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Applying to the National Centers of Excellence Program

Call for Applications

Each year NSA and DHS hold a call for applications for these programs. Applications for CAEIAE and CAE-R are due 15 January of each year. New and redesignated CAEIAEs and CAE-Rs will be announced in June each year at the Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education (The Colloquium).

Prior to submitting an application for the National Centers of Academic Excellence in IA Education Program (CAE/IAE), IA courseware must be certified under the IA Courseware Evaluation Program for NSTISSI 4011 and one other CNSS standard. Completed electronic mapping for 4011 and one other CNSS standard must be submitted no later than 31 August of each year. Institutions with IACE Certificates must also map their courseware to the current version of each standard by 31 August of the year preceding their expiration. CAE-Rs do not need to map to the curriculum. The Carnegie Foundation classification or its equivalent is the requirement they must meet.


Application Procedures and Requirements

The National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education Program is offered annually and is open to nationally or regionally accredited four-year colleges and universities for their graduate and undergraduate programs. The CAE-Research program is open to nationally or regionally accredited universities that meet a Carnegie Foundation classification of RU/VH, RU/H, or DRU or the equivalent.

Applicants must submit a letter of their intent to apply, along with evidence of national or regional accreditation and Carnegie ranking for CAE-R. The letter must be on official college/university letterhead, signed by a collegiate official at an appropriate level (Dean or higher), and postmarked no later than the application due date. The mailing address follows:

National Security Agency
Attn: Ms. Christine Nickell
9800 Savage Road, Suite 6744
Fort Meade, MD 20755-6744

CAEIAE applicants must possess current certification under the Information Assurance Courseware Evaluation Program. The criteria for the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education Program provide specific information on this prerequisite. Applicants are encouraged to apply for the Information Assurance Courseware Evaluation Program as early as possible, and all mapping should be completed by 31 August. The Information Assurance Courseware Evaluation Program Manager may be reached at askIACE@nsa.gov.

After the prerequisite is met, contact the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education Program Office by email, AskCAEIAE@nsa.gov, to establish access to the on-line application. Use of the on-line application process is required. The electronic process enables the submitting institution to have multiple individuals participate in the entry of data, while giving the lead individual the ability to review all data and electronically submit the application. The process is intended to simplify the submission of data, create thorough and uniform submissions, and enhance the review process.

Applicants must clearly demonstrate, in sufficient detail, how they meet each of the program criteria and include supporting documentation where required and appropriate. Minimum requirements must be met for each of the ten criteria.

Applications are due to the program office by 15 January of each year.

CAE-R applicants should contact the program office by email, AskCAEIAE@nsa.gov, to establish access. Applicants must meet the Carnegie Foundation classification of RU/VH, RU/H, or DRU or the equivalent before beginning the process. Use of the on-line application process is required. Applicants must clearly demonstrate how they meet each of the program criteria.


Review and Selection Procedures

Qualified IA professionals from the National Security Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Committee on National Security Systems will assess applications. Other qualified individuals will be invited to assess applications as needed. By completing the application, a university grants consent to having its application assessed by Government reviewers, as well as by non-Government reviewers under contract to the Government.

Applications for CAE/IAE will be rated independently, using the point system identified in the criteria. Points will be consolidated, and a point-spread average will be assigned.

Members of the IA research community will conduct reviews of CAE-R applications. Two reviewers will independently review each application. If the two reviews are not in agreement, a third reviewer will be assigned. The program office will make a final determination based on all three assessments. The burden is on the university to clearly demonstrate their qualifications for the CAE-R Program.

Applicants will receive written notification of the determination by April or May.

Qualifying applicants will be designated as National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education or a Center of Academic Excellence-Research for a period of 5 academic years, after which they must successfully reapply in order to retain the designation.

Applicants who are not designated are encouraged to reapply during the next annual cycle.

Consolidated comments from the reviewers will be provided to applicants upon request. Contact the program office at AskCAEIAE@nsa.gov or to receive the comments.

 

Date Posted: Nov 14, 2008 | Last Modified: Nov 14, 2008 | Last Reviewed: Nov 14, 2008

 
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