CEI cybersecurity

A room at the College of Eastern Idaho with equipment for students to use in its Information Assurance & Cybersecurity program. The program has been designation as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency.

The College of Eastern Idaho has received National Security Agency recognition for a cybersecurity program offered at the school.

The college announced its Information Assurance & Cybersecurity program received designation as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education in a Thursday news release.

The program met rigorous requirements outlined by the NSA. It joins other nationally designated institutions to produce high-quality cybersecurity professionals to safeguard the U.S. national infrastructure. Other institutions in Idaho to receive this designation are University of Idaho, Idaho State University and North Idaho College.

“This designation sets CEI apart as one of two Idaho community colleges holding the designation typically held by universities and addressing the shortage of cybersecurity professionals,” said Josh Duersch, CEI Cybersecurity & Technology chair, in the release.

Institutions that receive NSA designation must complete validation of a program of study, which is a series of courses and experiences that a student can reasonably accomplish while attaining a degree or certificate. The Cyber Defense Education Designation is awarded to regionally accredited academic institutions offering cybersecurity degrees/certificates at the associate, bachelor’s and graduate levels.

“This recognition of our cybersecurity program places us on par with the best community colleges in the country with numerous opportunities to continue for a bachelor’s degree to help people get the skills needed for one of the hottest jobs in the country,” said Chuck Bohleke, CEI dean of Career Technical Education, in the release.

The mission of the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity program is to create and manage a collaborative cybersecurity educational program with community colleges, colleges and universities.

Cybersecurity is becoming a growing need for the country. Individuals and U.S. businesses lost about $4.2 billion in 2020, according to the FBI’s 2020 IC3 Internet Crime Report.

The National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity program is managed by the National Cryptologic School at the National Security Agency. Federal Partners include the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the FBI, the National Institute of Standards and Technology/National Initiative on Cybersecurity Education, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense Office of the Chief Information Officer, and US Cyber Command.

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