By Morgan State University
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Morgan State University is the premier public urban research university in Maryland, known for its excellence in teaching, intensive research, effective public service and community engagement. Morgan prepares diverse and competitive graduates for success in a global, interdependent society.
The National Security Agency (NSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have designated Morgan State University as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CD).
Cybersecurity courses at Morgan have been mapped to the CAE Knowledge Units and NICE Framework with the help of a cybersecurity curriculum development tool developed by funding from NSA. Cybersecurity education at Morgan covers a variety of areas in computer science, computer engineering, and information systems. Morgan Computer Science provides a solid foundation in theoretical computer science as well as applied approached in cybersecurity, software engineering, artificial intelligence/data science, and robotics.
Course Development: Top Down and Bottom Up
Course development using the NICE Framework was approached from both the top-down and bottom-up. For cybersecurity class COSC 351, we went top-down, working from Specialty Area to Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs), and then mapped to the Vulnerability Assessment Analyst Work Role. Later, the AI tool reminded us to add pen test in order to obtain a strong “mapping”.
For our quantum computing/crypto class COSC 386/486/586, we used the bottom-up approach. First, we followed the NICE Framework and identified Knowledge of cryptography and cryptographic key management concepts (K0019). Then we found 8 Work Roles associated with K0019, from which we selected four. We added quantum key distribution as an additional requirement and plan to gather experiences to forward to the NICE program office for future expansion and revisions.
Designing a workforce-oriented cybersecurity curriculum or training is vital in academia as well as in private sector and government. A database built on the NICE Framework enables people to search Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) and Work Roles on a dynamic website. Furthermore, it allows the use of AI in assisting curriculum development, guaranteeing incorporation of the most pertinent KSAs. Educators can also search by Work Roles to prepare students for roles pecific skills sought by industry.
“Use of the NICE Framework prepares students with the KSAs that shorten the transition from study to work.”
–Paul Wang, Chair and Professor of Computer Science, Morgan State University
The successful implementation of the NICE Framework has enhanced the cybersecurity education and research in areas such as curriculum development, computer architecture and security, IoT/CPS security, and quantum cryptography and cryptologic study. The research in return reshapes cybersecurity learning to be more hands-on and workforce oriented.
For the NICE Framework database project, the team has shared the database with private sector including Coca-Cola, TSYS, and a number of universities. The NICE Framework based AI-assist cybersecurity curriculum/training tool has been published by NSA and shared with academia, industry, and government in the nation.
Chair and Professor of Computer Science, Morgan State University
shuangbao.wang [at] morgan.edu
Morgan Computer Science
Morgan State University
National Centers of Academic Excellence: