Fostering Student Success in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance
Keeping computers and information systems secure is a major challenge. Business, industry, and government need well-prepared technicians who can prevent, detect, and investigate cybersecurity breaches, and the growth of cyber-threats has created a need for many more workers who have appropriate, specific knowledge and skills. Borough of Manhattan Community College's Computer Information Systems Department offers programs in Computer Information Systems (CIS) and Computer Network Technology (CNT) leading to an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree. These programs enroll hundreds of majors, over two thirds of whom are Black or Hispanic. In this project, faculty will create a concentration in cybersecurity in each of the two AAS degree programs. Six new courses will be developed or adapted from models at other institutions, and nine existing courses will be revised. The project team will recruit high school students into the new cybersecurity concentrations, prepare students for employment by offering internships and support for industry certification exams, and assist students who wish to transfer into related four-year degree programs. The project will play a significant role in preparing students for cybersecurity positions and in expanding opportunities for underrepresented minorities in the field.
The project team will work with representatives from the New York City College of Technology, Manhattan Bridges High School, the Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance (CSSIA), and the National CyberWatch Center to adapt and implement exemplary educational materials and pedagogical strategies aimed at increasing the number of students who pursue studies in cybersecurity and information assurance. The curriculum will integrate new and emerging technologies such as mobile computing, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT). To support the new curriculum, the project team will launch a comprehensive faculty development program, cybersecurity workshops for high school students, a pre-freshman summer bridge program, supplemental instruction and tutoring, test preparation workshops targeting industry cybersecurity certifications, cybersecurity internships for students, expanded articulation agreements with the NYC College of Technology, and a state-of-the-art cybersecurity lab utilizing virtualization technology. The project evaluation will look at students' achievement of learning goals, skills, and industry certifications; retention and graduation rates; educational pursuits and advancement beyond the associate degree; participation in internships; and placement as technicians in technology companies.