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Georgia Southern University Redesignated As National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Through Academic Year 2028

Georgia Southern University has been redesignated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense through the academic year 2028 and will be listed as a CAE-CD on the Center of Academic Excellence Institution Map.

CAE-designated institutions must complete validation of a Program of Study, which is a series of courses and experiences that a student can reasonably accomplish in the course of attaining a degree or completing a certificate. Academic institutions may choose from three designations- cyber defense, cyber research or cyber operations. The designation process is a combination of elements related to the institution focused on outputs for determining academic achievement. This combination assures that the institution meets the desired characteristics of a CAE institution, and that the academic delivery to students  produces a qualified workforce needed by our nation.

“Our students’ success is always the goal of our work in Academic Affairs,” said Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs Carl Reiber, Ph.D. “This designation opens doors for our students, and it proves how hard our faculty, like Frank Katz, work to provide a prestigious education that prepares graduates for top tier careers.”

Director of the Center for Applied Cyber Education and Associate Professor of Information Technology Frank Katz spoke on the importance of cyber defense in higher education.

“A large part of this is outreach. As we approach fall I will be sending out emails to various high schools in Savannah so that I can get into the schools and speak to students about a cyber security career path,” said Katz. “Even virtual students like Georgia Cyber Academy are given the opportunity to explore our lab and listen to me present on cyber security. Students need exposure so outreach is important and it’s a huge part of our certification.”

Like other organizations, higher education institutions spend millions of dollars to recover from cyber attacks. However, they also face more serious matters such as data breaches that could compromise student data, expose research and even risk having government data stolen. Cyber defense is vital because it safeguards these types of data against theft and loss.

“Having this designation allows us to then allow students to apply for Department of Defense scholarships,” said Katz. “These scholarships are only available to students who attend designated centers of Academic Excellence, so our destination is a vital part of what we have to offer to our students.”

The National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C) program is managed by NSA’s National Cryptologic School. 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 U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM).

For more information on Georgia Southern’s Center for Applied Cyber Education, click here.

Last updated: 8/2/2023