Colorado Springs – May 15, 2018 – Pikes Peak Community College has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Two-Year Education (CAE-2Y) by the National Security Administration (NSA) through 2023.
PPCC now joins the ranks of the U.S. Air Force Academy, University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Regis University, Colorado Technical University and Pueblo and Red Rocks Community Colleges, making Colorado one of the highest concentrations of CAE approved 2- and 4- year schools outside of the nation's capital region.
"Part of application process was not only to develop an academic program but also to embed cybersecurity practices across all departments of the college," said Gretchen Bliss, PPCC's Cybersecurity Director.
"As part of this two-year effort and three-year accumulation of data, we also needed to involve industry, engage experts in the field, expose middle and high school students to this pathway and to provide hands-on opportunities for industry and community people to engage and learn more."
PPCC is now teaching to the standards of the NSA and the Department of Homeland Security, practicing those standards within the college and working to articulate with all the local and regional CAE-4Y designated schools to create a pathway to a bachelor's and master's in cybersecurity.
This designation also increases PPCC's access to academic and workforce development grants in the cybersecurity arena that will allow it to expand and refine its programs even more. This helps the national effort to create common vocabulary and curriculum needed to expand the global cybersecurity workforce.
Ten thousand jobs are currently available in cybersecurity in Colorado alone according to Cyberseek.org, a joint effort between CompTIA, Burninglass and the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE).
The Pikes Peak region has been working toward becoming a center for cybersecurity businesses and is now a center of cybersecurity training as well. Having both designated cybersecurity industries and learning institutions creates a perfect pathway for those wanting to enter this industry in a streamlined way.
Because of this designation's national visibility, PPCC students who graduate from these programs are recognized by employers as having the broad cyber skills needed in industries around the globe.
In addition, the state has recognized PPCC's cybersecurity efforts by funding Senate Bill 18-086 which provides for $300,000 of funding for PPCC's Cyber Security Program.
About Pikes Peak Community College
Established in 1968 and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, PPCC offers associate degrees and certifications in career and technical fields and its first bachelor degree starting fall 2018. With three campuses, two learning centers and two military education centers, PPCC provides access to a quality, affordable and flexible education to 20,000 students annually.