Board award badgesFor the second consecutive year, Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child has earned the College Board AP® Computer Science Female Diversity Award for expanding girls’ access to AP Computer Science courses.

Out of the 20,000 institutions that offer AP courses, Oak Knoll is one of just four schools in New Jersey and 36 in the nation to be recognized for this distinction for both AP Computer Science A and Computer Science Principles for 2019.

“We’re so honored by this recognition and are proud of our female students studying computer science for their amazing achievements,” said Jennifer G. Landis, Oak Knoll’s Associate Head of School/Upper School Division Head. “We’re thrilled to be able to continue offering AP Computer Science courses that will ultimately drive a more diverse workforce worldwide in the critical STEM field.”

Overall, women account for a minority of the world’s researchers. Providing female students with access to computer science sources contributes to gender parity in the industry’s high-paying jobs and drives innovation, creativity and competition.

According to UNESCO’s Institute of Statistics data, less than 30 percent of the world’s researchers are women; in North America and Western Europe, it’s nearly 33 percent. Research shows women are more likely to pursue computer science if they’re given the opportunity to explore it in high school.

Camille Burke, Oak Knoll’s Upper School Computer Science Teacher and Department Chair, said throughout her more than 30 years of teaching computer science, she has always encouraged females to pursue STEM-related fields.

Landis praised Burke for building so much enthusiasm around the computer science field at Oak Knoll.

“Oak Knoll’s all-girls’ environment is ideal for building confidence,” said Burke. “I’m honored by this award and with the recognition of our AP Computer Science courses, I’m hopeful that even more girls will continue their studies in STEM-related fields in the years to come.”

Katrina Bergen ’20, of Cranford, plans to pursue computer science in college next year. She said the classes at Oak Knoll empower young women to be the innovators in our rapidly changing society.

“Computer science at Oak Knoll has offered me insight into the world of creative problem solving where I learned to approach obstacles objectively and with a sense of purpose and efficiency,” she said.

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