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SANS Institute Launches Cybersecurity Scholarships for HBCU Students

Cybersecurity training and certification provider SANS Institute has launched the SANS + HBCU Cyber Academy, a cybersecurity scholarship and education opportunity for students and alumni of historically Black colleges and universities across the country. Its goal: to foster diversity, equity and inclusion in the cybersecurity workforce by providing free access to training and certifications for HBCU scholars.

"Considering and pursuing a cybersecurity career can feel like a bridge too far to cross, can feel too challenging and difficult, when surrounded by people who don't look like you," said Dennis Scandrett, chair of the SANS Institute Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Task Force, in a statement. "SANS Institute is determined to change that perspective."

Students in the Academy program are required to complete three 12-week, self-paced online courses and earn the associated certifications in a total of eight to 10 months. The curriculum, written and taught by cybersecurity experts from the field, covers the fundamentals of computers, technology, networking and security, with a focus on hands-on job skills. Students will also learn how to create a security program that is built on a foundation of detection, response and prevention, the SANS Institute said in a news announcement.

"Pop culture has led many to believe that cybersecurity isn't for them — that you must fit into this stereotypical prototype with a background in computer science. Nothing could be farther from the truth," commented Delisha Hodo, SANS Institute HBCU Chair. "The truth is that we need to fill the rapidly increasing cybersecurity workforce demand with individuals from all backgrounds. Now is the time to diversify the industry to improve its future and upend this misconception."

Applications for the Academy are open until March 1; classes will begin in April. For more information, visit the SANS + HBCU Cyber Academy site.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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