The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and National Security Agency (NSA) granted for a second time the National Center for Academic Excellence for Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE 4Y) designation to Purdue University Northwest (PNW) through its College of Technology.
Purdue Northwest is one of only two Indiana institutions to receive the CAE-CDE 4Y designation, which runs through 2024, and the only one within the Purdue system.
In a letter announcing the award, NSA National CAE Program Manager Karen Leuschner said Purdue Northwest’s ability to educate a highly skilled cybersecurity workforce is a strategic national security advantage.
“Your ability to meet the increasing demands of the program criteria will serve the nation well in contributing to the protection of the National Information infrastructure,” said Leuschner.
The designation was granted based upon the college’s B.S. in Computer Information Technology degree. With it the college can conduct further research and education in cybersecurity and infrastructure protection.
As a Center of Academic Excellence, PNW students and faculty members will be eligible to compete for National Science Foundation (NSF) and U.S. Department of Defense scholarships and grants.
“Purdue Northwest’s nationally recognized program will continue to fill the increasing workforce demand nationwide for cybersecurity professionals,” said PNW Associate Professor of Computer Information Technology and Director of the Center for Cybersecurity Michael Tu.
In the previous designation period (2014-2019), PNW received more than $5 million in grant awards from NSF and NSA, which funded activities such as GenCyber Summer Camps, cybersecurity awareness and career training for high school students and teachers, and student research projects.
According to Purdue Northwest Computer Information Technology and Graphics Department Chair Keyuan Jiang, Tu led the effort of mapping course content to the Center of Academic Excellence curriculum standards, a major step in applying for the renewal of the designation.
The Computer Information Technology program offered by PNW’s Department of Computer Information Technology and Graphics within the College of Technology was developed based upon the Information Technology Curriculum Guidelines published by the Association for Computing Machinery/The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-Computer Society (ACM/IEEE-CS). It includes instructions in computational thinking/problem solving, database design and implementation, human computer interaction, networking, and information assurance and security.