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Welcome to the
CAE Candidates Program National Center

Helping Colleges & Universities Successfully Apply for CAE Designations

 

 

 

 

 

 

Button to CAE-CD section
 
Button to CAE-CO section
 
Button to CAE-R section
 
Button to Mentor resource section
 
Frequently Asked Questions
 
  • APPLY TO BECOME A NATIONAL CENTER OF ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE IN CYBERSECURITY

    The CAE Candidates Program Will Help

    Welcome to the CAE Candidates Program National Center. This National Security Agency–funded program exists to guide university and college administrators and faculty through the rigorous application process to be designated as Centers of Academic Excellence (CAEs) in Cybersecurity.

    All CAE designation candidates must fill out and submit the online CAE Program Applicant Checklist on the CAE Community website for entry into the Candidates Program. If your educational institution is interested in applying for a CAE, review the information below about the three CAE designations – CAE-CD, CAE-CO, and CAE-R – or find answers to your questions in the FAQ list at the bottom of the page.

     

     
     
  • Red textured block directing web visitors to online resources for those applying to become National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber DefenseCAE–CD

    Center of Academic Excellence – Cyber Defense

    Regionally accredited academic institutions offering cybersecurity degrees and/or certificates at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree levels are eligible to apply for the CAE – CD designation.

    After candidates submit the online CAE Program Applicant Checklist on the CAE Community website, each institution is referred to Program Development or Application Assistance. Click the button below for the resources for the phase to which your educational institution has been referred.

     Program
    Development
    Application
    Assistance

     
     
  • Bright green block graphic directing web visitors where to find online resources that will help a college or university become an NSA-designated Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations (CAE-CO).CAE–CO

    Center of Academic Excellence – Cyber Operations

    Technical, interdisciplinary, higher education programs firmly grounded in the computer science, computer engineering and/or electrical engineering disciplines, with extensive opportunities for hands-on applications via labs and exercises, are eligible to apply for the CAE – CO designation.

     Resources   

     
     
  • Textured bright purple block graphic directing web visitors interested in applying to become a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Research (CAE-R) to essential online resources provided by the CAE Candidates Program National CenterCAE–R

    Center of Academic Excellence – Cyber Research

    The Cyber Research (CAE-R) designation is awarded to DoD schools, PhD-producing military academies, and regionally accredited, degree-granting four-year institutions rated by the Carnegie Foundation Basic Classification system as either a Doctoral University – Highest Research Activity (R1), Doctoral University – Higher Research Activity (R2), or Doctoral University – Moderate Research Activity (R3).

    Resources   

     
     
  • Blue textured box graphic directing CAE Mentors and CAE Advisors to resources provided to them by the CAE Candidates Program National Center.

    CAE CANDIDATES PROGRAM

    Mentors & Advisors

    The NCyTE Center at Whatcom Community College provides advisors to cybersecurity programs in the Program Development phase, and mentors to programs in the Application Assistance phase. This section of our website provides the files and resources that advisors and mentors need.

     Resources  

     
     
  • CAE CANDIDATES PROGRAM

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Click on the arrows pointing right below for the answers to some of the most Frequently Asked Questions.

    For more information, please contact: [email protected].

     

The Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (CAE-C) designation is awarded to regionally accredited U.S. institutions of higher education that meet rigorous requirements in their commitment to producing cybersecurity professionals who will reduce vulnerabilities in our national infrastructure.

CAE designations are awarded by the joint sponsors of the program, the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

All educational institutions interested in applying for CAE designations must complete the online CAE Program Applicant Checklist on the CAE Community website. This webform application guides candidates through the program requirements and provide a self-assessment of readiness. Once the results have been reviewed, institutions intending to apply for the CAE-CD are referred to either Program Development or Application Assistance.

Educational institutions referred to Program Development typically require one year to be ready to apply for the designation; they need to complete the Program Development phase before progressing to the Application Assistance phase. Educational institutions referred to Application Assistance generally need six months to prepare to apply.

The National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C) program is managed by the National Cryptologic School at the National Security Agency.


The mission of the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE) program is to create and manage a collaborative cybersecurity educational program with community colleges, colleges, and universities that:


   Includes competency development among students and faculty;

   Values community outreach and leadership in professional development;

   Integrates cybersecurity practice within the institution & across academic disciplines; and

   Actively engages in solutions to challenges facing cybersecurity education.

Federal partners include the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)/National Initiative on Cybersecurity Education (NICE), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Defense Office of the Chief Information Officer (DoD-CIO), and US Cyber Command (CYBERCOM).

Whatcom Community College (WCC) in Bellingham, Washington, has been selected by the National Security Agency (NSA) to lead efforts to improve and expand cybersecurity education nationwide as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) National Resource Center. In this role, Whatcom leads the CAE Candidates Program National Center. The NSA bestows the designation, which recognizes colleges and universities that meet industry-recognized standards of education and training in the cyber defense field, with curriculum mapped to the NSA’s latest requirements.