Security

List of Cyber Defense Institutions Grows with Addition of N Georgia U

Just months after the University of North Georgia launched a center for cyber operations education, it has earned a designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense from the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency.

The institution is no newcomer to cyber security training. Since 2004 the university's department of computer science and information systems has offered a concentration in information assurance and security as part of the bachelor of science degree in computer science. As many as 80 students each semester enroll in cybersecurity-related courses.

The recognition as a National Center was earned based on the robustness of the university's degree programs and the alignment of it with a specific set of cybersecurity-related "knowledge units." Currently, 124 institutions in the country share the title, including four others in Georgia.

The new center is intended to plan, coordinate and support cyber education in the 30 counties served by the university, which has five campus sites.

This summer the center will host a free two-week residential National Cyber Warrior Academy on the Dahlonega campus for 40 high school students who are interested in cyber-related education and careers. The camp is being funded with an $88,000 grant from the NSA and the National Science Foundation GenCyber program. Priority consideration is being given to those students who have shown high aptitude in math or computer science as well as those who studied "strategic" languages, including Arabic, Farsi, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

"UNG is uniquely equipped to prepare students for military, federal service and civilian cybersecurity career paths, as the military and private industry are looking for a combination of education and skills in languages, leadership and cyber — and UNG offers a strategic focus on all three," said Bryson Payne, center director, in a prepared statement. "Our students are completing internships and entering careers in cybersecurity with both private industry and the Department of Defense, and we continue to receive positive feedback about the quality and preparation of our students for these crucial positions in cyber."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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