U.S. government agencies recognize Golisano College for cyber security education

By Scott Bureau

Rochester Institute of Technology has been recognized for its significant contributions in defending America’s cyberspace through computing security education.

RIT’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences has been recertified as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense Education through the year 2021. The college was originally certified in 2006.

The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security jointly sponsor the certification, which has been given to more than 180 recognized leaders in the field. The goal is to reduce vulnerability in the national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research, and producing a growing pipeline of professionals with cyber security expertise.

 “Like all nations, the United States has a compelling interest in defending its vital national assets, as well as our core principles and values, and we are committed to defending against those who would attempt to impede our ability to do so,” said Karen Leuschner, National CAE Program Director, NSA. “Education is the key to promoting these ideals.”

With the certification, RIT students will be 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. RIT faculty will also be eligible for more research grant opportunities with government agencies, including the National Science Foundation.

“Since the initial certification, 12 RIT computing security students have received the DHS Scholarship,” said Bo Yuan, an associate professor and new chair of the Computing Security Department. “Some of our gradates go on to work with the DHS, while others help protect different critical information infrastructure in the private and public sectors.”

For the certification, the NSA and DHS measure the depth and maturity of a programs instruction in cyber defense and information assurance at the graduate and undergraduate levels. RIT was designated because of the programs continued curriculum development, which includes evolving specializations in forensics, malware and secure software development, among others.

“This year the DHS/NSA strengthened the designation requirements tremendously, including a large number of topics that need to be covered with breadth and depth,” said Yuan. “It took a lot of effort by our faculty to have this completed in time and I am very pleased with the outcome.”

RIT is also noted for breaking the mold of traditional cyber security education by creating one of the nation’s first dedicated computing security departments in 2012. The university’s Cyber Defense team has also made waves by winning the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition in 2013 and placing second in 2014.

To see a full list of National Center of Academic Excellence institutions, go to the National Security Agency website