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College Board Endorses AP CSP: Cybersecurity

Logo used to represent the course AP Computer Science Principles: Cybersecurity on the website CodeHS.comA new Advanced Placement® (AP) high school course curriculum melding together computer science and cybersecurity, developed by the NCyTE Center and CodeHS, has been reviewed and endorsed by College Board.

High school teachers can access AP Computer Science Principles: Cybersecurity as a web-based curriculum on CodeHS.com with a free teacher account. Students taking the new course will explore all the AP CSP requirements with an emphasis on cybersecurity applications in JavaScript.

As an endorsed curriculum from College Board, AP Computer Science Principles: Cybersecurity includes a preapproved syllabus, lesson plans, instruction supports, and professional development to help prepare teachers to teach the course. College Board is the non-profit organization that administers the SAT® and AP program for high schools.

“This is a big win for high school students, teachers and ultimately the nation’s workforce and security” noted Corrinne Sande, NCyTE Director and project Principal Investigator. “Exposing computer science students to cybersecurity concepts at an early stage will promote more secure coding for those who continue in the profession, as well as in general as future employees and citizens. NCyTE is proud to have partnered on this accomplishment that will ensure broad-ranging impact as a result of the College Board’s endorsement of the new course.”

According to College Board, more than 950 colleges and universities offer credit, advanced placement, or both for qualifying scores on the AP CSP exam, thus allowing students to progress more rapidly in their chosen program of study by earning college credit while still in high school. In 2020, over 116,000 students took the AP CSP exam—more than double the number of exam takers in the course’s first year, and a 21% increase over the previous year.

Also hosted on CodeHS.com are the NCyTE Cybersecurity Concept Lessons, a collection of individual online educational units, supplemental materials and activities. The 13 lessons are designed to be an easy way to integrate cybersecurity concepts into the existing AP CSP course. In this initial set, all programming is in JavaScript; a variation in Python is being developed and will be released in Fall 2021. A print version of the lessons is available for download from NCyTE.

The material in AP CSP: Cybersecurity and the individual lessons is based upon work supported by the NCyTE Center and the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1548315, Catalyzing Computing and Cybersecurity in Community Colleges (C5).


See course on CodeHS