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National Centers of Academic Excellence in IA Education (CAE/IAE) Criteria for Measurement

The National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education Program (CAE/IAE) is open to nationally or regionally accredited four-year colleges and graduate-level universities. The mission of a nationally accredited institution must be in Information Assurance (IA) or a similar area.

Applications must be submitted electronically via the on-line application process. Applications are assessed against a specific set of criteria, (PDF Attached), which are intended to measure the depth and maturity of programs of instruction in IA at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Applicants must clearly demonstrate how they meet each of the criteria. Minimum requirements for each of the criteria must be met to obtain designation. Successful applicants are designated as a CAE/IAE for a period of five academic years, after which they must successfully reapply to retain the designation. The criteria are reviewed annually and strengthened as appropriate to keep pace with the evolving nature of IA. (Designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in IA Education does not carry a commitment of funding from the National Security Agency nor from the Department of Homeland Security.)

All schools must re-designate after 5 years - the criteria for measuring CAE/IAE for re-designation is attached.

Prerequisite: Prior to submitting an application for the National Centers of Academic Excellence in IA Education Program, IA courseware must be certified under the IA Courseware Evaluation Program as meeting the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS) Training Standards, and the certification must be current. Specifically, certification for CNSS Training Standard 4011 is required, and certification for at least one additional CNSS Training Standard (4012, 4013, 4014, 4015, 4016, or subsequent standards) is required.

Criterion # Criterion Name Minimum Points Required
1 Outreach/Collaboration 15
2 IA Treated as a Multidisciplinary Science 10
3 University Encourages the Practice of IA 17
4 Academic Program Encourages Student Research in IA 20
5 Faculty Active in Current IA Practice and Research 20
6 IA Resources8
7 IA Academic Program is Robust and Active15
8 Declared Center for IA Education 20
9 Number of IA Faculty and Course Load20
Total  145

MINIMUM POINTS REQUIRED TO QUALIFY AS A CAE/IAE = 145.
MINIMUM POINTS MUST BE MET FOR EACH OF THE CRITERIA.

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Criterion 1: Outreach/Collaboration

Provide evidence of partnerships in IA education with minority colleges and universities, two-year community colleges, or technical schools. Partnerships may include: shared curriculum and resources (IA teaching material provided), shared faculty (faculty on curriculum committee or teaching), and reciprocity of credits. (Example of evidence: memorandum of agreement between both parties)

The U. S. Department of Education refers to minority colleges and universities as including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities.

Category Points
Shared curriculum (Example: IA teaching materials provided to minority colleges and universities, two-year community colleges, technical schools, or K-12 schools) or shared faculty (Example: faculty on curriculum development committee and/or teaching IA at minority colleges and universities, two-year community colleges, technical schools, or K-12 schools) 5
Reciprocity of credits (Example: Accepting academic credit in IA courses from minority colleges and universities, two-year community colleges, or technical schools.) Evidence in the form of written agreements must demonstrate that IA-related courses from the above types of schools are accepted for credit at the applying college/university. 5
Use of distance education technology and techniques to deliver IA courses (Examples: live/delayed broadcasts, videotapes/CDs, lectures, and web-based courses.) 5
Sponsorship of state, regional, or national IA curriculum workshops, colloquia, etc. (Examples: sponsorship of workshops for K-12 schools, community colleges, technical schools, state homeland security, industry, etc.) 5
Providing students with access to IA practitioners (Examples: guest lecturers working in IA industry and/or government, faculty exchange program with industry and/or government, etc.) 5

Overall Point Value: 8 Minimum Required

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Criteria 2: IA Treated as a Multidisciplinary Science

The academic program demonstrates that IA is not treated as a separate discipline, but as a multidisciplinary science with the body of IA knowledge incorporated into various disciplines.

Category Max Points
Evidence IA is taught as modules in existing courses and that non-technical/non-IA students are being introduced to IA, i.e. courses for managers/leaders. (Examples: Business school provides instruction on security countermeasures for IT systems to help assure continuity of operations, school of nursing introduces secure measures for patient confidentiality, etc.) Up to 2 points per course/10 total
Non-IA courses encourage papers or projects in IA topics. Provide titles of theses, dissertation, or projects in IA. (Examples: Criminal Justice encourages Forensics as a paper topic or Business Management encourages return on investment studies in IA security.) If the course does not require a paper or project, then provide a syllabus demonstrating that IA topics are covered. Up to 2 points per course/10 total

Overall Point Value: 10 Minimum Required

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Criterion 3: University Encourages the Practice of IA

The academic program demonstrates how the university encourages the practice of IA, not merely that IA is taught. (An example of a government-based IA security plan may be found at http://csrc.nist.gov/organizations/fissea/2005-conference/presentations/Clark/Clark-paper.pdf).

A paper on effectively teaching how to write a security plan may be found at http://csrc.nist.gov/organizations/fissea/conference/2005-conference/presentations/Clark/Clark-paper.pdf.)

These examples are not intended to replace an existing university security plan.

Category Points
Provide a link to the university or departmental IA security plan. 10 required
University-designated Information Systems Security Officer. Provide name, position and job description for person or persons responsible for information security. 2 min/10 max
Provide evidence of the implementation of the university/departmental IA security plan to encourage IA awareness throughout the campus. (Examples: students and faculty are required to take computer-based training or on-line tutorials; a security banner statement is present on university or department computers; security-related help screens are available; university-wide seminars are held on the importance of IA, etc.) 5 required

Overall Point Value: 17 Minimum Required

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Criterion 4: Academic Program Encourages Student Research in IA

The academic program encourages student research in IA, since research fuels the relevancy and currency of IA curricula. Provide examples.

Category Points
Program with IA focus has thesis, dissertation, or project requirements. Focus areas include declared majors, declared minors, established certificates of study within a major, and production of research. Provide titles of theses, dissertations, student papers, or projects in IA completed within three years of application. 2 points per paper, dissertation, thesis, or project/20 max
List IA courses that require research paper(s) or virtual/physical lab project(s). Provide titles of papers or projects in IA completed within three years of application. 2 points per course/20 max

Overall Point Value: 20 Minimum Required

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Criterion 5: Faculty Active in Current IA Practice and Research

It is clearly demonstrated that the faculty is active in current IA practice and research, contributes to IA literature, and are members of IA professional societies or attend professional IA conferences.

Category Points
Peer-reviewed publications (electronic or traditional) on IA topics as evidenced in refereed journals or peer-reviewed conference proceedings within the last three years. Provide links to access papers. 3 points per paper/15 max
Published books or chapters of books on IA. Books/chapters must focus on IA and have been published within the last five years. Provide title, authors, and date published. Identify specific chapters if authoring a chapter of a book. 5 points per book/
1 point per chapter/
15 max
University is awarded grants/funding for IA education and/or research development or lab equipment. Provide synopsis of IA-related grants, funding, equipment donations, or other funding received during the last five years, including date and approximate monetary value. 2 points per award item/
20 max
Faculty members are engaged in and/or have initiated student IA programs within the last three years. (Examples: faculty-driven student discussion groups, IA clubs, lunch bunch, etc.) 1 point per program/
5 max
Provide biographies to substantiate depth and length of faculty expertise.  

Overall Point Value: 20 Minimum Required

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Criteria 6: IA Resources

The faculty and students have access to IA resources and reference materials.

Category Points
Provide evidence that subscription-based IA journals are available for student and faculty use. (Examples: Safari, Merlot, etc.) up to 5 points
Demonstrate that hyperlinks to key IA web sites are provided to students in course syllabus, on professor's web page, or during class instruction. up to 5 points
Demonstrate that physical and/or virtual IA labs and equipment are available and used for hands-on learning. Provide examples of student lab projects, exercises, or case studies; syllabus; links to assignment; etc. up to 5 points

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Criterion 7: IA Academic Program is Robust and Active

Academic program, within a nationally or regionally accredited four-year college or graduate-level university, has an area of study or focus area in IA. Identify the courses required for each area, and provide syllabus, enrollment data for current academic year (not projected), and actual graduation data (not projected) for the past two academic years. Courses must be verifiable through on-line course catalog.

Focus on IA at the B.S. level

Category Points
Enrolled (current academic year) 10 points if program is declared and up and running
Graduated (past two academic years) 5 points if program existed for past two academic years

Focus on IA at the M.S. level

Category Points
Enrolled (current academic year) 10 points if program is declared and up and running
Graduated (past two academic years) 5 points if program existed for past two academic years

Focus on IA at the Ph.D. level

Category Points
Enrolled/Declared (current academic year) 10 points if program is declared and up and running
Graduated (past two academic years) 5 points if program existed for past two academic years

Overall Point Value: 15 Minimum Required
Note: If a university presents evidence that a program has existed for two or more years, but the university is just now formalizing the program and plans to issue credit to past students retroactively, points may be allocated.

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Criterion 8: Declared Center for IA Education

For the purposes of the criteria, the word "center" is used in a general sense. The university must have a formal organization where faculty and students can share their research, collaborate, and interact.

The university has a declared "center" for IA education or a center for IA research from which the IA curriculum is emerging. The center may be school- or university-based. (Example: The Computer Science Department has an officially designated "Center for IA Studies" with a clear link to and sponsorship by the College of Engineering Sciences, with a charter signed at least at the College of Engineering level.) Provide documentation of the designation of the Center (e.g., the charter), signed by the Dean or higher, and the mission statement.

Category Points
Show formal documentation of the designation of the IA "center." 10 required
Provide a hyperlink to the "center." 5 required
Demonstrate the "center" web site is active and current and contains links to key IA resources such as other academic institutions, government sites, conferences, workshops, IA news, etc. 5 min/
20 max

Overall Point Value: 20 Minimum Required

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Criterion 9: Number of IA Faculty and Course Load

University IA faculty consists of a sufficient number of full-time IA faculty members and additional members (may be part-time, adjunct, visiting professors, etc.) teaching at least one IA course. For the purposes of these criteria, full-time faculty may be defined as a professor dedicated to teaching three IA courses per semester, or two IA courses with research, or one IA course with research and with advisees at Masters and Doctoral Level. Shared and cross-departmental appointments for part-time and adjunct faculty may be counted, as well as institutional agreements for cooperative exchange of adjunct faculty between universities. This criterion requires a letter signed by the Dean (or a university official at a level higher than Dean) identifying the faculty and teaching workload and a link to a biography or curriculum vitae for each faculty member.

Category Points
Identify by name full-time employee or employees, as defined above, either faculty or member of the administration working in IA, with overall responsibility for the IA Instructional Program. Provide evidence, e.g., a letter of testimony or job description. 10 points
Identify by name additional IA faculty members, as defined above, working full- or part-time teaching IA courses within the department that sponsors the IA programs. 5 points each faculty member/
10 max
Identify by name shared faculty (e.g., intra- or inter-departmental or other four-year graduate university, industry expert, etc.) and adjunct/part-time faculty (e.g., professor teaching one or two IA courses per semester or teaching IA in existing courses.) 2 points each faculty member/
10 Max

Overall Point Value: 20 Minimum Required

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Date Posted: Jan 15, 2009 | Last Modified: Aug 17, 2012 | Last Reviewed: July 30, 2012

 
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