RANDOLPH — County College of Morris (CCM) hosted a reception on Wednesday, April 19, with a number of special guests, including Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, county freeholders and several college and university officials, to celebrate CCM’s designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.
Attending the celebration, along with Frelinghuysen, were Freeholders Douglas Cabana and Thomas J. Mastrangelo; Nancy Binowski, chair of the Department of Information Technologies at CCM; Professor Patricia Tamburelli and her husband, Joe, a part-time instructor at CCM, both of whom were instrumental in gaining the national distinction for the college; CCM trustees; computer science students; and members of the CCM Cyber Security Club.
“We’re especially proud of this designation and what it means for CCM students,” said Dr. Anthony J. Iacono, president of CCM. “Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing industries with 1.5 million job openings projected by 2019. CCM is excited to be a part of filling that pipeline by providing students with an outstanding education and practical, hands-on opportunities to build their skills and knowledge base.”
“We are extremely proud of this designation for County College of Morris, and especially for the professors and staff and students who have worked to make the CCM Center for Cyber Security a model for the state and nation,’’ said Mastrangelo. “They have done a great job of educating our future cyber security professionals, increasing awareness for students in many other disciplines and preparing the greater Morris County community to be good cyber citizens.’’
As part of the celebration, the Department of Information Technologies presented the first public viewing of its “Stay Safe in Cyber Space” video, which details steps individuals, businesses and organizations can take to protect themselves against cyber-attacks.
“This is a big day. I think this designation puts CCM in a great position,” said Liam Shamhart, a computer science student.
“It’s great for the college in that a lot of additional resources and grants will now become available,” said Scott Court, another computer science student.
“CCM has always shined … and will continue to be out front as a leader,” noted Dr. Joseph L. Ricca, chair of the CCM Board of Trustees.
CCM is the only community college in New Jersey listed as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE 2Y) by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security.
The designation recognizes CCM as an institution with a proven track record for information security education and awareness. Only 41 community colleges across the country, or fewer than 3 percent, hold the same designation.
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.
CCM offers an Associate in Applied Science in Information Technology with both a digital forensics and information security track, along with a certificate program in information security. 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.
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.