NSA and DHS Designate Augusta Tech as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense

Staff Report From Augusta CEO

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security have designated Augusta Technical College as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Two-Year Education through academic year 2023. 

The goal of the CAE2Y program is to increase the understanding of robust Cyber Defense technology, policy and practices that will enable our nation to effectively prevent and respond to a catastrophic cyber event. This CAE2Y designation recognizes that Augusta Technical College has the ability to meet the increasing demands of the program criteria that contribute significantly to the advancement of state-of-the-art CD knowledge and practice by developing this important technically skilled workforce.

The CAE2Y is a rigorous, but valuable, distinction.  This designation, issued jointly by the NSA and the DHS, is one of the most prestigious recognitions for cyber security excellence a college can receive.

“Augusta Tech’s administrators and faculty have worked extremely hard in developing and executing a curriculum to meet the standards for the CAE2Y designation,” stated Terry Elam, President of Augusta Technical College.  “We know that the intersection between education and technology is rapidly changing.  Exciting a new generation of learners means incorporating new technologies and adjusting course content in order to provide a good overall experience for students who have made an important first step in their collegiate career.”

Augusta Technical College is the first two-year Technical College System of Georgia institution to hold the CAE2Y designation.  Augusta Tech students will learn to master the 15 core competencies identified by NSA/DHS as appropriate for two-year programs. These include cyber defense, security design, cryptography, and ethics. The College designed the coursework to prepare students for entry-level positions in the cybersecurity workforce and to help them to prepare for and pass multiple cyber related industry certification examinations required by many employers.

Augusta Tech Cyber Center Director, Jim Poarch stated, “This rigorous NSA and DHS CAE2Y recognition process validates our program’s curriculum and recognizes Augusta Technical College as a premier two-year college with the designation “National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense.”  This designation brings recognition and prestige to our College, and greatly enhances our graduates’ pursuit of an exemplary cybersecurity career.”

The cybersecurity field is booming and Cybersecurity Ventures predicts there will be 3.5 million cybersecurity job openings by 2021.  There is a great need for all levels of cybersecurity expertise.  Augusta Technical College’s hands-on AAS in Cybersecurity program helps to fulfill this need in a timely manner by turning out well-trained certified cyber technicians in less than two years.

In addition to the Associate Degree in Cybersecurity, Augusta Technical College offers Cyber-related programs in Networking, Computer Programming, and Computer Support Specialist.  The College will teach 12 cybersecurity classes at the newly opened Georgia Cyber and Innovation Center in the 2018 fall semester.  By the 2019 spring semester, the College plans to teach several more cybersecurity and cyber-related courses in the Georgia Cyber Center.