The National Science Foundation awarded more than half a million dollars to Rose State College to expand its Cyber Security program, college officials said.
The $562,160 grant will allow students with financial needs to receive their associate’s degree in Cyber Security, according to the award.
Interviews for the cyber positions will begin by summer to allow enrollment for the fall semester, program director Ken Dewey said. Dewey said the new grant expands a successful program already in place.
“Our current grant has assisted nearly 100 students receive their Associate’s of Applied Science degree with some continuing on to higher degrees through programs with Oklahoma State University and the University of Tulsa,” Dewey said. “The grant helps those who otherwise can’t afford it get a quality education. We’ve also helped some displaced workers who wanted to retrain.”
The expansion deepens a strategic partnership between the National Science Foundation, the National Security Agency and Rose State College. In 2010, the Foundation joined the NSA to award $2.7 million to several Oklahoma colleges, including Rose State College, to form a consortium of cyber security education.
During the announcement of the award at Oklahoma’s State Capitol, Rose State College was singled out for being the only community college in the U.S. with all six levels of federal cyber security certification.
Richard George, technical director for the Information Assurance Directorate of the NSA in Fort Meade, Md., said Rose State is being funded because its program is critical to national defense and that Rose offers all the federal certification levels.
“That is phenomenal,” George said. “Those are great guiding principles of what we should be teaching. The fact that you have all of them shows that you have a faculty that understands and can impart that information to the students and get them prepared to go out and make a difference. This is a phenomenal achievement, and that’s why there is only one.”
In 2010, the NSA named Rose State College a Center of Excellence for its cyber security program.
Dewey said there were more than 600 enrollments in the program during the last college year. Graduates from the Rose State program have gone on to work for the Department of Defense, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, for private companies and other security organizations.
Sun, March 6, 2011
by Ben Fenwick