From WCTC’s Newsroom:
Waukesha County Technical College is the first college or university in the state to be designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The designation, referred to as CAE2Y, is specific to two-year colleges and covers academic years 2017-2022.
The National Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) works in conjunction with the NSA and DHS to recognize academic institutions that are committed to reducing the vulnerability in the nation’s information infrastructure. Designated institutions promote higher education and research while also producing a growing number of professionals in various information technology (IT) disciplines.
“Your ability to meet the increasing demands of the program criteria will serve the nation well in contributing to the protection of the National Information Infrastructure,” said Karen Leuschner, National Centers of Academic Excellence manager for the NSA, in her letter informing WCTC of the designation.
“The Presidents’ National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, February 2003, and the International Strategy for Cyberspace, May 2011, addresses the critical shortage of professionals with these skills and highlights the importance of higher education as a solution to defending America’s cyberspace. ‘Like all nations, the United States has a compelling interest in defending its vital national assets, as well as our core principles and values, and we are committed to defending against those who would attempt to impede our ability to do so.’ Education is the key to promoting these ideals,” Leuschner added.
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.
“WCTC’s programs prepare the next generation of cyber defenders, as proven by the success of our graduates,” said WCTC IT instructor Mike Boerschinger. “Our cybersecurity graduates are highly sought after by employers and receive a number of offers during their job search.”
WCTC’s curricular offerings and other activities were reviewed as part of the application process. Six courses in WCTC’s Network Specialist and Network Security Specialist programs are mapped to DHS and NSA Cybersecurity Education Standards and are designated by CAE2Y: IT Business Strategies, Ethical Hacking, Data Security, Cisco I, Shell Scripting and Linux Essentials.
“Information security continues to be a predominant focus of today’s tech-driven economy,” said D.J. Vogel, partner at Sikich LLP in Brookfield. “As a professional services firm specializing in security consulting, we’re always looking for strong candidates to help us service our clients, including our enthusiasm to support and hire WCTC graduates. We’re excited to see their CAE2Y designation and the additional strength this offers the college’s programs.”
Giles Isham, director of network operations for Batteries Plus Bulbs in Hartland, said WCTC programs focusing on networking, security and cyber defense “have provided new professionals entering the IT workforce with practical skills that are relevant to the immediate needs of Wisconsin businesses.”
“WCTC has been a great partner in the process of developing students with a strong technical skill set to meet our needs for talent at Batteries Plus Bulbs,” Isham said.
The CAE2Y designation will be awarded to WCTC at the National Cyber Summit in Huntsville, Alabama in June 2017.