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NICE 2016 Fall eNewsletter

| Featured Article | Academic Spotlight | Industry Spotlight | Government Spotlight | Affiliated Programs Updates | Funded Projects Updates | NICE Working Group Updates | Key Dates

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Davina Pruitt-Mentle_NICE
Welcome to the fall edition of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) eNewsletter. This edition’s featured article focuses on dual credit and dual enrollment programs which provide a jump start on college work, illustrate a new path to competency and degrees in cybersecurity, and advance the NICE strategic goal to Accelerate Learning and Skills Development. Our Spotlight on Academia describes the Cyber Pathways Across Maryland (CPAM) consortium which is part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant Program. The Spotlight on Industry focuses on the evolution of cybersecurity career fairs and highlights a few that are upcoming. The Spotlight on Government illuminates the U.S. Department of Energy funded Consortium Enabling Cybersecurity Opportunities and Research’s (CECOR) efforts to increase the K-20 pipeline for the cybersecurity workforce through its support of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. We look forward to seeing you at the National K-12 Cybersecurity Education Conference, October 6-7, in Arlington, Virginia, and the NICE Annual Conference & Expo on November 1-2, in Kansas City, Missouri. I am personally very grateful for all the great work by our Collegiate and K-12 subgroups as we coordinate, collaborate, and increase the quality and quantity of academic activities in cybersecurity with the ultimate goal of increasing the available workforce. We hope you enjoy this eNewsletter, and find ways to participate in NICE’s many initiatives.

Davina Pruitt-Mentle
NICE Lead for Academic Engagement

Featured Article:

by Prem Uppuluri; Joe Chase; Jeff Pittges; Rick Keiffer, Radford University, Virginia

The NICE Strategic Plan, as part of its goal to “Accelerate Learning and Skills Development,” looks for creative and innovative examples that “advance programs that reduce the time and cost for obtaining knowledge, skills, and abilities for in-demand work roles.” This goes hand in hand with the goal to “Nurture a Diverse Learning Community,” by “improving education programs, co-curricular experiences, and training and certifications,” as well as, “facilitating the development and dissemination of academic pathways for cybersecurity careers.” This article focuses on dual credit and dual enrollment programs which provide a jump start on college work in the area of cybersecurity. The programs allow high school students to enroll in and obtain credit for college level courses while still attending high school. The credits count for both high school graduation and the higher education institution associated with the program and can lead to the attainment of a high school diploma and associates degree simultaneously. In some states credits earned can be transferred to other colleges and universities.  

University of Hawaii’s Maui College started a High School (HS) Early Admit Program for Women and Minorities, which is preparing students for jobs ranging from basic Computer Support Specialist to advanced positions in Information Assurance. The Community College of Baltimore County’s (CCBC - MD) Diploma to Credential (D2C) program is designed for high school students who want to graduate with a HS diploma and a certificate from CCBC. Students can take up to 30 credits during the school year and utilize outside/summer time to complete networking and programming courses. The D2C concurrent enrollment program is associated with Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS’s) Career and Technology Education (CTE) office. Similarly, Pinellas County (FL) Applied Cybersecurity CTE program, and Texas based Alamo Colleges have dual enrollment programs with partnering school systems.

Baltimore City Public School’s Carver Vocational Technical HS (MD) partnered with IBM and Baltimore City Community College to offer a dual enrollment program focused on cybersecurity and information technology and create a school-to-industry pipeline for students in STEM fields. The Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program was developed in Brooklyn, NY, by IBM, the NYC Department of Education, and the NYC College of Technology, and blends high school, college, and work experience into one. P-TECH schools offer students an integrated 5-6 year education program that combines high school, college, and workplace skills required for 21st-century jobs. The curriculum is aligned to skills that employers are looking for, combining academic rigor with career focus. Students are paired with mentors from the business community and can gain practical workplace experience with skills-based, paid internships.  

Calhoun Community College’s (AL) Computer Information Systems & Cybersecurity Pathway Program lets high school students blend their last two years of high school with college credit in information assurance. Upon completion, they obtain a Calhoun certificate in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity, and are well on their way to an Associate’s degree. The Howard County Public School System (MD) and Howard Community College (HCC) offer the Network Security Early College Program. This five-year cohort program offers a career pathway that lets participating students earn half of the credits needed toward an associate’s degree while they are enrolled in high school. Students leave with a high school diploma, CompTIA Network+ certification, and an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree in Network Security from HCC, which can be transferred to several Maryland universities, having already earned at least 60 credits towards a bachelor’s degree. The program provides individualized academic support, college readiness training, and specialized programming, and includes valuable cybersecurity industry certifications, opportunities to participate in the national CyberPatriot competition, and internships with professionals in the field.

Sometimes high schools need help developing and delivering courses in cybersecurity, and higher education can step up to fill the bill. Radford University created a three-credit, one semester, online asynchronous course in cybersecurity for high school students called: Ethics, Security and Privacy. The course was first offered in the spring of 2015 and is being offered to students across Virginia. The dual credit online course enables faculty to offer the class to multiple schools. An instructor from Radford is responsible for the overall administration and grading, while a local instructor from each school manages the classroom. Because school districts have different class schedules, finding a single meeting time for all schools is not feasible, so multiple class meeting times were created to accommodate students at different learning levels. Consequently, the course is mostly asynchronous with each school spending one hour per week online with the Radford instructor. The course offers dual enrollment and serves as both an introduction to the subject matter and an enticement to those who wish to pursue a degree. Radford University is using the course as a means to attract more students to its university degree program. The course’s predominant goal is to introduce students to the vast array of computer science topics that form the foundation of cybersecurity and is organized around 11 learning modules covering: operating systems, networking, coding, backbone of the Internet, cryptography and cybersecurity. Students attempt challenges from day one using short multi-media lectures and/or notes as necessary to solve capture the flag type challenges. This just-in-time learning strategy keeps students motivated. 

NICE is committed to highlighting these programs which are working to help grow the cybersecurity workforce by giving students in high school an opportunity to start learning the skills needed to obtain degrees and start their careers. By featuring these programs, NICE seeks to help others start similar efforts via partnerships among their own K-12 and higher education communities. For more information or to share your program with us, contact nist.nice [at] (nist[dot]nice[at]nist[dot]gov)

Academic Spotlight:

by Frank Skinner, Consortium Director for Cyber Pathways Across Maryland

The critical need for both public and private cybersecurity professionals is a driving factor behind workforce planning and emerging training programs at both the two and four-year level. One source of grants for design and implementation of new programs is the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant Program. TAACCCT was established in 2009, and funded on March 30, 2010 by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act. The grant included $2 billion over four years. TAACCCT provides funds to community colleges and other eligible institutions of higher education to expand and improve education and career training programs. The coursework may be completed in two years or less. For that reason, it is particularly well suited for community colleges. See sidebar for examples of TAACCCT grants.  

As a result of this confluence of available funds and workforce need, Montgomery College along with 13 other community colleges in Maryland, collaborated to form the Cyber Pathways Across Maryland (CPAM) consortium. Its goals are to recruit students in the study of cybersecurity, to certify the graduates, and to place them in either internships or full-time employment. Since enrolling students in the program at the beginning of the fall 2015 semester, over 900 have been admitted and over 120 have received either a one-year certification or an A.A. degree.
CPAM course development was informed by conversations with industry. As a result, the programs consist of hands-on competency-based learning modules focused on building professional skills such as leadership, teamwork, and communication. 

The program focuses on five strategies to increase student achievement and employment outcomes. The first strategy builds educational pathways into the cybersecurity field by working with industry partners to identify required coursework and skills students must master prior to entering the workforce. Curricula is aligned with common industry certifications. Special topics include niche and emerging technologies necessary when applying for security clearances. A majority of the partner colleges are designated as Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense by the NSA and DHS. The grant also funds partnerships with the National CyberWatch Center, enabling colleges to achieve designation status before the end of the grant period. The program has developed consistent pathways to careers on both the traditional, for-credit degree-seeking track, and the non-credit tracks which cater to those seeking to attend classes while they are employed. 

Secondly, the program has a robust system of career navigators who work with students to plan their academic and professional careers once enrolled. Navigators have successfully assisted students to overcome common challenges by facilitating access to resources on and off campus. Counseling is student-specific, taking into consideration student’s strengths and challenges.

The consortium also plans to launch an online skills profiler and a virtual internship tool to enable students to build a professional portfolio and to demonstrate proficiency in key cyber areas. Students may map skills to the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education’s Cybersecurity Workforce Framework and may track progress as they gain knowledge in these key areas. Employers may also use the tool to directly recruit students. 

Third, the consortium uses data-driven decision making to inform program design. Student information is compiled on educational as well as workforce results by accurately identifying areas of improvement related to recruitment, obtaining a degree and certification, or to secure employment.

Fourth, to increase student outcomes, the consortium has adopted innovative approaches to bring technology-enabled learning into the classroom. These include the “flipped” classroom design in which students attend lectures on their own time and use class time to collaborate with instructors and fellow students on problem sets. The modules groom students for industry certification. A virtual cyber lab, independent of the school’s operating network, facilitates building virtual systems and networks in order to test applications and defend against attacks.
Last, relationships with business partners and other external stakeholders are critical. The business advisory group, comprised of over 50 public and private businesses, integrates cybersecurity training with each company’s critical mission. In partnership with the Tech Council of Maryland, CPAM seeks new partners to help inform the program. CPAM is also working with the Maryland Department of Commerce to understand how this critical workforce can assist to build the industry. 

CPAM, now in its second year, has witnessed an increased demand and has expanded its capacity to accommodate the increase in enrollment. Significant data points derive from student experiences. For example, a single mother raising two children has seen her salary double over the course of her enrollment in the program, and this has enabled her to provide for her family in a way she had not thought possible. Another student, formerly homeless, now has a full-time job and continues pursuing his lifelong career. These and other examples typify how community colleges serve as agents of transformational change by offering responsive, business-led training programs which impact the industry far beyond what was originally thought possible. 

Frank Skinner is the Consortium Director for CPAM, which is funded by U.S. DOL TAACCCT grant # TC-26466-14-60-A-24. To learn more about the program, please visit the CPAM website or email CPAM [at] (CPAM[at]montgomerycollege[dot]edu)

Hawaii: Community College Career and Technical Training Grant (C3T)
The University of Hawaii Community College Consortium is developing new training programs to accelerate the academic and training progress for low-skilled and other workers, and strengthen online and technology-enabled learning.

Kansas: Johnson County Community College: Accelerated, Collaborative Technology Training Services (JCCC-ACTTS)
Project provides customized, accelerated modular programing to enable participants to quickly acquire the skills to be work-place ready in software development, information systems, networking, web development and digital media.

Massachusetts: Guided Pathways to Success in STEM (GPSTEM)
A consortium of 15 community colleges is addressing training and educational needs in STEM by using the national Complete College America Guided Pathways to Success model to assist eligible students in obtaining degrees and certificates via articulated pathways to careers in STEM.

 Michigan: Wayne County Generation Cyber Project (WCGC)
Innovative cybersecurity training program to improve the employment and earning opportunities of trade-affected works, and other dislocated workers.

Washington: Progressive, Accelerated Certificates for Employment in Information Technology (PACE-IT)

Edmonds Community College accelerated online, competency-based learning through stackable certificate programs to enable students to acquire skill and knowledge to obtain industry-recognized credentials and get jobs.

Industry Spotlight:

by Scott Cassity, Managing Director of GIAC at SANS Institute; Maxwell Shuftan, CyberTalent Business Development Manager at SANS Institute; Kathleen Smith, CMO, ClearedJobs.Net/CyberSecJobs.Com

Heard this before? “There aren’t enough qualified cybersecurity candidates for my company’s open positions.” Or the corollary, “I have my degree and certifications but can’t find an entry level position!” The disconnect in market supply and demand for the mission critical roles in cybersecurity is well documented, with an estimated 238,158 job postings in the US in 2014(1). Name an industry – health care, financial services, retail – every vertical is under attack, and the visibility and public attention to the issue puts the pressure on to fill these crucial roles, and fast!

Yet for the job seeker, hearing that everyone is hiring in cyber doesn’t necessarily make finding a role any easier. They might be living in a region far from the big markets like DC/MD/VA or the positions posted in their community don’t match their background and skills. They may lack the robust personal network to track down new opportunities in other markets. 

And from the perspective of the hiring organization, sifting through thousands of submitted resumes doesn’t work either. It’s easy to overlook the right person or to rely upon referrals from existing employees to find new talent. Neither method helps drive diversity in hiring nor are they best practices to build a robust and professional staff. The inefficiencies in the cybersecurity workforce market also contribute to lengthier hiring processes for these roles which take 8% longer to fill than IT jobs overall.(2)

Career fairs can resolve these difficulties. estimates that cyber talent fairs have increased by 200% in the past three years. Recently, the Department of Homeland Security held a career fair and made 150 job offers on the spot.(3)

What makes their approach stand out were the services provided at the event, such as coaching applicants on preparing a government-ready resume and their ability to make tentative offers and start the security process immediately.


DHS Cyber and Tech Job Fair
DHS Cyber & Tech Job Fair, July 2016

Hosting a hiring event concurrent with an industry conference is also a great idea. Examples include the ISC2 conference, Black Hat and the upcoming CyberMaryland event. For the job applicant, even an industry event without a dedicated career area is a robust opportunity to network with employers. Many local or regional conferences will feature smaller companies with equally great opportunities, as well as the large enterprise organizations. Yet, the registration fees and travel costs can make it challenging to add meeting attendance to the job-seeking approaches every cybersecurity practitioner should utilize. Enter the virtual job fair. 

Virtual career events require merely having access to a connected device, enabling the participant to upload their resume to the platform, selecting their areas of interest and desired employers to meet with. There might be additional features such as videos about the sponsoring employers, social media links, and chat rooms. Applicants can get a general understanding of each company or organization’s position and then sign up for one on one initial interviews. The paired employer/applicant participants can meet via video links and have in-depth discussions without the distractions of a lively conference environment. SANS Institute, a global leader for information security training and certification programs, launched their virtual program in 2014 and over 9,000 prospective hires and 50 employers have participated to date. Other online hiring innovators include CyberCorps Scholarship for Service (SFS) program. “The virtual fair offered more opportunities for one-on-one interactions than in-person job fairs (e.g., no waiting in lines, no outside travel). This ensured I connected with all the organizations I had interest in and also allowed for immediate scheduling of phone interviews. My experience with the virtual job fair led me to my current employer, MITRE, so for me it was a great success!” said Lesley Piper, Senior Cyber Security Engineer, CNS Tech Center.

Leading companies such as Deloitte are staging their own virtual events too. Major employers are recruiting online with platform partners, such as those for transitioning vets. Other online resources include web-based career centers such as TechExpos (for positions requiring security clearance) who stage in-person cyber talent efforts, in multiple locations.

Filling an open cybersecurity career is challenging and pressure filled but with in-person and virtual career fairs flourishing, prepared candidates who know what they are looking for, and empowered company representatives who are able to move quickly towards an initial offer, the future is promising for reducing the cybersecurity hiring gap.

Upcoming Cyber Career Fairs (in person and virtual)




October 20, 2016


The Cyber Job Fair is a hiring event for cleared and non-cleared cybersecurity professionals as well as college-level students in a cybersecurity degree program, held the first day of the conference.

October 20, 2016

CyberCorps®: Scholarship for Service (SFS)

The Virtual career fair is a great opportunity to get an early start on recruiting for internships and permanent positions for the in-person job fair, to be held January 4th – 6th 2017, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott, in Arlington, VA.

November 17, 2016 and ongoing

SANS Cybertalent Fair

Register for future events.

Throughout the year


For applicants with security clearances, various locations.

Employer Tips:

  • Increase career fair attendance with virtual fairs
  • Empower career fair staff to speed up cybersecurity hiring (see DHS example)
  • At all industry events equip booth staff to discuss job openings and take resumes
  • Post “day in the life” videos and FAQs from career discussion on website

Applicant Tips:

  • Visit career fair and employer websites to register for event news
  • Do your homework: research companies, prepare your questions in advance
  • Review resume guidelines to ensure applications are successful
  • Ensure your home computer has good video and audio for virtual job fairs

Have a career fair you’d like listed? Contact us at nice.nist [at] (nice[dot]nist[at]nist[dot]gov)

Government Spotlight:

by Cory Stafford-Jackson, Program Manager, NNSA Minority Serving Institutions Program, Leadership & Workforce Development Division, Learning & Career Management

Cybersecurity defense has been identified as an area of critical need by the Departments of Energy, Education, and Defense as well as by the President of the United States. The Consortium Enabling Cybersecurity Opportunities and Research (CECOR) funded by the Department of Energy is a collaborative effort among thirteen colleges and universities and two national laboratories to develop a K-12 pipeline for the cybersecurity workforce. The workforce development program will produce well-qualified cybersecurity professionals in significant numbers to address the pressing cybersecurity workforce shortage. The overarching goal is to produce future employees specifically trained to address realistic security problems experienced by NNSA laboratories in particular, and U.S. government agencies and the private industry in general. 

CECOR was able to leverage the activities, experiences, and lessons learned from previous smaller consortia where educational gaps were identified between current cybersecurity graduates and the needs of industry. In addition to identifying core competencies for entry-level cybersecurity professionals, the team developed cybersecurity modules and identified courses to be affected by these modules. The primary aim of this project is to increase the number of cybersecurity professionals by tapping an underutilized source; minorities who are typically underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) areas in general and cybersecurity in particular. The project establishes a world-class research, education, and workforce development program that combines the strengths of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and national laboratories to create a K-12 pipeline of students to participate in cybersecurity and related fields. Our partners include: Norfolk State University (NSU) lead, Allen University (AU), Benedict College (BC), Clark Atlanta University (CAU), Claflin University (CU), Denmark Technical College (DTC), Morris College (MC), North Carolina A&T State University (NCAT), Paine College (PC), South Carolina State University (SCSU), University of the Virgin Islands (UVI), Voorhees College (VC), Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) located in Albuquerque, New Mexico,  and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) located in Livermore, California. 

During the initial five-year performance period, we focus on providing support at each stage of the K-12 pipeline. Our model is based on the following tenets:

  • Identifying students at an early age and engaging them in cybersecurity activities
  • Providing scholarship support for undergraduate and graduate students
  • Providing summer internships to students to expose them to the work environment at Sandia National Laboratory (SNL) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)
  • Providing students year-around mentorship by SNL and LLNL personnel
  • Establishing a seamless hiring process at SNL and LLNL 
  • Fostering early K-12 engagement by providing awareness of cybersecurity to K-12 students and information to guidance counselors and teachers in local school districts 

The project team expects that participating faculty will develop a much better understanding of real-world operational cybersecurity gaps and associated high-impact research needs, for example, in enterprise security, digital forensic tools, and emerging technologies such as cloud computing, and build vital relationships with key national laboratory researchers. 

By the end of the project, we will develop a model that will have:

  • Enabled more K-12 students to become aware of cybersecurity careers and job opportunities
  • Motivated more K-12 students to choose a career in cybersecurity
  • Exposed more undergraduate students to realistic problems in cybersecurity with current and relevant material
  • Prepared more undergraduate and graduate students for challenging work in the cybersecurity field
  • Recruited and trained more students for potential employment at the national labs through internship programs
  • Enabled more faculty to build strong relationships with SNL and LLNL and to enhance their teaching and research capabilities needed to better prepare students for the job market
  • Established protocols that can be replicated at other consortia

To date, CECOR has made a visible impact within several communities that serve underrepresented groups in STEM disciplines, especially computer science and cybersecurity. CECOR partners have increased faculty and student capacity through the installation of new infrastructure and the development of new cybersecurity courses for students and faculty, hosted K-12 students in summer camps and collaborated on research opportunities that include faculty and students. Additionally, the national laboratories have hosted 70 students while extending offers of employment to consortium school students. CECOR is very well positioned to reach its overarching goal to produce well-qualified cybersecurity professionals in significant numbers to address the pressing cybersecurity workforce shortage.

Affiliated Programs Updates:

Various organizations within the U.S. government own and operate programs designed to enhance the cybersecurity education, training, and workforce development needs of the nation. The following are a few of those programs.

Cybersecurity Education and Awareness Portal
The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity Education and Awareness portal has released the DHS CMSI PushButtonPD Tool, a no-cost, self-contained, single, stand-alone tool that managers, supervisors, and HR Specialists can use to rapidly draft a federal employee Position Description (PD). The portal also continues to support U.S. veterans transitioning to cybersecurity careers by offering resources including free training, cyber-related degree programs, and information on scholarships. The Federal Virtual Training Environment (FedVTE) now has over 100,000 users. The Portal’s Training Catalog has also been updated and now offers a new interface to search for courses aligned to the NICE Workforce Framework.

Learn more at

Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Strategy
The Office of Management and Budget and The Office of Personnel Management are working with interagency partners to implement over 20 activities that make up the Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Strategy. In the coming months the Agencies look to establish the first ever cybersecurity orientation for new hires and launch an online one-stop-shop for federal cybersecurity careers.

Advanced Technological Education
Advanced Cyberforensics Education (ACE) Consortium (Daytona Beach, FL)

  • Middle Georgia State University hosted a two-day IT summer camp for 32 9th-12th grade students in July. The camp was a collaboration between the university and (ISC)2. Middle Georgia also partnered with Robert Morris University to offer a week-long training session on mobile forensics for 20 faculty members, held at the Robert Morris campus in Pittsburgh in July.
  • South Piedmont Community College held three, two-day cyber camps in June and July. A total of 40 students ranging in age from 14 to 18 participated. Additionally, 30 students (ages 14-18) attended a five-day cyber camp held at the Microsoft building in Charlotte, NC. Collaborators for the camp included the FBI, Microsoft, Time Warner Cable, and InfraGard.
  • Daytona State College held its 4th Annual Cyber Camp in collaboration with the Florida Cyber Alliance. The event offered break-out sessions and practical exercises featuring various aspects of digital forensics, browser security, malware, and virtualization, for 45 students ranging in age from 13 to 17.
  • Trident Technical College co-sponsored the five-day Palmetto Cyber Security Summer Camp for 100 students in 5th-12th grade in early June. They also helped organize Girls' Day Out, an overnight summer camp for middle school females. Ninety-five participants were assisted by 50 volunteers at the event that took place at the College of Charleston.

Cyber Security Education Consortium (CSEC) (Tulsa, OK)

  • Since 2004, 1,442 students have received associate degrees in cybersecurity and 360 have completed bachelor's degree programs. Meanwhile, 1,878 students have completed certificate programs. CSEC institutions have issued 2,236 CNSS certificates since 2004, with many students receiving multiple CNSS certificates. CSEC institutions had 3,324 security-related student enrollments during the 2015-2016 academic year.

CyberWatch West (CWW) (Bellingham, WA)

  • CyberPatriot Coaching Academy: CyberWatch West is providing faculty, instructors, and teachers with opportunities for online CyberPatriot training this fall. Join CyberWatch West for a webinar, free and open to the public. Upcoming dates to be announced soon. Check the CWW website for dates:
  • Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) Crosswalk: CyberWatch West launched its new Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) crosswalk, an online resource to help colleges grant credit for prior learning to U.S. veterans wanting to study IT or cybersecurity. For details, see:
  • GenCyber Camps: During the last week of July and first week of August, middle and high school students from around the region participated in three GenCyber camps, led by faculty and students from Whatcom Community College's computer information systems program. The NSA and NSF funded camps taught 7th to 12th graders about cybersecurity, networks, operating systems, and much more. For more information, see:
  • Open Source Intelligence Workshop:  In June and July, CyberWatch West members participated in a free, five-part online course on open source intelligence and how to integrate it into the curriculum. Open source collection methods can provide a wealth of information to the researcher. Cybersecurity researchers can discover patterns and trends without access to classified information. Information is provided through social media sites, journal articles, news stories, etc. and all of it is available on the web, waiting for us to find! Topics covered included social media, open data, search engines, and analytical tools. A recording of the sessions is available at:
  • National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Workforce Framework:  In June and July, CyberWatch West members participated in a free, five-part online course on the NICE Workforce Framework. The course is designed to help faculty understand how to integrate the framework into their curriculum. It also walks through deployment of the NICE Challenges, realistic scenarios that can be used as part of a class, as a lab, or as homework assignments. A recording of the sessions is available at:
  • Industry Event at Regis University:  Representatives of cybersecurity related businesses, government agencies, and higher education met at Regis University in Denver, CO, on May 25 to attend a dinner and panel discussion organized by CyberWatch West. The discussion explored what Colorado employers would like to see in the cybersecurity workforce, along with a focus on gaps in the state's educational system regarding cybersecurity. Regis University is a private Jesuit university in Denver; a member of CyberWatch West, it is one of seven four-year institutions in Colorado that have been designated a Center of Academic Excellence in information assurance by the National Security Agency/Department of Homeland Security.
  • Events for Women:  CyberWatch West sponsored three events for women in the past year: STEM workshop in Hawaii, Young Educated Ladies Leading (Y.E.L.L.) held at Highline College in Washington, and the Women and Minorities workshop held in Huntsville, AL, in conjunction with the National Cyber Summit.

National CyberWatch Center (NCC) (Largo, MD)

  • The National Cyber League (NCL) is gearing up for the 2016 fall season (now in its fifth year). Thousands of students and faculty from 300+ colleges and universities will use the NCL's cybersecurity-related challenges and industry-validated content in their classes and clubs as they continue to develop and validate information security knowledge and skills. For more information, see the NCL site:
  • On July 22-24, over 350 community college educators, industry, and government representatives gathered in Pittsburgh, PA, for the third annual Community College Cyber Summit (3CS), which was organized by NCC and other ATE centers for cybersecurity education. Hands-on workshops, keynote presentations, and breakouts sessions focused on expanding the boundaries of cybersecurity programs at community colleges. The 2017 3CS will be at Prince George's Community College, Largo, MD, on June 28-30, 2017.

Learn more at and

National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity
The CAE Application Website is now open for submissions for the 2017 cycle. Program requirements and other resources can be found here. Effective immediately, the CAE Cyber Defense Program Office will implement a new process for applying to the NSA/DHS National Centers for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense program.  Applications will be reviewed by a team of peer reviewers and government personnel. 

The application tool will be open from 1 Sep 2016 to 1 Jun 2017. 

  • Applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received.  Applicants are encouraged to apply early in the cycle; notification and possible feedback will be received within 10 to 12 weeks.
  • Applications submitted by 15 Jan 2017 will be reconciled NLT 1 May 2017, and successful applicants may elect to receive their certificates in an award ceremony at the National Cyber Summit in Huntsville, AL in early June, or at the NICE Annual Conference in November.
  • Applications submitted after 15 Jan 2017 but by 1 Jun 2017 will be reconciled NLT 1 October, and successful applicants may elect to receive their certificates in an award ceremony at the NICE Annual Conference in November, or at an event to be named the following June.

See the full announcement here.
Learn more at

CyberCorps®: Scholarship for Service
The first Scholarship for Service (SFS) Orientation Bootcamp for new SFS Scholars was held on August 11-12, 2016 at Tennessee Tech University with support from the National Science foundation (Award#1565562). The Bootcamp was attended by 37 new SFS Scholars from 18 schools around the country. Content of the bootcamps included topics such as: SFS program expectation, presenting oneself for interview/job fair/online, technical writing skills, interpersonal communication skills, ethics and etiquette in research, time management skills, personal finance management, service learning, equitable communication and treatment, finding internships, federal resume writing, and SFS survival skills, among others. Analyzing the survey completed by the participants show how the SFS Bootcamp was able to accomplish the goals of the project. Of the participants, 97% responded that the SFS Bootcamp increased their motivation to be a successful SFS scholar, 91% reported that they learned about the importance of soft skills for cybersecurity professionals, 91% reported that they learned about resources for acquiring soft skills, 100% reported that they better understood the general responsibilities of being a SFS scholar, 94% reported that they learned how to be a successful SFS scholar, and 97% reported that they learned about the importance of being a SFS scholar.


Group Picture
Attendees of the inaugural SFS Orientation Bootcamp

Learn more at

The National Security Agency's GenCyber program, co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation, sponsors cybersecurity summer camps for students and teachers at the K-12 level.  The goals of the GenCyber program are to help increase in cybersecurity and diversity in the cybersecurity career field; help students understand correct and safe on-line behavior and to improve the teaching methods for delivering cybersecurity content in the K-12 curricula.  This year the program sponsored 130 GenCyber camps and reached nearly 5,000 students and 1,000 teachers across the nation.

Learn more at

National Cybersecurity Workforce Framework
The National Cybersecurity Workforce Framework is the foundation for increasing the size and capability of the U.S. cybersecurity workforce. The Department of Homeland Security partnered with organizations across the U.S. from private industry, federal and state government, and colleges and universities to develop a comprehensive list of cybersecurity tasks and the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to do those tasks. 

Learn more at

Funded Projects Updates:

The U.S. government provides funding to third parties to develop products that will help advance cybersecurity education, training, and workforce development needs. The following are a few of those projects. '

NICE Challenge Project
Since the release of the NICE Challenge WebPortal earlier this year in March, the challenges usage has exploded. Currently there are 60+ registered institutions from around the United States in the form of two and four year universities, as well as a few select high schools and education focused non-profit organizations. The common use cases have also expanded from hands-on class work to include cyber competition preparation and cyber club exercises. Expect to see these numbers grow as the project is advertised at cyber education conferences year-round. The NICE Challenge Project was also presented at the Information Assurance Symposium in Washington DC. The talk was titled "The NICE Challenge Project: Tightening the Loop from the Needs of the Workforce to Student Outcomes.” The discussion was warmly received and the project continues to generate interest.
Learn more at

Cybersecurity Jobs Heat Map
The Cybersecurity Jobs Heat Map initiative is entering the final phases of development before its fall launch. Security certifications data has now been submitted from several certifying bodies. This data serves as a proxy for the potential supply of security professionals in the labor pool. Burning Glass Technologies, the lead on development, is working to continue the build out of the mapping functionality, as well as the career pathways tool. A name for the map has been selected and will be unveiled pending a final legal review.
Learn more here.

National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center
The Cyber Innovation Center (CIC), through its National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center, continues to empower K-12 educators across the country through the Cyber Interstate™, a robust library of STEM, cyber and computer science curricula and classroom resources, as well as dynamic professional development. Teachers from all 50 states and 2 U.S. territories are accessing curricula. The CIC has expanded to working state departments of education and has solidified relationships with many states around the country, including: Louisiana, Arkansas, South Carolina, California, and Virginia. Teachers are the key to a systemic and sustainable change; by empowering K-12 educators to transform their classrooms into a 21st century learning environment, we are preparing students for the 21st century jobs of today.
Learn more at

Consortium Enabling Cybersecurity Opportunities and Research
The Consortium for Enabling Cybersecurity Opportunities and Research (CECOR) is off to a grand start. In just 18 months, CECOR has made a visible impact within several communities that serve underrepresented groups in STEM disciplines, especially computer science and cybersecurity. CECOR partners have increased faculty and student capacity through the installation of new infrastructure and the development of new cybersecurity courses for students and faculty, hosted K-12 students in summer camps and collaborated on research opportunities that include faculty and students. Additionally, the national laboratories have hosted 70 students while extending three offers of employment to consortium school students after the first year. CECOR is very well positioned to reach its overarching goal to produce well-qualified cybersecurity professionals in significant numbers to address the pressing cybersecurity workforce shortage.

Regional Alliances and Multistakeholder Partnerships to Stimulate (RAMPS) Cybersecurity Education and Workforce Development
RAMPS for Cybersecurity Education and Workforce Development is a funding opportunity provided by the NICE Program Office at NIST to align the workforce needs of local business and non-profit organizations with the learning objectives of education and training providers conforming to the NICE Framework. The program also aims at increasing the pipeline of students pursuing cybersecurity careers, upskilling more Americans to move them into middle class jobs in cybersecurity, and support local economic development to stimulate job growth.
Awards for this funding opportunity have been provided to the following regional programs:

Southwest Region: Arizona Statewide Cyber Workforce Consortium
Western Region: Cyber Prep Program
Central Region: Cincinnati-Dayton Cyber Corridor (Cin-Day Cyber)
Mid-Atlantic Region: Hampton Roads Cybersecurity Education, Workforce, and Economic Development Alliance (HRCyber)
Northeast Region: The Partnership to Advance Cybersecurity Education and Training (PACET)

Read the full announcement here.
Learn more here.

NICE Working Group Updates:

The NICE Working Group (NICEWG) meets on a regular basis to develop concepts, design strategies, and pursue actions that advance cybersecurity education, training, and workforce development. The following subgroups have been established and have begun to align their group activities to the NICE Strategic Plan: K-12, Collegiate, Competitions, Training and Certifications, and Workforce Management. Small project teams with identified deliverables are coming together within each subgroup to further provide structure and actions that will be reported at the NICE Annual Conference and Expo on November 1-2, 2016.
In the last few months project teams have produced deliverables to benefit the NICE Community. Two examples of such deliverables include one-pagers from the Competitions subgroup and the Cyber Range Project Team. When finalized, these one pagers will be made available on the NICE Resources web page.
Learn more about the NICE Working Group or sign up to participate in the NICE Working Group at the Working Group’s website

Key Dates:

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month - October 2016

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) is an annual campaign to raise awareness about cybersecurity. NCSAM is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives to raise awareness about cybersecurity, provide them with tools and resources needed to stay safe online, and increase the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident.

The following are the 2016 weekly themes:

Week 1 (Oct 3-7) STOP. THINK. CONNECT: The Basic Steps to Online Safety and Security

Week 2 (Oct 10-14)            From the Break Room to the Boardroom: Creating a Culture of Cybersecurity in the Workplace

Week 3 (Oct 17-21)            Recognizing and Combatting Cybercrime

Week 4 (Oct 24-28)            Our Continuously Connected Lives: What’s Your ‘App-titude’?

Week 5 (Oct 31) Building Resilience in Critical Systems

Help spread awareness of cybersecurity in your community by attending an event, becoming a friend, champion, or partner, volunteering to teach a class, and more!

Learn more, view a list of events, and download free resources at or

National K-12 Cybersecurity Education Conference October 6-7, 2016
Register now for the National K-12 Cybersecurity Education Conference to be held October 6-7, 2016 in Arlington, VA. \

Who Should Attend?

  • Educators
  • Curriculum Specialists
  • Professionals
  • Researchers
  • Students
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Foundations
  • Government
  • Industry

The conference includes workshops, keynote speakers, panel discussions, and exhibits designed to promote cybersecurity, career awareness and support academic preparedness of K-12 students. View a draft of the exciting lineup here.

Learn more at the National K-12 Cybersecurity Education Conference website.

CyberMaryland October 20-21, 2016

The CyberMaryland Conference is an annual two-day event presented jointly by The National Cyber Security Hall of Fame and Federal Business Council (FBC) in conjunction with academia, government and private industry organizations. The theme, “Leading the Cyber Generation,” captures the event’s intent to provide unparalleled information sharing and networking opportunities for development of cyber assets on both the human and technological side.

Register to attend CyberMaryland on Oct. 20-21, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland.

2016 ATE Principal Investigators Conference October 26-28, 2016

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), in collaboration with the National Science Foundation (NSF), will host the 2016 ATE Principal Investigators Conference on October 26-28, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 

This national conference is an annual event bringing together the leaders and partners of projects funded by NSF’s Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program to share their results and future directions. The theme of this year’s conference is “Growing Leaders; Leading Change.”

Who Should Attend?

  • Community colleges
  • Business and industry
  • Secondary school systems
  • Four-year colleges
  • Research and development centers covering projects in areas such as: information technology, engineering technology, micro- and nanotechnologies, chemical technology, biotechnology, and others

Information about the conference can be found online at

NICE Annual Conference & Expo 2016 November 1-2, 2016

NICE 2016 is a great opportunity to spend two days with thought leaders from academia, government, industry, and non-profits to address the cybersecurity education, training, and workforce needs of the nation. NICE 2016 includes an exhibition hall where tools, techniques, and opportunities can be explored.

Register today to attend NICE 2016 on Nov. 1-2, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Who Should Attend?

  • K-12 School, College, and University Educators
  • Training and Certification Providers focused on validating knowledge, skills, and abilities of the cybersecurity workforce
  • Business and Nonprofit Leaders in Cybersecurity and Workforce Development
  • Career Development Professionals
  • Cybersecurity Co-Curricular Planners
  • Employers who need to prepare, educate, recruit, train, develop, and retain a highly-qualified cybersecurity workforce
  • Students

Pre-Conference Seminars will also be offered this year at the NICE Conference. Learn more and view the speaker lineup here.

Learn more at NICE 2016’s website.

CSAW 2016 November 10-12, 2016

Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW) is the largest student-run cyber security event in the nation, featuring six competitions, keynote presentations, workshops, and an industry fair. Every year, it brings together attendees to discuss the tools and techniques used by attackers and defenders throughout the field, while students of every academic level (from high school to doctoral) compete in a range of challenges designed to motivate, educate and showcase industry talent.

CSAW will take place on Nov 10-12, 2016 at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering in Brooklyn, New York.

Who Should Attend?

  • Undergraduate students
  • Graduate students
  • Academic Experts
  • Professional experts

Learn more and view a sneak peak of the conference agenda on the conference website.

National Apprenticeship Week November 14-18, 2016
National Apprenticeship Week offers leaders in business, labor, education, and other critical partners the opportunity to express their support for Registered Apprenticeship. It will provide businesses and others with top-notch apprenticeships a chance to showcase their programs, facilities, and apprentices. This historic week will highlight the benefits of the Apprenticeship model in preparing a highly-skilled workforce to meet the talent demands of employers in all industries.

How to Participate:

  • Apprenticeship Program Open Houses
  • Apprenticeship Signing Days
  • Industry and Employer Apprenticeship Commitment Announcements
  • Skills Competitions
  • Blogs and Social Media Activities
  • Other Outreach & Promotional Activities

Learn more and find an event near you at



  • NICE Program Office
    (301) 975-4470
    100 Bureau Dr.
    Gaithersburg, MD 20899
Created May 8, 2017, Updated June 2, 2021