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NSA and DHS Designate 10 Universities as Centers of Excellence in Security Education

The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have designated 10 universities as new National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education. The program is intended to reduce vulnerabilities in the national information infrastructure by promoting higher education in cyber security and increasing the number of professionals with security expertise.

The newly designated schools include: California State University, San Bernardino; Georgetown University; Southern Polytechnic State University; The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; University of Arkansas at Little Rock; University of Denver; University of Missouri; University of Nevada, Las Vegas; West Chester University of Pennsylvania; and West Virginia University.

Evaluations focus on 10 areas, including criteria such as how much the institution partners with minority colleges and universities in sharing curriculum or faculty or accepting credits; how fully the university encourages the practice of information assurance by, for example, having a security plan in place and having a dedicated security officer; and whether the school has a center dedicated to security education or research from which the curriculum for the information assurance is drawn.

The designation is good for five years, after which a university must reapply. Currently, there are 93 schools in the program.

The NSA and DHS partnership was formed in April 2004 to focus attention on the need to increase the efficiency of existing cyber security programs. Schools with the designation are eligible to apply for scholarships and grants through federal and Department of Defense programs.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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