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Whatcom Community College Awarded National Science Foundation's ATE Center Grant for Cybersecurity

College’s National Cybersecurity Training Education Center (NCyTE) to become the new national Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Center for Cybersecurity Education

Whatcom Community College awarded NSF ATE Center Grant for CybersecuritySeptember 1, 2021— Bellingham, Wash.– Whatcom Community College (WCC) has been awarded a $7.5 million grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF), elevating Whatcom Community College’s (WCC) National Cybersecurity Training and Education Center (NCyTE) from a local and regional resource to a national source for nationally-recognized cybersecurity education advocacy

WCC’s cybersecurity initiatives have contributed to the nation’s cybersecurity education and training for the past decade.On August 25, 2021, WCC President Dr. Kathi Hiyane-Brown, and other private sector and education leaders, were invited to meet with President Joe Biden and members of his cabinet and national security team, to discuss working collectively to fight malicious cyberactivity. In addition to the ATE Grant, WCC’s work has been recognized by the NSF previously, when it was awarded regional and resource center grants in 2013, 2018 and 2019.

Hiyane-Brown called the grant “a tremendous boon for the region” and said the grant award will add further prestige to the college and underscore NCyTE’s partnership with government, industry and education leaders. “We could not be prouder of the team we have at NCyTE,” Hiyane-Brown said. “They are truly deserving of this recognition, and we look forward to the continuation of the important work around cybersecurity education and advocacy that they undertake every single day. They are true change makers and champions of cybersecurity education, and we are proud of the lasting impact their work has had on higher education.”

The NSF’s Advanced Technological Education program is exclusive and competitive, providing grants to institutions that develop innovative approaches in educating highly-skilled technicians for in-demand industries. These efforts will help fulfill the White House’s urgent priority to increase the number of cybersecurity analysts and other key network security positions across the country. Currently there are an estimated 500,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the U.S., according to White House estimates.

U.S. Senator Patty Murray (WA) said “As a former community college instructor and chair of the Senate education committee, I know just how important it is to invest in programs that make college more accessible and create pathways to good-paying jobs. I am glad to see Whatcom Community College receive this award and am proud to know that this funding will be critical to the professional development of the next generation of cybersecurity leaders coming out of Washington state.”

“This is great news for Whatcom Community College and reflects the strength of Northwest Washington’s commitment to STEM education and workforce training," said U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (WA-2)."With a particular focus on growing our cybersecurity workforce through federal investments from the National Science Foundation, the new Advanced Technological Education Cybersecurity Center will drive critical innovation, strengthen national security and prepare students for the jobs of the future.”

Melina Scotto, federal health chief information and privacy officer for General Dynamics Information Technology, said that NCyTE is paving the way for institutions of higher education to address the nation's future cybersecurity needs.

"NCyTE's forward-leaning cybersecurity workforce vision and holistic student focused training is key to staffing the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) estimated US cybersecurity professionals shortfall of over 300,000 cyber-skilled professionals and Forbes estimated 3.5 million cyber talent shortage globally." Scotto also serves as a NCyTE Industry Advisory Committee Member.

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.

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.