JALC Earns National Designation Regarding Cyber Defense Training
May 11, 2016
STEVE O'KEEFE, Ed.D
CARTERVILLE – John A. Logan College has recently been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Two-Year Education (CAE2Y) school by the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
JALC is only the second community college in Illinois and one of 40 nationwide to receive this prestigious designation.
Cyber defense is important to the national security of the United States, as well as business and industry. The need to train technicians and engineers is one of the main priorities of both the NSA and DHS. And it is this need to train individuals that makes the program at Logan so valuable.
According to long-term employment projections by the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the number of Information Security Analysts needed in Illinois alone is expected to grow 30 percent by the year 2022, and over one million jobs will be needed worldwide this year alone.
JALC faculty have worked tirelessly throughout the past year to help the College receive the distinction.
Computer Information Systems professor Terri Rentfro and other instructors from CIS and the computer science field, including Mark Rogers, Kylee Williams and Diane Rudolph, Melanie Pecord and CIS term-faculty, worked to map coursework to meet the strict NSA requirements.
According to Rentfro, students completing degrees will receive a notation on their transcripts that they have met the NSA and DHS requirements, including a certificate with the JALC and NSA logos, and a letter from the CIS faculty that certifies that they have met the qualifications.
“Students will have this documentation to present to four-year universities and employers as they continue their education or enter the workforce. This recognition tells universities and potential employers that the students have met the gold standard in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense education from a two-year school.”
Mark Rogers, Associate Professor in CIS, added that because John A. Logan College has been designated as a CAE2Y, students have a tremendous opportunity in both academic and career fields.
“This is not just a certification for our CIS programs; it is an institution-wide designation,” Rentfro said. “In addition to meeting the Knowledge Units, we were required to prove that the entire institution follows and upholds Cyber Security standards.
“Also, we had to show pathways and formal agreements with area high schools and four-year universities, as well as cyber security education provided to our faculty, staff and students as well as the general region.”
To receive this designation, the College went through a rigorous application process, chaired by Rentfro.
The NSA wants to be assured, she said, that not only are the degrees and coursework in place for the students, but the credentials of the faculty are also paramount in receiving the designation.
College President Dr. Ron House stated that the designation attests to the fact that students at John A. Logan are getting one of the best educations in the country right here in Southern Illinois.
“Our CIS programs are among the top in the nation, and now, we can provide students with the NSA/DHS approved designation as they leave JALC to pursue a four-year degree or employment.”
Officials have scheduled a press conference for 10 a.m. Friday, May 13 to formally announce the designation. Please contact Steve O’Keefe at 985-3741, ext. 8569 if you have any questions.