Log-in/Sign-up

AP Computer Science A

biopic

Online for the 2024-2025 School Year

Teacher: Rebekah Lang

Email: rclang1@gmail.com


You are not currently logged in.

You must log-in/sign-up before you can register for a course.



Click here to apply for AP® Computer Science A.

Applications are checked weekly in the spring and summer. You will receive a follow-up message with the status of your application before you pay for the course.

"Leading up to the exam, we had several weeks dedicated entirely to practice tests and review, which definitely helped me earn a 5. At the actual exam, there was no question that tested a concept I wasn't familiar with."

— Emilia D. (AP® CSA student, 2021-2022 school year)

Course Description

For high school students considering careers in STEM, learning computer science is essential. And AP® Computer Science A is equivalent to an introductory, college-level computer science course. Even if you are not seeking a STEM degree, computer science is still an enjoyable subject for students who like math, creative problem-solving, and/or logic. Additionally, successful completion of a rigorous AP® class in high school has been shown to correlate with college success!

This course teaches students Java and prepares them for the AP® CSA exam (read The College Board's brief overview here). The class emphasizes object-oriented programming methodology with a concentration on problem solving and algorithm development. This is a hands-on, project-based course. Students will learn to code by reading our textbook; watching videos; working with TAs and each other; and (most importantly) designing, coding, documenting, and testing Java programs. There will also be opportunities for students to exercise their creativity by crafting their own custom Java classes and making tutorial videos to cement their understanding of key concepts.

Ms. Reagan Waggoner, co-teacher, will host a weekly live Zoom session (day and time TBD by August). This is a great opportunity for students to interact with each other live, learn new concepts and review important projects. She will record this for students unable to attend. Ms. Rebekah Lang will post weekly work assignments and handle behind-the-scenes planning, pacing, grading, and support for the course. Both teachers will be available to to help you succeed in the course!

Beyond the weekly Zoom meeting, students will interact with the teachers, their classmates, and the teacher's assistants (TAs) primarily through Google Classroom, Discord, and email. On Google Classroom, students will participate in discussions, submit projects, post resources, upload homework, and complete assessments that are organized into weekly work folders. There will also be some partner coding and group projects during the year. Students will be able to work independently or collaboratively, asynchronously or live, depending on their availability.

This course also features TA-hosted office hours and a TA-run Discord Channel where students can build connections, get help with homework, brainstorm project ideas, study for tests, and more!

One outstanding feature of this course is its TAs! Each TA has done amazing course work in the past and has also earned a 5 on the AP® CSA exam. They are students who know how to ace this course and the AP® exam and want to help others do so as well! They will check in with small groups, coach students on FRQs, host test-review sessions, and maintain an "unofficial" Discord channel where students can pop in to post questions and code. They also create a sense of community in the class, so students not only have two  teachers for support: they also have incredible TAs, or peer leaders, that they can work alongside!

Student Samples

To give prospective students a better idea of what they will accomplish in this course, here is a compilation of projects by former students:

 

Who Should Apply

Anyone who is interested in computer science or technology either as a passion or a college major! This course introduces high school students to the foundational concepts of coding in Java. Students who have completed AP® Computer Science Principles should absolutely apply to keep studying computer science! Students who want challenging CS course to make their high school transcripts standout should also apply!

Prerequisites

The College Board recommends that all students should have completed Algebra II with a grade of B or better and have experience with problem solving. A student in the AP® Computer Science A course should be comfortable with functions and the concepts surrounding the uses of functional notation. Previous computer programming experience is not required, but is certainly helpful. Prospective students should be ready to commit 10 hours per week to working independently on the computer. Students without the necessary math prerequisite or those not planning on majoring in CS in college should consider AP® Computer Science Principles  instead. AP® CSA is more challenging than AP® CSP.

Texts Required

  • Textbook: CSAwesome by Dr. Barbara Ericson, Dr. Beryl Hoffman, and team. Available for free online through Runestone Academy.
  • Optional Test Prep: Barron’s AP® Computer Science A by Roselyn Teukolsky. Latest edition (announced in the spring). 
  • Supplemental sites: Google Classroom, Discord (unofficially), CodingBat, Replit, myAP, Kjell's Programmed Lessons, CodeHS, YouTube

Technical Requirements

  • Computer with audio, high-speed internet access, and email.
  • We will use Replit.com for our integrated development environment (IDE). It is free and available online.

Grading Approach

The goal of this course is to help all students learn the classwork well enough to earn an A! Students are graded based on what they know and what they can do rather than on their timeliness or compliance (following Grading for Equity principles). Tests are meant to assess as well as prepare students for the AP® exam. There are also project grades which comprise a large percentage of the overall course grade. Test corrections and late work are accepted, and all possible accommodations will be made to help every student succeed. Additionally, the grades of all students who score a 5 on the AP® exam will be updated to an A+.

Course Dates

Ms. Reagan Waggoner will host a live Zoom meeting weekly (time TBD by August). It will most likely be between Monday - Wednesday, between 10 am - 12 pm ET. She will record and post it for students unable to attend. 

Work will be posted each Monday and is due the following Monday. The schedule for weekly TA-led office hours will be published in August. Enrolled students and TAs will be surveyed to determine the best meeting times. This course will run approximately from September 9, 2024—May 16, 2024 (depending on the date of the AP exam), except for the following breaks:

  • Thanksgiving break (November 23 - December 2)
  • Winter break (December 21 - January 6)
  • Spring break (April 12 - 22)

If students need additional time off or flexibility with deadlines, they can email the instructor for adjustments.

Course Fee

  • Regular Tuition: $900
  • Audit: $400

*Note from the instructor: We am committed to helping all students learn computer science, so please contact Ms. Rebekah if you need help paying for the course.

Instructors:

co-teachers Ms. Rebekah Lang and Ms. Reagan Waggoner
This will be Ms. Rebekah's fifth year teaching AP® CSA for PA Homeschoolers. The 2023 PA Homeschoolers students who took the AP® Computer Science A exam had an average exam score of 4.16/5.0, compared with the global average of 3.21. Moreover, 92% of this course's students "passed" with a 3.0/5.0 or higher, with the global average being 67.9% of students receiving a score of 3.0+.

Ms. Rebekah has recently won an Educator Affiliate Award for NCWIT's Aspirations in Computing Program for her work with girls in computer science. Following her master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Western Governors University, Ms. Rebekah has earned multiple educator certificates from various tech companies and from Penn State University Lehigh Valley for teaching English Language Learners (ELLs). She holds state teaching certifications in computer science as well as a broad variety of other subjects. She has participated in Cooperative Learning Research for Computer Science Principles, served as a CS for All Teachers Ambassador, and is currently a CS Awesome PD Facilitator for the Northern Lights Collaborative of UMN. 

In addition to teaching AP® Computer Science A, Ms. Rebekah is the instructor for AP® Computer Science Principles and Honors Computer Science Discoveries for PA Homeschoolers. She also teaches AP® Computer Science A, AP Computer Science Principles, Computer Science Discoveries, and Web Design with HTML in person for a local private school. Ms. Rebekah is a lifelong educator and learner who has taught middle and high school students—public, charter, private, and homeschooled—for the past 15 years. Having been homeschooled herself, Ms. Rebekah understands how diverse, independent, intelligent, and engaged homeschooled students are. She is excited to work with all homeschooled students to encourage them in their studies of computer science!

 

Ms. Reagan Waggoner:  Reagan Waggoner is excited to co-teach AP CSA this year with Rebekah! She is currently a rising graduate student at the University of Alabama finishing degrees in quantitative economics and mathematics, with a concentration in computing technology. To this day, her courses through Pennsylvania Homeschoolers, including this one, are some of the most enriching educational experiences she has had, certainly more than equipping her for college-level studies (even allowing her to graduate high school with two years of college complete). AP Computer Science Principles was her first introduction to computer science, and she has since worked three years as a Teacher's Assistant for AP CSP and CSA, before co-teaching AP® CSP for the first time last year.

Since then, she has also delved deeper into Java, JS, data analytics, software development, and general computing. Last summer, she interned in software development in her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, and she has honed her understanding of software, programming, and information systems through various projects, internships, and volunteer positions throughout her time in college. Beyond her technical acumen, Ms. Waggoner has nurtured a passion for teaching and education. As the owner of a tutoring business for six years, she has worked extensively with students on subjects including math, Latin, writing, formal logic, to ACT/SAT prep. Additionally, she has taught small-group coding classes for middle-school students throughout the past few years.
 
Ms. Reagan is dedicated to instilling a lasting love for education, collaboration, and genuine understanding in her students, recognizing the broader implications of computer science and seeing it not just as a standalone field but as a fundamental skill applicable across all domains. In addition to the technical aspects of computer science, she strives to cultivate a love for learning and a holistic understanding of its real-world applications in live classes and beyond. 

Click here to read class reviews for this class (or post your own review)