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Va. Tech designated NSA Center for Academic Excellence in cyber operations

Governor Terry McAuliffe May 24 announced that the National Security Agency (NSA) has designated Virginia Tech as a Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations (CAE-CO). The first university to receive this status in the Commonwealth, Virginia Tech joins an exclusive list of 16 other universities in the nation in bearing this designation.

“This elite designation is an outstanding addition to Virginia’s cyber portfolio,” the governor was quoted as saying in a press release.

Virginia Tech will hold the CAE-CO designation for five academic years, from 2017 to 2022. Virginia Tech has received a previous designation as an NSA Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense, and is also designated by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence as an Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence.

“This very technical, inter-disciplinary, higher education program is firmly grounded in computer science, computer engineering, and electrical engineering disciplines and offers students an opportunity to attain the highest level of cyber credentialing in the Commonwealth. Cyber security is at the very heart of our efforts to build a new Virginia economy, and Virginia Tech’s CAE-CO designation contributes to the Commonwealth’s position as one of the premier locations for this industry.”

The CAE-CO program supports the goal of creating a more cyber-aware workforce through education initiatives. Universities selected for this designation must offer a curriculum that promotes both interdisciplinary knowledge and hands-on technical studies, including courses in software reverse engineering, cybersecurity law, and mobile and cellular technologies.

The Virginia Tech Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, minor in Cybersecurity, and focus in Cyber Operations, combined with the university’s “hands-on, minds-on” approach to academic achievement, offer a curriculum that serves the mission of the CAE-CO.

“In order to maintain our leadership position, the Commonwealth must create and sustain a highly qualified cyber security workforce,” according to Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson, in a news releaase. “Having a CAE-CO at Virginia Tech is a differentiator for the Commonwealth.”

Secretary of Education Dietra Trent was quoted as saying, “Virginia Tech’s success in this endeavor puts us one step closer to making education relevant for the 21st century and preparing all of our students for the careers of the future.”

  Dr. Charles Clancy, Director of Virginia Tech’s Hume Center for National Security and Technology, was quoted as saying, “Virginia Tech has a strong legacy of service to the nation embodied in our school motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), and this program will only enhance our efforts to prepare the next generation of leaders in the critical fields of cyber security and cyber operations.”

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