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$1M grant to boost Springs’ cyber status

Pikes Peak Community College has received a grant of almost $1 million to become National Security Agency certified, which will bring the number of NSA-certified colleges in Colorado Springs to five.

PPCC Cybersecurity Director Gretchen Bliss said this concentration of NSA-certified colleges will boost Colorado Springs’ reputation as a hub for cybersecurity education and training. It is part of a larger effort to make Colorado Springs a national cybersecurity hub, and to meet the pressing need for a qualified cybersecurity workforce locally.

“We have so much demand. If everybody who’s doing cybersecurity in Colorado Springs goes full speed for the next five years, we will barely meet the need that’s out there right now,” Bliss said. “The key piece of this effort is to build a partnership with industry that will identify and quantify the industry cybersecurity education, experience and certification needs so we can build a program that will meet those needs quickly and efficiently.”

The Pikes Peak Regional Defense Assistance Program grant was awarded by the Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment, and PPCC received the funding this month. The Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC is the sub-grantee.

The college will use its portion of the grant to develop the NSA/DHS National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Two-Year Education (CAEY2) information assurance program at PPCC, Bliss said.

The NSA jointly sponsors the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense program with the Department of Homeland Security.

“The goal of the program is to reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense and producing professionals with cyber defense expertise for the nation,” according to the NSA’s website. “Prospective schools are designated after meeting stringent CAE criteria and mapping curricula to a core set of cyber defense knowledge units.”

Being NSA-certified will make PPCC’s cybersecurity education standards higher and more consistent, via access to industry engagements as well as a network of National Centers of Academic Excellence institutions, Bliss said.

The application will be submitted January 2018 and the CAE2Y designation is expected in the second half of 2018.

Read the complete article here.


The information above is for general awareness only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Economic Adjustment or the Department of Defense as a whole.


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