Broward College Awarded its First National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Grant to Improve Cybersecurity Education

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (April 21, 2022) – Broward College was awarded an NSF ATE grant for its CyberTech: Expanding Opportunities in Cybersecurity project. The project aims to increase access for low-income students, students of color and women to cybersecurity technician training with a new teaching approach and several crucial community partners.

In 2020, the Federal Trade Commission reported 4.7 million cyber-fraud incidents. According to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center, Florida is ranked second in the nation in the number of cybercrime victims and third in the dollar amount of victim losses. These figures suggest that Florida residents will suffer significant and growing effects because of cybercrimes.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projection data indicates a 31 percent surge in demand for cybersecurity professionals between 2019 and 2029–far outpacing the national average for all occupations. In contrast to the employment figures and projections, CyberDegrees.org reports that because cybersecurity is a relatively new academic discipline in Florida, program options are limited. The only available programs can be found in a few private colleges that dominate the scene.

"Broward College wants to remedy the deficit we see in cybersecurity education," said College Provost and Senior Vice President Academic Affairs Dr. Jeffery Nasse. "With the implementation of this project, we want to train our cybersecurity technicians in a completely new way. Through a co-teaching model of faculty and graduate students, we want to deliver to our students a cybersecurity education that provides the most advanced skills, competencies, and experiences in the field."

The program focuses on improving cybersecurity education by implementing and studying a new co-teaching model that pairs community college faculty with highly successful graduate students to co-teach cybersecurity courses. Collaboration with postgraduate students allows them to bring in the latest knowledge of the threats and security breaches from their research at the Applied Research Center being conducted for agencies such as the U.S. Department of Defense and Homeland Security. Additionally, as the cybersecurity environment rapidly changes, the graduate student can bring the latest research on investigated potential weaknesses and integrity protections into the classroom.

To achieve all these goals, Broward College will partner with Florida International University Advanced Research Center (ARC), Nova Southeastern University College of Computing and Engineering (NSU), University of South Florida Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence (IC CAE), Miami Dade College and Palm Beach State College. Along with these universities and colleges, the project will involve three local high schools that cumulatively serve the 187 students in Broward County who are enrolled in the Applied Cybersecurity program of the K-12 system.

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ABOUT BROWARD COLLEGE:

Serving approximately 60,000 students annually, Broward College provides residents with certificate programs, two-year university-transfer degrees, two-year career degrees, and baccalaureate degrees in selected programs. The mission of the College is to provide high-quality educational programs and services that are affordable and accessible to a diverse community of learners. For more information, visit www.broward.edu.

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