This August, Enterprise State Community College was officially designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) by the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C).
According to the NCAE-C website:
“NCAE-C program aims to create and manage a collaborative cybersecurity educational program with community colleges, colleges, and universities that:
- Establishes standards for cybersecurity curriculum and academic excellence,
- Includes competency development among students and faculty,
- Values community outreach and leadership in professional development,
- Integrates cybersecurity practice within the institution across academic disciplines,
- Actively engages in solutions to challenges facing cybersecurity education.”
The CAE-CD designation is reserved for academic institutions that offer cybersecurity degrees or certificates at all degree levels. ESCC offers an associate of applied science in Computer Information Science (CIS) with an Information Security and Assurance (ISA) Option.
“It informs our students and the community that our CIS ISA degree is recognized by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security to provide a quality education in cybersecurity,” CIS Instructor Rosalyn Warren, whose work led to ESCC receiving the CAE-CD designation, said. “It provides student scholarships, grant opportunities, networking events, cyber curricula, and professional development opportunities.”
Before applying for the designation, Warren and CIS Instructor Lee Scarborough worked with an advisory committee and partners like CompTIA, EC-Council, Cisco and Fortinet to offer industry-recognized certifications within the degree’s courses, and she had to ensure that the ISA degree curriculum met the National Institution for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) framework.
“I’ve been working on the CAE-CD designation for about a year,” Warren said. “The National Security Agency (NSA) provides a schedule for each phase. We started in October 2022 and were awarded the designation in August 2023. The ISA program was validated by the NSA in February 2023 and designated in August 2023.”
In addition to the ISA program being validated by the NSA this year, ESCC also previously joined the Microsoft Learn for Educators program, which adds Microsoft certifications into CIS curriculum, and AWS (Amazon Web Services) Academy, which provides access to ready-to-teach cloud computing curriculum.
Warren said there will be more cybersecurity activities on ESCC’s campus to engage and educate students and the community because of this designation.
The College will hold the CAE-CD designation until 2028 and will need to reapply for the designation every four years.