Pennsylvania Homeschoolers

AP* Online Classes

Mrs. Gilleran is super helpful whenever you ask her anything and she often posts explanations to problems that most students in the class have trouble on.

AP Computer Science

On-Line for the 2017-2018 School Year

Teacher: Cynthia Lang


AP Computer Science A

Texts Required:

Technical Requirements:

Who Should Apply: There are many reasons to consider a course in computer science. Computers are currently used in virtually every field, even in non-STEM areas. Did you know that more students take the introductory computer science course at Princeton than any other course? For high school students considering careers in information technology, a field in high demand with correspondingly high salaries, this course offers an opportunity to explore that interest. Computer science is also an enjoyable subject for students who like math, creative problem-solving, and/or logic.  A side benefit to studying computer science is that it has been shown to boost SAT Math scores. Finally, as with other AP courses, demanding, rigorous coursework in high school has been shown to correlate with college success.

Prerequisites: The necessary prerequisites for entering the AP Computer Science A course include completion of Algebra II with B or better and experience in problem solving. A student in the AP Computer Science A course should be comfortable with functions and the concepts found in the uses of functional notation. Previous computer programming experience is not required. Prospective students should be ready to commit 10 hours working alone on the computer each week.

Application. Please click on link to complete.

Course Fee: Early Bird Fee $650 (good before July 1, 2017). Regular Tuition Fee $695 (July 1, 2017). Applicants utilizing a staggered payment plan are not eligible for the Early Bird discount.

Course Dates: September 11 through approximately May 6 (ends on the date of the 2018 AP CS Exam, which has not yet been posted). Students have off Thanksgiving week and the week between Christmas and New Year.

Course Description: This course prepares students for the AP Computer Science A Exam. Object-oriented programming methodology with a concentration on problem solving and algorithm development is emphasized. Students will read, answer questions, take quizzes, and most importantly, design, code, document and test Java programs.  This is a hands-on, project-based course. There will also be opportunities for students to exercise their creativity by designing their own custom Java classes. In addition to the learning resources listed above under "Texts Required", we incorporate beginning computers science projects developed at Princeton, University of Washington, and Bucknell.

Throughout the year, AP-style questions are practiced. However, starting in March, the emphasis in the class really shifts toward preparation for the AP Exam, which is administered in May.

As a member of this class, you will be part of an online community. You will be interacting with your classmates and the teacher through the website, email, and “live” class sessions. The "live" class sessions are optional and recorded for off-line viewing as well.  If you wish to attend the "live" sessions, you can attend either on Mondays at 9am or Thursdays at 1pm Eastern. Through the online forum, you will post any questions you may have about the software, reading material or the homework assignments, answer each others questions, discuss computer science topics, and upload homework. We will also have some team activities during the year. Students typically enjoy this peer interaction, and full participation will help you to stay engaged in the course.

Instructor Qualifications: I have an MSChE from University of Maryland, and I am a licensed Professional Engineer and Oracle OCA Java SE 8 certified.  I have both industry and teaching experience in computer science.  I was a Computer Specialist for the US Government at Social Security Administration Headquarters, and I have also programmed engineering applications as a Senior Engineer for Mobil Research and Development. I am full-time faculty in the College of Information Technology of Western Governors University. Prior to that, I taught in the Engineering Dept. for Penn State, where I also coached teams of students in robotic competitions.  I have completed the National Science Foundation’s TeachJava training in residence at Rice University and the Google-funded Advanced Topics in Computer Science teacher's program at Princeton University. Additional computer science pedagogical training includes Alice3 Beta (a Java-based animation program from Carnegie Mellon), Google Computer Science for High School: Real Projects for Real People, Greenfoot (a graphical programming environment for teaching Java), Bioinformatics for Computer Science Teachers, Test First Java Program Design, completed in residence at Brown University, and the NSF-funded EduGaming and Parallel Computing workshops. I am also a member of the Association for Computing Machinery, Computer Science Teachers of America, and the Philadelphia Area Computer Science Educators. This will be my eleventh time teaching AP Computer Science for PA Homeschoolers. I have three grown children, all formerly homeschooled.



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