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HCC awarded grants to teach cybersecurity

September 28, 2011
  • Hagerstown Community College President Guy Altieri is shown on the HCC campus in this file photo. Altieri said in a news release that a a $650,000 grant from the National Science Foundation "will posture HCC well to be a leader in cybersecurity education, both in Western Maryland and throughout the state."
Herald-Mail file photo

Hagerstown Community College has been awarded a $650,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to prepare students for careers in the growing field of cybersecurity, the college said this week in a news release.

HCC will use the funds to create a cybersecurity career pathway, developing partnerships with school systems, four-year institutions, and employers, including the Defense Information Systems Agency, the news release said.

"This award will posture HCC well to be a leader in cybersecurity education, both in Western Maryland and throughout the state," HCC President Guy Altieri said in the release.

He credited U.S. Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, both D-Md., with making federal dollars available for grants for training and job creation in the cybersecurity field.

In addition to new degree and certificate programs in cybersecurity, HCC will offer professional development for teachers and encourage high school students to pursue cybersecurity careers, the release said.

The award comes as the college prepares to open a new STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering and Math building.

"The timing couldn't be better in terms of ensuring that both the capital and operational resources are in place to train our students for cybersecurity and other STEM-related high-skill, high-wage careers," Altieri said in the release.

HCC recently received a $50,000 grant from Cyberwatch, a consortium of more than 40 higher education institutions, businesses, and government agencies.

That grant will be used to conduct a community outreach campaign to heighten awareness of cybersecurity and cyber threats, and to create a cybersecurity institute to provide various types of short-term training for industry certification.

HCC has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Two-Year Education by the National Security Agency and was one of the first six community colleges in the United States to receive this honor, the release said.

The distinction enables students to transfer seamlessly from HCC to four-year colleges to complete their degrees.

For more information on the cybersecurity program at HCC, contact Margaret Spivey at mcspivey@hagerstowncc.edu.

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