Whatcom Community College will be receiving $200,000 from the National Science Foundation to help start “Cybersecurity Camps” for high school students.
The “Advanced Technological Education” grant will be used to create camps and workshops for high school students to spark interest in information security. The college was recently named a National Center of Academic Excellence for Information Assurance.
The press release from Whatcom is below.
Bellingham, WA, July 25, 2011 – The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded an Advanced Technological Education (ATE) grant of $200,000 to Whatcom Community College for support of a “Cybersecurity Camps” project. Whatcom’s grant application was one of approximately 75-90 new awards funded by NSF from more than 240 proposals.
Recently named a National Center of Academic Excellence for Information Assurance Two-Year Education, WCC is the ideal institution to lead this effort. Over the next two years, the grant will fund the development and implementation of cybersecurity camps for local high school students hosted at the College. Through the camps and related activities, this project will increase awareness of the exciting and emerging field of information security, focusing efforts on growing the interest of high school students in cybersecurity-related training.
The grant-funded project will develop the depth of understanding and skill level among participants who are preparing for information security jobs. Further, the project helps to support national security goals by cultivating an interest in high-school students who can further their education in information security and become part of the pipeline to a well-equipped workforce. Recent attacks on computer networks have highlighted the need for a trained cybersecurity labor force.
In addition, the grant provides support for providing participating high school teachers with new content for curriculum, a mentorship program, and connections with local business and industry technology partners, as well as sponsors an annual culminating cyberdefense competition. High school students will be exposed to information security scenarios through hands-on activities, cybersecurity camps and cyberdefense competitions.
The College has a number of supporting partners on this project, whose cooperation and endorsement was instrumental in securing the funds for the cybersecurity camps: Bellingham High School, Ferndale High School, Lynden High School, Mount Baker High School, Nooksack Valley High School, Squalicum High School, WCC’s Computer Information Systems Advisory Committee, CyberWatch, Technology Alliance Group for Northwest Washington (TAG), and the University of Washington Center of Information Assurance and Cybersecurity (CIAC).
Whatcom Community College President Hiyane-Brown shared, “This NSF grant helps strengthen relationships between local county high schools and the College while preparing students to pursue careers in cybersecurity locally, regionally, and nationally.”
Whatcom Community College is an accredited, comprehensive two-year college serving over 7,600 students quarterly. Whatcom offers transfer degrees, professional and technical training programs, as well as basic education, job skills and enrichment classes. For more information about WCC, please contact Nate Langstraat at 360.383.3310 or visit www.whatcom.ctc.edu.