Kean University has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense by the National Security Agency for its academic programs and practices to address a growing national crisis — the shortage of trained cybersecurity professionals in the workforce.
This prestigious designation will allow Kean’s faculty and students to apply for additional research grants and scholarships from the U.S. Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, National Security Agency and other agencies and organizations, and collaborate with other centers of excellence.
“Higher education plays a critical role in defending America’s cyberspace, and Kean University is helping to meet that challenge,” said President Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D. “Being designated as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense demonstrates that Kean graduates are prepared to meet the need for trained cybersecurity professionals, which is vital to the region and our nation.”
Kean’s NSA CAE-CD designation initiative was led by Stan Mierzwa, managing assistant director and lecturer at Kean’s Center for Cybersecurity, with Associate Professor Jing-Chiou Liou, Ph.D., serving as the academic point-of-contact for the cybersecurity curriculum.
The goal of the NSA CAE-CD program is to promote and support quality academic programs of higher learning that help produce the nation’s cyber workforce. The designation recognizes Kean’s cybersecurity-related degree in computer science and the University’s engagement in significant community involvement, academic activities and institutional practices in cybersecurity.
“We are delighted to be designated a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense,” said Patricia Morreale, Ph.D., executive director of Kean’s School of Computer Science and Technology. “The designation recognizes the quality of our computer science in cybersecurity bachelor’s program and lets employers looking for outstanding cybersecurity staff know that Kean graduates are highly qualified.”
The designation comes just a few months after Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation naming Kean as the state’s first urban research university.
In a letter to Kean, National CAE Program Manager Karen Leuschner noted that the University’s programs and efforts in cybersecurity “will serve the nation well in contributing to the protection of the National Information Infrastructure.”
The CAE-CD program is part of the National Cyber Strategy, which addresses the critical shortage of professionals with cybersecurity skills and highlights the importance of higher education as a solution to defending America’s cyberspace.
“I am thrilled for our Center for Cybersecurity to be designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense,” said Jin Wang, Ph.D., dean of Kean’s College of Business and Public Management. “This designation will further motivate and empower us to better prepare our students to become professionals with cybersecurity skills.”
Kean was named a CAE-CD university through 2027.
“Kean University is contributing toward successfully training and educating the future workforce for positions in the high-demand cybersecurity field,” said Mierzwa. “This validation will help the University further its efforts to develop and expand its cybersecurity programs, aiming to provide greater opportunities for our students and graduates in this growing field.”
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