Western Illinois University has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (NCAE-CD) for its bachelor of science degree in cybersecurity.
The NCAE-CD program is managed by the NSA’s National Cryptographic School, with federal partners including the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
“Our program is built on computer science and networking foundations, and offers a comprehensive major in cybersecurity, with a variety of cybersecurity courses,” said WIU Computer Sciences Professor Binto George. “Students also have the opportunity to take other non-technical courses and directed electives. Further, our program is required to be continuously assessed and improved as per the CAE guidelines, under the guidance of an external advisory board that currently comprises experts with industry, military and business experience,”
With this designation, WIU is formally recognized by the U.S. government for its robust Cybersecurity program, having undergone in-depth assessment and meeting rigorous requirements.
The new WIU Cybersecurity Center (WIU-CC) acts as the resource for the cybersecurity curriculum and practice. The center provides program guidance and oversight, general cyberdefense information and collaboration opportunities among WIU students, faculty and other peer institutions.
“We are proud to do our part in preparing our students to defend national security and protect the cybersecurity infrastructure,” Mr. George added. “This success opens up great opportunities for further collaboration with the NSA and Department of Homeland Security [DHS] to educate our students with knowledge and skills needed on their journey to meet the huge demand for cybersecurity professionals.”