The National Security Agency (NSA) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced that Metropolitan State University’s application to be designated a National Center of Excellence in Information Assurance (IA) and Cyber Defense (CD) Education was approved. Metropolitan State has been recognized as a National Center of Excellence since 2005. The certification process occurs every five years for the designation. The current award will extend through the 2020 academic year.
The NSA and DHS work collaboratively to create standards for academic institutions to apply for the designation and the application process is rigorous. According to the NSA, “The purpose of the National CAE designation program is to promote higher education in IA and CD and prepare a growing number of IA/CD professionals to meet the need to reduce vulnerabilities in the nation’s networks.”
Many faculty members and students have worked together to contribute to Metropolitan State’s recent success in the cyber arena. Areas of study include an undergraduate program in Information Assurance and Computer Forensics and a graduate certificate in MIS Information Assurance. Metropolitan State is also in the process of developing a cross disciplinary Masters Degree in Cybersecurity.
“It’s clear that Metropolitan State has the talent and the energy to build and sustain an outstanding program in cyber defense and education,” says provost Ginny Arthur.
In addition to the Center of Excellence designation, Metropolitan State recently has been recognized for other accomplishments in this area:
• Faculty member Sue Fitzgerald received funds from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for her work with cyber education standards.
• Professor Faisal Kaleen and a small group of Metropolitan State students won second place in the Minnesota Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. Metropolitan State boasts a very active Cyber Security and Forensics Student Organization with membership of approximately 30 students.