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CSU-Pueblo Named for Excellence in Cyber-Defense Education

Release Date: April 21, 2016

Cora Zaletel

Executive Director, External Affairs

Colorado State University-Pueblo


Press Release

PUEBLO - The National Information Assurance Education and Training Program (NIETP), under the authority of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), has announced that Colorado State University-Pueblo has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) for the academic years 2016 to 2021.

Official letters of notification will be sent to CSU-Pueblo President, Dr. Lesley Di Mare, the Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, members of the U.S. Congress, and appropriate Congressional Committees. A ceremony recognizing this national CAE-CDE designation will be held June 7 at the 8th Annual National Cyber Summit in Huntsville, Alabama.

The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security jointly sponsor the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) programs, which seek to reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in the areas of Cyber Security and Information Assurance and to produce a growing number of students and professionals to advance state-of-the-art knowledge and practice in these respective areas.

Students attending nationally designated CAE-CDE schools become eligible to apply for related scholarships and grants through the Department of Defense, Dept. of Homeland Security, and the National Security Agency.

The NSA CAE-CDE program directly supports the 2003 U.S. National Strategy to Secure Cyber Space and the 2011 International strategy for Cyber Space to address the critical shortage of professionals with cyber skills and highlights the importance of higher education as a solution to defending America's cyber space.

President Di Mare noted that the designation places the University among only five percent of schools in the nation. "Having this designation is an enormous accomplishment in itself. It puts us in the company of some elite institutions and is particularly important due to our location near a number of military installations and the strong Colorado industrial base in the defense industry," she said.

"The CAE designation also lays the foundation for a new strategic emphasis to broaden our existing programs in security studies now represented by the programs in Homeland Security, Cyber Security, and Criminology," Di Mare said.

HSB, through its Center for Cyber Security Education and Research (CCSER) and CCSER Director Dr. Roberto Mejias, assistant professor of computer information systems (CIS), submitted an application in late 2015. The application for NSA-CAE-CDE designation started in mid-2015, required comprehensive input and documentation in two categories: I.) Eight (8) major CAE institutional program requirements which included such areas as cyber defense (CD) courses, student and faculty CD research, institutional IS Security plan, university-level support, multidisciplinary collaboration, institutional outreach and II.) The confirmation and extensive mapping of CSU-Pueblo courses to 22 Knowledge Units (KU) that followed a stringent NSA-CAE content criteria.

During the first quarter of 2016, CSU-Pueblo's application passed a rigorous review by internal and external NSA-CAE reviewers which demonstrated the University's competency and commitment to academic excellence in cyber defense education.

CSU-Pueblo now joins a prestigious list of current NSA CAE-CDE designated institutions available at the following web site:

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.

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