The National Security Agency has doubled the size of a program meant to cultivate partnerships with colleges and universities to produce more cyber professionals.
The agency announced Wednesday four schools would receive the CAE-Cyber Operations designation for the current academic year: Air Force Institute of Technology in Ohio, Auburn University, Carnegie Mellon University and Mississippi State University.
It’s the second year for the program, dubbed the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations Program. The concept is to connect cyber topics already taught at these schools with real-world national security examples. A number of students at the schools will also get the opportunity to take and teach summer seminars at NSA, although these students will not actually engage in government intelligence activities.
“In the application process and in all of its work with selected schools, NSA emphasizes the importance of integrity and compliance,” said Steven LaFountain, an NSA technical leader, in a release. “Cyber skills are increasingly important in national defense, but it’s even more important to operate as responsible citizens in the use of such skills.”
The four other schools chosen last year in the program are: Dakota State University, Naval Postgraduate School in California, Northeastern University and the University of Tulsa. All eight schools will be evaluated each year during their five-year designation.
In addition to the eight schools now in the program, NSA and the Department of Homeland Security have also designated more than 100 other centers of academic excellence in research and information assurance education.