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Computer Science A
Introduction to Java Programming
Computer Science A (CSA) introduces students to software engineering and object-oriented design while learning the Java programming language.
The Code.org CSA curriculum is recommended for any high school student who wishes to continue their computer science education after completing an introductory course, such as Computer Science Principles (CS Principles) or Computer Science Discoveries (CS Discoveries).
The Code.org curriculum prepares students for the AP® Computer Science A (AP CSA) exam while developing skills used in the field. The curriculum will be available at no cost to anyone, anywhere to teach, starting in Fall 2022. Professional learning for CSA will be available in participating regions in Summer 2022.
AP® Computer Science A (AP CSA) is a Java programming course offered by the College Board. It includes content expected to be covered in an introductory college computer science course. As described by the College Board:
AP Computer Science A introduces students to computer science through programming. Fundamental topics in this course include the design of solutions to problems, the use of data structures to organize large sets of data, the development and implementation of algorithms to process data and discover new information, the analysis of potential solutions, and the ethical and social implications of computing systems. The course emphasizes object-oriented programming and design using the Java programming language.
Code.org’s CSA curriculum covers this content and prepares students for the AP® CSA exam. We developed this curriculum with equity in mind, which we believe will make this course more accessible for students who have traditionally been underrepresented in computer science, particularly those from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups and young women.
The Code.org CSA curriculum is recommended for any high school student who wishes to continue their computer science education after completing an introductory course, such as CS Principles or CS Discoveries (CSD).
Code.org’s CSA curriculum is designed to make introductory Java programming more accessible and engaging for students who have traditionally been underrepresented in computer science, particularly young women and students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.
In addition, the course introduces software engineering concepts and practices to give students a more concrete understanding of how their learning is applied in the real world.
Bring CSA to the students in your school with this no-cost curriculum, available Fall 2022. Check to see if professional learning for CSA will be available in your region this summer.
In 2020, students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups only made up 14 percent of AP® CSA exam takers, and young women made up just 25 percent. We aim to improve upon these numbers by reimagining the structure of the traditional AP CSA curriculum and provide support and resources to assist teachers in delivering an engaging, exciting, and equitable curriculum.
Industry partners indicate to us that students who have CSA experience are more prepared for internships than their peers with CS Principles experience. This observation has been echoed by partners in higher education regarding student readiness for college level CS courses. With a large diversity gap in student enrollment in the course, CSA needs new ways to engage young women and students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups to prepare them for higher education and industry.
Teachers have been advocating for the development of an equitable and culturally responsive CSA curriculum: 84% of CS Principles teachers told us last year they want to start teaching CSA using Code.org!
CSA curricula have traditionally been focused on the building blocks required to design solutions to problems through programming. Creating this new curriculum with equity in mind means reimagining the structure and pedagogy to excite and inspire students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups and young women while teaching the technical building blocks and preparing students for the AP® exam. Code.org’s CSA curriculum:
In addition to support from teachers who have asked for a CSA curriculum, we’ve also received encouragement and feedback from state governments, industry, and educational institutions. Leaders from the technology industry, academia, and state governments are participating in unique advisory councils to give us valuable insight and help us understand how to prepare all students for continuing pathways in computer science.
Industry Advisory Council
Education Advisory Council
State Advisory Council
Yes, Code.org’s CSA curriculum is mapped to the College Board Course and Exam Description for AP® CSA.
Our curriculum and platform are available at no cost for anyone, anywhere, to teach!
Professional learning for Code.org’s CSA curriculum will be available in participating regions beginning Summer 2022. Find out if it’s offered in your region.
A minimum of 140 class hours; should be taught as a full-year course. Contains nine units, which includes an AP® Exam Prep unit.
This curriculum requires that students have access to computers with a modern web browser. At this time, our curriculum is not optimized for tablets or mobile devices. For more details, check out our technology requirements.
In addition to technology, typical classroom supplies like scissors and sticky notes will also be used throughout the curriculum.
Starting in Summer 2022, and with an approved teacher account, you can find answer keys to programming tasks or “Checks for Understanding” in a blue "Teacher Only" panel on Code Studio that shows in the online lessons and activities. Keys for Activity Guides will also be found linked in the lesson plans for the curriculum.
Our CSA curriculum was written by teachers, for teachers and was designed with our Curriculum Values in mind. In particular, we focused on expanding access to those who historically have been denied opportunities to learn about the exciting and impactful field of computing. The following goals guided the creation of the CSA curriculum:
Goal 1: Develop an Equitable Course
Goal 2: Prepare Students for Higher Ed and Industry
Goal 3: Design Relevant, Engaging Activities
Goal 4: Incorporate Best Practices from the Field