Expand and Diversify Access to Advanced Coursework and Good Jobs

College Board Foundation

What the Research Says 

  • Expanding access to AP CSP is shown to help diversify the STEM pipeline and expand the pool of workers who can fill in-demand computer science jobs—toward a better 21st-century workforce. (Source: College Board)
  • Taking just one AP exam, regardless of the score, significantly improves a student’s likelihood of graduating college within four years, boosting their job prospects. (Sources: Wiley Online Library, College Board Research)
  • High-quality project-based learning—a key part of many AP courses—allows students to explore real-world problems through individual and group projects and gives students the soft skills that employers are demanding. (Sources: Lucas Education Research, College Board)
  • When the U.S. Department of Education published the earnings data of all U.S. college graduates on the College Scorecard, students responded by applying to colleges whose data suggested higher earning potential from their jobs. This implies that students prioritize pathways to good jobs. (Sources: SSRNWiley Online Library)


Policy Solutions 

  • Broadening access to advanced coursework in computer science grows the economy’s STEM pipeline, and policies to expand the AP CSP course help prepare girls and students of color, in particular, for great technology jobs. (Source: College Board Newsroom)
  • More broadly, not all students have access to AP courses in this country, even though research demonstrates the significant benefits to students—they are more likely to graduate from college in four-years, boosting their job prospects. Policies such as start-up grants for new AP courses, placing AP into career-technology pathways, and funding exam fees for low-income students can bring AP to all students. (Sources: Advance CTE, College Board All AccessCollege Board Report, College Board ResearchCollege Board Research
  • The Rhode Island Two Codes initiative demonstrates how a state can—through policy and innovation—prepare students to be both empowered citizens in a democracy and adaptive members of the country’s 21st-century workforce. (Source: PrepareRI)