This article is published in the March 2011 issue.

Endorsement Effort Announced for Proposed AP CS Principles Course

The College Board and the NSF-funded team building the new Advanced Placement test in computing seek endorsements of their effort beginning March 11, 2011. The proposed course, formally known as Computer Science Principles, resulted from a two-year effort to build a curriculum framework for concepts-rich computing class; it relied on wide community input. The course is rigorous, engaging and inspiring. As such, the team hopes to attract a broader, more diverse population of computing majors by exposing high school students to solid CS concepts. They also hope that teaching the course in college—perhaps as CS0—will attract community college and college students to the major as well.

AP courses, by design, are college level and CS Principles is no exception. It has been piloted this academic year at five schools: the Metropolitan State College of Denver, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, University of Washington, and UNC Charlotte. This fall, it will be piloted in additional high schools, 2- and 4-year colleges, and universities.

AP CS Principles represents a significant opportunity for the computing community because it will introduce a rigorous, academic computing course into high schools nationwide. (The current AP CS A will continue but it attracts relatively few students.) With CS Principles, we can reach a larger, broader audience. Find more at

Your help is needed now to make CS Principles an official AP Course! A significant number of departments across the country must agree to give it credit and/or placement.

Action: To insure success of the community’s long effort to create a solid computer science course for all high school students, make sure your department signs the credit/placement attestation at and check as many boxes as apply. Support is most useful before May 15, 2011.

Endorsement Effort Announced for Proposed AP CS Principles Course