The National Security Agency (NSA) has designated the following universities as Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education for academic years 2001 through 2004. They join the list of fourteen universities across the country to be awarded this distinction. The newly designated Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education are:
- Drexel University (PA)
- United States Military Academy, West Point (NY)
- Georgia Institute of Technology (GA)
- University of Maryland, Baltimore County (MD)
- Mississippi State University (MS)
- University Of North Carolina, Charlotte (NC)
- Norwich University (VT)
- West Virginia University (W VA)
- Syracuse University (NY)
Universities are being notified this week and will be formally recognized during a presentation at the Fifth Annual Conference of the National Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education, on May 23, 2001, at 9:30 a.m. This year's conference will be hosted by one of the first Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education, George Mason University, at their Fairfax, Virginia campus.
NOTE TO MEDIA:
To attend the conference, contact NSA Public and Media Affairs at the above number.
More information on this program follows:
The NSA established the Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education Program in an effort to promote higher education in information assurance and increase the number of individuals with this expertise in various disciplines. A June 1999 Department of Commerce Report, The Digital Workforce, estimates that the U.S. will require more than 1.3 million new highly skilled information technology workers between 1996 and 2006. The National Plan for Information Systems Protection also addresses this critical shortage and further highlights the acute shortage in the subset of trained information systems security personnel. The National Plan recognizes training and education as key solutions in defending America's cyberspace. The Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education Program is an example of the outreach and partnership efforts called for in the National Plan.
Designations were granted following a rigorous review of university applications by a review board composed of representatives from the NSA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, as well as members of the National Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education representing both industry and academia. The board assessed applications against established criteria that measure the depth and maturity of information assurance programs and are rooted in National Security Telecommunications and Information Systems Security Committee (NSTISSC) Training Standards. The NSTISSC is an intergovernmental organization that sets policy for the security of national security systems. For more information about the NSTISSC, please see http://www.cnss.gov.
Universities receiving this distinction are eligible to apply for the competitive Scholarship for Service (SFS) Program announced in the President's National Plan for Information Systems Protection, January 2000 (http://www.ciao.gov/education/index.html). Under the SFS Program, administered by the National Science Foundation (http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2001/nsf0111/nsf0111.pdf), the government pays for the last two years of graduate or undergraduate studies meeting established information assurance standards, in return for a predetermined student commitment to federal government service. A similar Department of Defense (DoD) Information Assurance Scholarship Program was recently initiated. This program, which also draws on the Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education, is sponsored by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence and is offered in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 112, Title 10, United States Code, as amended by Public Law 106-398, The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001. The DoD program is intended to increase the number of qualified students entering the field of information assurance to meet DoD's increasing dependence on information technology for war fighting and the security of its information infrastructure.
Information on Colloquium:
The colloquium conference provides a forum for key figures in government, industry, and academia to address current and emerging requirements in information assurance education, and to encourage the development and expansion of curricula, especially at the graduate and undergraduate levels. For more information about the colloquium conference, please refer to http://www.ncisse.org.
Information on the Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education Program:
This program is managed by the Information Assurance Directorate of the NSA which provides solutions, products and services, and conducts defensive information operations to achieve information assurance for information infrastructures critical to U.S. national security interests.