Florida AP Computer Science A enrollments flat two years in a row

Florida public high school enrollments in AP Computer Science A, the highest level widely available high school computer science course in the state, are flat for the second year in a row.

Enrollments grew quickly until last year, when enrollments in district high schools leveled off at about 2,000 students and FLVS enrollments stalled near 500.  Those enrollment levels remained the same this school year, according to fall 2016 enrollment data provided by the Florida Department of Education.

AP Computer Science A is a significantly more rigorous course than the new AP course, AP Computer Science Principles.  There were 5,165 students enrolled in the Principles course in Florida’s public high schools in the fall, according to the FLDOE data.

Despite its rigor, students who pass the AP Computer Science A exam earn credit at the state’s colleges and universities only for a computer literacy course.  No college credit is yet listed for AP Computer Science Principles.

The data shown in the plot below are for Spring enrollments through the 15-16 school year, and for Fall enrollments for the 16-17 school year.

The Florida Legislature is considering bills that would provide incentives for students to take high school computer science courses by allowing them to substitute for state university admissions requirements in math, science or foreign language.


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