Walsh College receives designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense

Walsh College has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cyber Defense (CD) by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), underscoring its commitment to the quality undergraduate and graduate information technology (IT) degree programs valued by students and employers alike.

The goal of the NSA CAE-CD program is to reduce vulnerability in the national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense and producing professionals with cyber defense expertise for the U.S.  The Walsh College designation is effective through the 2021 academic year.

Walsh, one of five colleges or universities in Michigan to receive the designation, offers four IT degrees: Bachelor of Science in IT, Master of Science in IT, Master of Science in IT Leadership (MSITL), and a dual Master of Business Administration (MBA)/MSITL degree.  A concentration in cybersecurity for the graduate-level programs is planned for early 2016.

Courses in all of these programs were mapped to the stringent NSA requirements.  They meet a core set of cyber-defense knowledge units.   

“This important designation recognizes the academic strength of our IT programs and of our faculty,” said Stephanie Bergeron, president and CEO, Walsh College.  “Information technology and cybersecurity are critical to business success for employers and to career success for IT students.” 

CAE-CD institutions receive formal recognition from the U.S. government as well as opportunities for recognition for their role in securing the nation’s information systems.  Students graduating from the Walsh College IT programs receive a special letter indicating that they have graduated from an approved NSA/CAE-CD program.

Walsh College was one of the first schools in Michigan to receive the previous designation of Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education.  It remains committed to preparing its students to understanding and manage cybersecurity threats and challenges.

“While the CAE-CD certification process was difficult, Walsh College met the stringent requirements based on its new programs, its faculty, and its involvement with the community,” said Barbara Ciaramitaro, Ph.D., lead professor, Information Technology and Cybersecurity, Walsh College, and director of its Center for Cybersecurity Leadership (CCL).  “We are proud to have earned this important recognition and designation.”

In addition to ensuring that its programs meet the NSA CAE/CD requirements, Walsh College has also mapped its courses and programs to align with two other external standards: Department of Defense (DoD) 8570 and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) NICE Framework.

To support its efforts in providing leadership in cybersecurity education, Walsh established the Center for Cybersecurity Leadership (CCL).  The CCL, one of four Walsh College research centers, was established through collaboration between the Management and Information Technology Departments of Walsh College with strong support from business, military, and government leaders.

Classes for the Winter 2016 semester at Walsh College begin Monday, January 4, 2016.  Potential students can meet with an advisor by contacting admissions@walshcollege.edu or 248-823-1610.  Dr. Ciaramitaro may be contacted for additional information at bciara2@walshcolelge.edu.

For additional information on Walsh College, visit www.walshcollege.edu.