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NSA Designates Daytona State a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education

| April 22, 2016

national security agency department of homeland security daytona state college

Learning from watching.

The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security have designated Daytona State College a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE).

The four-year designation is based on the college meeting stringent academic criteria and distinguishing its strengths in cybersecurity and cyberforensics training.

“DSC is the first state college in Florida to receive the four-year designation for its combined AS- and BS-level cybersecurity curriculum,” said Dr. Philip Craiger, a professor with the college’s School of Engineering Technology. “This validates the strength of our AS and BS cyber programs, and students enrolled in our courses can be assured they are getting a solid education.”

In addition to offering an Advanced Technical Certificate in Cybersecurity and Cyberforensics, the college also offers acybersecurity component in its Associate of Science in Network Systems Technology degree as well as a cybersecurity and cyberforensics specialization in its Bachelor of Science in Information Technology degree.

According to the NSA, demand for public and private sector cybersecurity positions is rapidly expanding, but the talent pool of cybersecurity workers is not yet able to keep up.

“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 NSA National CAE Program Manager Karen Leuschner in notifying DSC of the designation. “The critical shortage of professionals with these skills highlights the importance of higher education as a solution to defending America’s cyberspace.”

Adding to the college’s cyber credentials, DSC last year was designated a National Center of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence by the Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3), a unit of the U.S. Department of Defense. Similar to the NSA-CDEdesignation, this credential is only bestowed upon schools that have demonstrated that their cyberforensics curriculum is rigorous and comprehensive.

Daytona State also is the lead institution for the Advanced Cyberforensics Education Consortium (ACE), a National Science Foundation-funded initiative that has DSC partnering with other colleges and universities throughout the southeastern United States to advance cyberforensics awareness and education. Craiger is the principal investigator for the $1.8 million grant. He also was recently elected to represent Daytona State on the executive board of the Department of Defense’sCyber Crime Center Academic Cyber Curriculum Alliance.

The ACE consortium provides self-paced online courses that prepare faculty to teach cyberforensics courses and facilitate workforce retraining.

It also offers free cyber camps for 9-12 graders, where students learn about cybersecurity and engage in competitions to test their cyberforensics skills, with the goal of sparking interest in pursuing careers in the field.

Registration is underway for the next local cyber camp slated for July 11-14, 8 a.m – 4 p.m., at DSC’s Advanced Technology College. To register, or for more details, visit or call (386) 506-4163.

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