BCTC Named National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education | BCTC

BCTC Named National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education

Published on Jul 16, 2019

Department of Homeland Security sealNSA logoBluegrass Community and Technical College is the first community college in Kentucky to be designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE). This designation is granted by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through academic year 2024.

This designation has been extended to less than 300 colleges in the United States. Of those, only 83 are two-year institutions. BCTC is one of only four institutions in Kentucky to have earned the CAE-CDE designation and, according to NSA and DHS, plays an important role in addressing the critical shortage of professionals with cybersecurity skills and highlighting the importance of higher education as a solution to defending America's cyberspace.

"This is an outstanding recognition of the quality of our CIT program and faculty," said Dr. Koffi Akakpo, BCTC president. "We are very proud to offer this designation and its many benefits to our CIT graduates."

In addition to the prestige of attending a CAE-CDE institution, 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.

"We are extremely pleased that BCTC's Computer and Information Technologies (CIT) program has received this prestigious recognition," said Cindy S. Tucker, BCTC Computer and Information Technologies professor. "This designation will provide excellent employment and transfer opportunities for our CIT graduates and position BCTC to meet the growing demand for cybersecurity specialists in Kentucky."

The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) jointly sponsor the CAE-CDE program to reduce vulnerability in the national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense. All regionally accredited two-year, four-year and graduate level institutions in the United States are eligible to apply to become a CAE-CD school. Prospective schools are designated after meeting stringent criteria and may elect to specialize in several possible focus areas that equip students with knowledge and skills to protect and defend against cyber threat.

The CAE-CDE designation will be formally awarded to BCTC at the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education Conference in Arizona this November.

Numerous scholarships, like the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship, offer opportunities for FREE college classes for qualified applicants, and financial aid is available at BCTC to keep college costs down for students interested in CIT and other high demand fields.

Classes begin August 19 and the full CIT curriculum is offered online and in person at BCTC's Newtown campus in Lexington. Some CIT courses are also available at BCTC's Danville, Georgetown, Lawrenceburg, Winchester, Leestown and Cooper campuses.

For more information about cybersecurity studies at BCTC, contact Robert Chirwa, Director of the BCTC Cybersecurity Center at Robert.Chirwa@kctcs.edu.

To apply, visit the admissions page at bluegrass.kctcs.edu.