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College cybersecurity program earns federal honor

Campus News | Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Columbus State Community College has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education through academic year 2024 for the Associate of Applied Science in Computer Science with a major in cybersecurity.

The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) jointly sponsor the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) program. The goal of the program is to reduce vulnerability in U.S. information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense and producing professionals with cyber defense expertise.

“Selection by NSA and DHS to become a Center of Academic Excellence helps underscore the value of Columbus State’s cybersecurity degree,” said Larry McWherter, Computer Science instructor at the college. “With a great and growing need for cyber defense talent within our region and nationwide, Columbus State is dedicated to a high-quality education that prepares our graduates to serve on the front lines protecting against and preventing cyber attacks.”

Columbus State has offered a cybersecurity degree since 2015 and has graduated 60 students to date through the program. Recognition as a CAE-CD school resulted from a competitive application meeting stringent criteria. The designation makes Columbus State eligible for funding opportunities from the National Science Foundation and other federal grant sources.

“Columbus State is committed to working closely with employers to meet current and future workforce needs. Cybersecurity professionals are in high demand,” said college President David Harrison. “We are gratified to receive validation for the quality of our education so that employers can feel confident that they are getting the best when they hire our graduates.”

For more information about Columbus State’s cybersecurity program, visit

For more information about the National Centers of Academic Excellence, visit                                                             

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