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Champlain Named Center of Ed Excellence in Information Assurance

The National Security Agency (NSA) has designated Champlain College in Burlington, VT as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance. What that means is that both the NSA and the Department of Homeland Security have evaluated the college's curriculum and found it to meet high standards for preparing students for careers in information and system security. Those criteria include a faculty that's active in the practice and research of information assurance, academic encouragement of student research in the topic, and the existence of a formal organization where participants can share research and collaborate, among other standards.

The goal of the federal program is to reduce vulnerability in the national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in information assurance and produce a sufficient number of security professionals. The designation is valid for five years.

Students who attend schools that meet the criteria are eligible for scholarships and grants through several programs, including one sponsored by the Department of Defense and another by the federal government.

Champlain, with a total of about 2,800 students, has two undergraduate programs related to information assurance: "Computer & Digital Forensics" and "Computer Networking & Information Security." It also offers a master of science in digital investigation management.

In November 2011 the college dedicated a new state-of-the-art facility for digital investigation. It has been educating digital forensic professionals since 2002, when it first began offering an undergraduate degree in the field. Since then, faculty have worked with national, regional, and state law enforcement as well as the private sector to keep the programs relevant to the changing needs of the security segment.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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