CSM Designated a National Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance 2-Year Education

College to Prepare Next Generation of Cyber Warriors

The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) has been designated a National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance 2-Year Education (CAE2Y) by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The college joins an elite group of 13 out of the more than 1,200 community colleges across the nation to receive this honor, which recognizes the quality of the college’s cybersecurity educational practices and curriculum.         

“The announcement of these designations cements Maryland as the country’s epicenter of cyber education,” said Senator Barbara Mikulski. “Maryland has more Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance than any other state in the country,” Mikulski said, adding, “Developing a strong, educated, capable cyber workforce in Maryland will lead to a safer country and a stronger economy. It’s about preparing for the jobs of today and tomorrow in Maryland.”

“The College of Southern Maryland is honored to receive the distinction of being named a Center of Academic Excellence,” said CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried. “Our faculty and academic administrators have worked hard to ensure our cyber security program meets the highest industry and governmental standards, as well as that our graduates are fully prepared to be productive workers in this critically important field.”

The CAE2Y designation was announced on June 14 by federal officials in a ceremony at the annual Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education in Fairborn, Ohio.

 “CAE2Y status will allow CSM to assure students and the community that its [information assurance] practices as well as curriculum align with national standards as well as allow CSM to expand opportunities as a member of a vital network of academic-government-industry leaders,” said CSM Professor and Certification Coordinator Renee Jenkins.

NSA and DHS launched their joint effort to recognize exemplary cybersecurity education curriculum in 2004 in response to the President’s National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace. The distinct ‘CAE2Y’ designation for two-year college cybersecurity programs was added in 2010. The program continues to grow and to become even more relevant and critical to U.S. national security as cyber attacks proliferate.

“Two-year colleges are vitally important to the future of our nation and its young citizens, especially those from economically challenged backgrounds. These institutions train many that become system administrators for industry and government, and therefore are our front-line warriors in today’s cyberwars,” said Information Assurance Technical Director at NSA Richard M. George. “To that end, the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Two-Year Education Program recognizes stellar colleges that are models for these schools’providing innovative, comprehensive and multidisciplinary education and training in the information assurance field.”

The Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by 2018 at least 20,000 new security savvy system-network administrators will be needed. The demand for other types of security savvy information technology (IT) and business professionals continues to grow as well.

Currently, graduates of CSM’s Information System Security program become part of the cybersecurity workforce protecting commercial computer networks and the information systems vital to national security, said Jenkins. “These graduates are helping to meet increasingly urgent needs of the U.S. government, industry and academia. In addition to meaningful employment opportunities, the graduates also have opportunities to transfer to four-year colleges and universities that offer more advanced courses in cybersecurity.”

Students attending designated schools are eligible to apply for scholarships and grants through the Department of Defense Information Assurance Scholarship Program and the Federal Cyber Service Scholarship for Service Program.

For information on CSM’s associate degree in information systems security, visit, http://www.csmd.edu/Academics/#business.