RANDOLPH — County College of Morris (CCM) has become the first community college in New Jersey to gain designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE 2Y) through a program sponsored jointly by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security.
The designation, offered through the National IA Education and Training Programs (NIETP), recognizes CCM as an institution with a proven track record for information security education and awareness. Only 41 community colleges across the country, or less than 3 percent, hold the same designation, according to the NIETP program office.
“We are deeply grateful to Professor Patricia Tamburelli, who with her husband and adjunct professor, Joseph Tamburelli, had the foresight and undertook the hard work to ensure CCM was able to obtain this designation,” said Dr. Anthony J. Iacono, CCM president. “Their expertise, exceptional work and dedication to students are the reason CCM stands out in higher education. Students who choose CCM can expect to receive a high-quality education and opportunities that they will not find elsewhere.
“The Department of Information Technologies and its chair, Professor Nancy Binowski, also need to be commended for gaining this recognition, which places CCM as a national leader in the area of cyber security, as does CCM’s Board of Trustees for its vision and ensuring the resources are in place for such programs to flourish. What the Tamburellis have accomplished not only is good for CCM but can also be expected to serve Morris County and New Jersey in many ways including helping people to obtain great jobs.”
“Joe and I are so pleased and honored that CCM has earned this designation,” said Professor Patricia Tamburelli, who, along with her husband, teaches information technology at the college. “We also are deeply grateful to Nancy Binowski who has been a true champion for making this vision a reality.”
To obtain the designation, CCM needed to demonstrate that its cyber security curriculum is aligned with national standards, that the college contributes to providing a pipeline of professionals who can assist with protecting against cyber attacks, and that it is a resource for the community in the area of information security.
The college currently offers a certificate program in information security and an Associate in Applied Science in Information Technology with both a digital forensics and information security track. Also offered is an Associate in Science in Criminal Justice with a specialization in computer forensics.
In 2015, the Department of Information Technologies established the Center for Cyber Security at CCM to serve as a comprehensive resource for students, faculty, staff and the community in the area of cyber security. Also in 2015, the Tamburellis formed a cyber defense competition team at the college, the Cyber Centurions, which came in seventh place at its first competition at the Mid-Atlantic Regional College Cyber Defense program that year. In addition, the department each semester offers cyber security workshops for the community, the most recent of which was a session for the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
Along with recognizing the excellence of the college’s educational programs, the CAE-CDE 2Y designation means that CCM students now can apply for scholarships through the National Science Foundation to continue their cyber security education at four-year institutions.
The CAE designation was established to increase the nation’s understanding of cyber defense and to address the critical shortage of professionals in the information security field.
The other CAE institutions in New Jersey are Fairleigh Dickinson University, New Jersey City University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Rutgers University and Stevens Institute of Technology.
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