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By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The College Board is a critical player in creating access so that more US students get to college. It oversees the Advanced Placement tests and reports that in 2013 about 30,000 students took the AP exam for computer science, in which students learn to design and create computer programs, highly prized in today’s tech world.

However, new data show less than 20% of students were female, about 3% were African American and 8% were Hispanic, according to Education Week.

Additionally no female, African American or Hispanic students in Mississippi and Montana took the advanced placement exam for computer science in 2013 and no African Americans took the exam in 11 states, nor did Hispanic students in 8 states.

These data, compiled by Barbara Ericson of Georgia are central in helping the College Board broaden its focus in improving access to courses and tests for traditionally underrepresented groups.

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