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Whatcom Community College Becomes Washington State’s Center of Excellence in Cybersecurity

Bellingham, Washington – August 16, 2022.  Whatcom Community College (WCC) was recently designated a Washington State Center of Excellence in Cybersecurity, reflecting WCC’s ongoing commitment to narrowing the gap between cybersecurity employer workforce needs and colleges’ supply of work-ready graduates.

In addition to being a Washington State Center of Excellence in Cybersecurity, WCC is the host institution of two national centers, the CAE Candidates National Center (CCNC) and the National Cybersecurity Training and Education (NCyTE) Center. The CCNC, funded by the NSA, acts as the entry point for all colleges and universities applying for CAE designation. It also provides mentoring, resources, advice, and support for applicants. The NCyTE Center, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), works to advance cybersecurity education to support workforce needs by developing, curating, and disseminating resources and development opportunities for students, faculty, and industry.

“Becoming designated as a Center of Excellence in Technology and Cybersecurity for Washington State is an honor. It speaks to the caliber of our faculty and staff including our NCyTE Center Director Corrinne Sande, and our deep commitment to creating cutting-edge, ever-evolving curriculum incorporating the newest technologies and trends to keep our students prepared at the top of industry standards. WCC’s ongoing cyber education and training work and our strong partnerships with industry, education, and government nationally, have positioned the college to be effective in expanding cybersecurity in Washington State,” said Dr. Kathi Hiyane-Brown, President, Whatcom Community College.

The Centers of Excellence program, established in 2004 by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, was developed to create links between business, industry, labor, and the state’s educational systems. Each Center of Excellence is responsible for meeting criteria within four core expectations: 

- Economic development.

- Industry sector strategy.

- Education, innovation, and efficiency.

- Workforce supply and demand.

There are currently 12 Centers of Excellence in Washington state representing the following fields: Agriculture and Natural Resources, Allied Health, Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing, Semiconductors & Electronic Manufacturing, Clean Energy, Construction, Careers in Education, Homeland Security Emergency Management, Information and Computing Technology, Global Trade and Supply Chain Management, Marine Manufacturing and Technology, and Cybersecurity (of which WCC is one).

"Centers of Excellence play a vital role in the strategic work community colleges in Washington state are doing to address critical workforce gaps and needs throughout the state," said Corrinne Sande, NCyTE Director and Principal Investigator and Director of CIS and Computer Science at WCC. " This new role for WCC to host a CoE in cybersecurity closely aligns with NCyTE's mission and goals, but with a specific focus on the state’s unique cyber needs. We are excited to be able to leverage the considerable resources and expertise developed through NCyTE and the CCNC for this endeavor."

About NCyTE: The National Cybersecurity Training & Education (NCyTE) Center is funded by the National Science Foundation. NCyTE's mission is to advance cybersecurity education in the U.S. to support tomorrow’s workforce. The NCyTE Center is based in Bellingham, WA at Whatcom Community College. For more information visit www.ncyte.net.

Whatcom Community College welcomes applications for Director for the Center of Excellence (CoE) in Cybersecurity. This role will support the CoE's efforts to carry out the four focus areas of Washington State Centers of Excellence— economic development; industry sector strategy; education, innovation, and efficiency; and workforce supply and demand.

About Whatcom: Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Washington 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.

Media Contact & Public Information Officer: Marni Saling Mayer, PIO and Director of Communications & Marketing,  msmayer@whatcom.edu, Phone: 360.383.3312

Toyo Garber, NCyTE Center Marketing & Communications Manager, TGarber@whatcom.edu, Phone: 360.383.3176