College Gets NSA Designation, Funding

A lock overlaid with electronic circuitry designs

In September, the National Security Agency (NSA) named Forsyth Tech a Cybersecurity Regional Resource Center (CRRC) as one of only six community colleges in the country designated a Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in cybersecurity. “The CAE in Cyber Defense Education award is highly sought after,” says Dr. Deanne Wesley, department chair, Davis iTEC Center/Cybersecurity Center and department coordinator, Information Systems Security. “This designation, issued jointly by the NSA and Department of Homeland Security, is one of the ways we hope to build a pipeline of students to help fill the anticipated 1.5 million open jobs in the cybersecurity profession by the year 2020.”

This was followed in October by an announcement that the college would receive $156,000 from the NSA to fund two initiatives to expand training for and awareness of careers in cybersecurity. Approximately $125,000 will be used to train cybersecurity faculty, while the remaining $30,000 will support the creation of a pilot training program for primary and secondary school students called the Cybersecurity K-12 Pathway Initiative. Both programs will begin in 2017.