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NCyTE Center receives grant from Microsoft for a project entitled "Accelerating Community College Cybersecurity Excellence (ACCCE)"

Whatcom Community College’s NCyTE Center awarded Microsoft Philanthropies grant for “Accelerating Community College Cybersecurity Excellence” (ACCCE)

October 28, 2021— Bellingham, Wash.– NCyTE, the National Cybersecurity Training & Education Center hosted at Whatcom Community College (WCC) in Bellingham, WA, has received a substantial three-year grant from Microsoft Philanthropies through the Whatcom Community College Foundation.

The project, known as Accelerating Community College Cybersecurity Excellence (ACCCE), is intended to rapidly increase the capacity of the national cybersecurity education workforce and has a three-fold focus on (1) preparing institutions through cybersecurity program development, ultimately for Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) designation; (2) supporting and diversifying cybersecurity faculty at colleges, and (3) providing resources, mentorship, and partnership to colleges in support of cybersecurity program development. Program, faculty, and resource development are critical to this workforce development and capacity building effort.

Recent data from CyberSeek shows that the demand for cybersecurity workers has risen 94% since 2013— three times faster than for IT positions overall. But the supply of qualified professionals is far too low. To address the talent gap, the U.S. must significantly expand the quantity and quality of its cybersecurity education programs, as well as corresponding enrollments and graduates. Community colleges play a critical role in this process.

"As we are continuing to see, the threat to cybersecurity not only nationally but worldwide is a persistent and invasive issue across all sectors. Organizations are struggling to find the talent they need to protect themselves. Only through strong funding partnerships can we successfully meet the challenges that will continue to exist by preparing a strong cybersecurity workforce,” said Dr. Kathi Hiyane-Brown, president of Whatcom Community College.

The award strongly leverages existing NCyTE partnerships across the country and forges new partnerships with the American Association for Community Colleges (AACC), Microsoft TechSpark communities, rural-serving colleges, and tribes. Through these collaborations, NCyTE will impact hundreds of faculty, and ultimately thousands of students, at community colleges across the country through faculty training, workshops, and exposure to significant curricular resources including access to Microsoft tools and opportunities. ACCCE will also focus on diversifying and developing new faculty for this field, which is another significant barrier to expanding the workforce.

"One of the keys to addressing the significant cybersecurity workforce gap is through helping community colleges to start or improve their cybersecurity programs, expand and enhance faculty training, and increase program diversity. NCyTE's partnership with Microsoft will increase access to substantial additional resources that can help to address this capacity-building challenge,” according to Corrinne Sande, director of NCyTE and Computer Sciences and Information Systems at WCC.

To learn more about the Accelerating Community College Cybersecurity Excellence (ACCCE) project and to register interest in upcoming ACCCE workshops and events, visit our dedicated webpage.  



About NCyTE:
The National Cybersecurity Training & Education (NCyTE) Center is funded by the National Science Foundation. NCyTE's mission is to increase the quantity and quality of the cybersecurity workforce throughout the nation. NCyTE Center is based in Bellingham, WA at Whatcom Community College. For more information visit www.ncyte.net.

About Whatcom:
Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, WA is regularly recognized as one of the top community colleges in the nation for student outcomes. The College, a destination for cybersecurity, healthcare and business studies, offers two bachelor of applied science degrees, transfer degrees, career and workforce preparation, online courses, and community education classes. New high school graduates, laid-off workers, seasoned employees, future university students — all students count on WCC to support their academic and career goals. For more information, visit www.whatcom.edu.

About Microsoft Corporation:
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.