UCCS engages faculty and universities nationwide in cybersecurity education

UCCS recently concluded their Cybersecurity Faculty Development Program, which launched in February 2022, offering opportunities and resources for educating, training and developing Cybersecurity faculty.

The program, funded through a National Security Agency (NSA) grant, was in partnership with several other universities nationwide: Moraine Valley Community College, Sinclair College, State University of New York/Albany, Tennessee Technical University, University of Alabama, Huntsville and University of West Florida.

“The UCCS Faculty Development Grant is critical to growing the cybersecurity teaching acumen of college-level professors and educators across the nation,” said Gretchen Bliss, Director of Cybersecurity Programs. “With the help of our partner colleges and universities, we were able to train more than 400 educators on critical cybersecurity topics such as Cloud Security, Data Privacy, Cybersecurity Law, Cyber Physical Systems, Cyber and Space, Embedded Systems Cybersecurity, and AI & Cybersecurity. These topics reinforce the need to make cybersecurity education current and inter-disciplinary, as cybersecurity touches every career field and every industry.”

In the time since the program began, UCCS and its partners have completed 39 semester-long cybersecurity education courses and implemented 77 short-term cybersecurity faculty development offerings including boot camps, training sessions, online courses and, most recently, fourteen workshops. The workshops were hosted between the partnering institutions on topics including Cybersecurity Law, AI and Cybersecurity, Data Privacy and more, with most of the events selling out. Over 400 faculty received education and training, with several of the workshops also offering Continuing Education Credits.

Another opportunity offered was the Pedagogical Preparation for Professors of Practice program, consisting of monthly webinars geared towards faculty aspiring to teach cybersecurity at the college and university level. This program provided mentoring, career guidance and a placement program for cyber education roles in higher education, covering topics like interviewing skills, developing a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and other practical tools to aid in a job search for cybersecurity education.

Additionally, the program trained 469 graduate students and secured $620,000 in Graduate/Post-Graduate Cyber Education scholarships. These scholarships went to 124 of the 469 students, helping them enroll in cyber programs at participating universities with the goal of furthering their education in cybersecurity and preparing them to eventually teach cybersecurity at higher education institutions.

Gretchen Bliss acted as Lead Principal Investigator of the grant and led the coalition alongside Terri Johnson, Co-Principal Investigator and Instructor of Cybersecurity Management. Throughout the entire course of the grant, over 2,150 educators in total were impacted through up-skilling or re-skilling to teach cybersecurity.

About Cybersecurity at UCCS

UCCS is a recognized cybersecurity education leader in the region, awarding hundreds of degrees each year in cybersecurity fields at bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. UCCS cybersecurity programs train security professionals who work to ensure the nation’s security, support faculty research and strategic cybersecurity partnerships with industry, government, military and academic institutions, including the U.S. Space Force and the National Cybersecurity Center.  Due to generous Colorado state funding of cybersecurity education, UCCS students are eligible for significant financial aid towards security degree scholarships. Learn more about Cybersecurity Programs at UCCS.