KGMI - The Whatcom Report

October 13, 2013 - Host Bill Gorman talks with Whatcom Community College's Corrinne Sande (CIS Program Coordinator) and Janice Walker (Workforce Education Director) about the CyberWatch West Center and cybersecurity education.


WCC awarded NSF grant to support CyberWatch West center

WCC awarded $500,000 to build capacity for cybersecurity education

WCC recently received a three-year, $500,000 Capacity Building Cybersecurity grant from the Scholarship for Service program at the National Science Foundation. The grant will fund faculty in WCC's CIS program to develop a new two-year, cybersecurity degree in collaboration with Western Washington University and University of Washington, which in parallel will develop new four-year degrees. WCC will also work with area colleges and regional high schools to articulate courses and to introduce younger students to this exciting high-demand, high-wage field. Check back here for details.


CAE2Y designation awarded to WCC

WCC is one of only 24 colleges designated a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE2Y). This designation was made in recognition of the caliber of the CIS curriculum, credentials of its faculty and nationally-recognized program certifications. With this designation, WCC benefits from standardized curricula, articulation to four-year institutions and other factors. See additional degree, certificates and endorsement information on the WCC Computer Information Systems home page.

In July 2011, WCC was awarded a National Science Foundation grant to host cybersecurity camps for high school students on WCC’s campus. The project was focused on increasing awareness of and interest in the emerging and growing field of information security through hands-on activities and a cyberdefense competition.

The grant funded three camps; one each in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Including all three camps, 67 high school students participated, representing 15 high schools. 38 of those students earned college credit in Whatcom’s CIS program and, to date, 15 have since enrolled at WCC. Additionally, 29 Whatcom CIS college students participated as mentors and 18 industry representatives contributed as guest speakers. Several local companies contributed prizes for camp competitions, including Boeing and SPIE.

For more information about this project, refer to the original press release and the 2014 Q&A sheet.


What's next?

While the 2014 Cybersecurity Camp was the last one scheduled in the series, WCC will be offering a more comprehensive Computer Security & Support program for high school students through the Northwest Career & Technical Academy, beginning in Fall 2014. Students who successfully complete this academic year-long program will earn high school credit and, if a grade of B or above is earned, may also apply for 13 CIS college credits. Applications for the 2014-2015 academic year are being accepted now. For more information and an application form, visit the Northwest Career & Technical Academy.