LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Department of Education announced last week the creation of the Arkansas Advanced Placement Computer Science A Incentive Program.

The purpose of the incentive program is to increase the number of qualifying scores (3, 4, or 5) on Advanced Placement Computer Science A exams.

Through this program, Arkansas public school students and schools may be eligible to receive a monetary incentive when the student earns one computer science flex credit for successfully completing an AP Computer Science A course and receiving a qualifying score on the AP exam taken between Aug. 1, 2017, and May 30, 2018.

A student who receives a computer science flex credit can substitute the credit for a fourth math credit or third science credit required for high school graduation. This program will not apply to the AP Computer Science Principles exam or any other AP exam.

“I am proud of the increase in the number of high school students who are studying computer science, but the quality of the instruction is what matters,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “The Arkansas Department of Education’s incentive for high scores on the AP Computer Science A exam is a terrific way to reward our students for their hard work in school. The real payoff for their hard work, of course, is when they show their excellent transcripts to potential employers who offer good salaries for their skills.”

The tiered rewards are as follows:

• For a qualifying score of 5 on the AP Computer Science A exam, an Arkansas public school student can receive $1,000, with the school receiving $250.

• For a qualifying score of 4 on the AP Computer Science A exam, an Arkansas public school student can receive $750, with the school receiving $150.

• For a qualifying score of 3 on the AP Computer Science A exam, an Arkansas public school student can receive $250, with the school receiving $50.

Student scores will be verified by official College Board data shared with the ADE during the summer of 2018. Payments to schools and students, which are subject to program and funding availability, will be processed by Sept. 30, 2018. Student reward payments will be sent to the school district for distribution.

To learn more about the program, visit http://adecm.arkansas.gov/ViewApprovedMemo.aspx?Id=3407.