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CareerTech Earns Cyber Security Excellence Designation

Dec. 13, 2012 -- Six of the Oklahoma Career and Technology Education System’s technology centers gained another tool this year to teach cyber security professionals.

The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security has designated ODCTE as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance 2-Year Education.

The designation covers Central Technology Center in Drumright and Sapulpa, Great Plains Technology Center in Lawton, Meridian Technology Center in Stillwater, Mid-America Technology Center in Wayne and Tulsa Technology Center. Francis Tuttle Technology Center in Oklahoma City earned the designation separately.

“The goal of this prestigious program is to reduce vulnerabilities in America’s national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and increasing the number of professionals with cyber security expertise,” said Sheryl Hale, director of Innovative Programs, Research and Development at ODCTE.

Before applying for the National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance 2-Year Education designation, the technology centers had to align with at least two of six Committee on National Security Systems standards.

“It’s a very rigorous mapping procedure,” Hale said.

CareerTech is in alignment with four CNSS standards, she said: a national training standard for information systems security professionals and national information assurance training standards for senior systems managers, system administrators and information systems security officers.

CareerTech then had to go through a rigorous screening process to earn the CAE 2-Year designation, Hale said.

CareerTech developed its cyber security program with the University of Tulsa; the educational institutions are two of the founding members of the Cyber Security Education Consortium, an eight-state consortium that is a National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education Regional Center of Excellence. CSEC provided the technology centers with faculty training, financial resources and funding to develop the core instructional resources for courses in information assurance, enterprise security management, network security, secure e-commerce and digital forensics.

“The whole impetus behind CSEC was to develop a highly skilled technology workforce that can advance state and national Homeland Security efforts,” Hale said.

Students who graduate from the programs are qualified to receive CNSS certifications and also to take third-party exams, she said. They can find jobs in health care, finance, energy, manufacturing and many other industries.

The demand for information technology workers in cyber security is “incredibly high,” Hale said, and 90 percent of the jobs are in non-IT companies.


By Laura Wilson, writer/editor
Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education

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