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  • PCC named National Center of Academic Excellence for Cyber Defense Education

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    PUEBLO – The National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security have designated Pueblo Community College a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE2Y) for its cyber security program.

    The designation makes PCC the lone two-year accredited program in southern Colorado. Colorado State University-Pueblo is accredited as a four-year program.
     

    “This designation is the culmination of years of dedication to training, development, education and promotion of the cyber security discipline at PCC,” said Jennifer Sherman, dean of business and advanced technology. “We are proud to be a leader in this field as we address the workforce demand and talent pipeline for business and industry.”

    The NSA and DHS created the Center of Academic Excellence designation to ensure that qualified individuals are available to work in the rapidly growing cyber security field. The goal of the program, according to its criteria, is to “proactively increase our understanding of robust cyber defense technology, policy and practices that will enable our nation to effectively prevent and respond to a catastrophic cyber event.” 
     

    Tim Gama, director of PCC’s cyber security program, spent the past year completing the accreditation process. PCC’s existing program had to meet stringent criteria to be approved.

    “I was so pleased when told that the college had been awarded this distinguished accreditation,” said PCC President Patty Erjavec. “I could not be more proud of Tim and his fine efforts to move our cyber security program to this level.
     

    “I’m especially pleased for our students. To have this caliber of program available at PCC validates our commitment to excellence and a skilled workforce.”

    Students who complete PCC’s 60-credit program will receive an associate of applied science degree in networking cyber security and will be prepared to test for certification in several areas. They will be able to enter the workforce immediately upon graduation or transfer to a four-year program such as CSU-Pueblo’s to complete their bachelor’s degree.

    “We’re training today for jobs not yet created,” Gama said. “With this designation, the industry will recognize that our students are trained and ready for the cyber industry.”
     

    PCC will formally receive its designation certificate at the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education conference in November.

    The accreditation is valid through the 2022 academic year.

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    Founded in 1933, Pueblo Community College is a premier teaching institution focused on providing academic and service excellence to help its students acquire the 21st Century skills needed to better their lives. An educational and technological leader, PCC fosters economic development and utilizes strong partnerships in the communities it serves through its Pueblo, Fremont and Southwest campuses.