South Texas College given prestigious designation by NSA
Begins its collaboration with the federal government to prepare students seeking to join the high-technology field of cybersecurity
The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security have designated South Texas College as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Security Two-Year Education (CAE2Y) institution through 2022.
The designation, according to NSA and DHS, emphasizes STC’s role to address the critical shortage of professionals with these skills, and highlights the importance of higher education as a solution to defending America’s cyberspace.
Representatives from STC will receive the designation formally at the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Conference and Expo in Dayton, Ohio Nov. 7-8.
“From buying products, running businesses or finding directions to communicating with the people we love, an online world has fundamentally reshaped our daily lives,” said STC Dean of Business, Public Safety and Technology Mario Reyna. “But just as the continually evolving digital age presents boundless opportunities for our economy, our businesses, and our people, it also presents a new generation of threats that we must adapt to meet.”
The President’s budget invests $62 million in cybersecurity personnel to expand the scholarship for Service Program by establishing a CyberCorps Reserve program, which will offer scholarships for Americans who wish to obtain cybersecurity education.
The plan is to develop a Cybersecurity Core Curriculum that will ensure cybersecurity graduates who wish to join the federal government have the requisite knowledge and skills, according to NSA.
“By receiving the prestigious designation, the Information Technology Program at South Texas College, becomes one of very few colleges in the state of Texas to get this recognition,” said Adolfo Lozano, Chairperson for the Information Technology Program at South Texas College.
“The Information Technology Program is able to provide training to individuals who want to work in the field of cybersecurity and cyber defense to help guard against computer hackers who seek to steal information from network systems,” Lozano said.
The CAE2Y Program aims to increase the number of participating academic institutions and students, better support those institutions currently participating, increase the number of students studying cybersecurity at those institutions, and enhance student knowledge through program and curriculum evolution.
The President’s Budget takes additional steps to expand the cybersecurity workforce by enhancing student loan forgiveness programs for cybersecurity experts joining the federal workforce; catalyzing investment in cybersecurity education as part of a robust computer science curriculum through the President’s Computer Science for All Initiative.
“South Texas College is one of four colleges in the state of Texas to receive this prestigious designation. This accomplishment will allow our Information Technology Program to better prepare our students in a field of study that is high in demand,” said Francisco Salinas, Assistant Chair of the Information Technology Program at South Texas College.
“This designation will allow our institution to work together with the federal organizations just mentioned and other colleges and universities that have earned this designation to better prepare our current and future students in Cyber-Defense,” Salinas said. “Students who go through our program will earn the skills necessary to help defend America’s cyberspace. In addition, our students will have the opportunity to apply for scholarships, should they decide to continue their education and obtain a higher degree.”