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National Center of Academic Excellence

Utica gains National Centers of Academic Excellence designations from major government agencies

Utica College is proud to be designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) through academic year 2024 by the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Utica College has met the increased demands of this new designation category with its Bachelor's and Master's in Cybersecurity programs. The NSA designation covers the academic years through 2024.

The college has also earned designation as a National Center of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence (CDFAE) by the Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3). The CDFAE program offers designations to accredited academic programs that confer a digital forensics-related degree. To receive CDFAE designation, an institution's accredited academic program must map courses against a common core curriculum and must have in-course peer reviews of curriculum and practicum within a three year period.

DC3 was established as an organic entity within the Air Force Office of Special Investigations in 1998. It is a national cyber center, as recognized in NSPD 54/HSPD 23 and serves as the operational focal point for the Defense Industrial Base Cybersecurity and Information Assurance Program (DIB CS/IA Program).

View a video of Professor Joe Giordano, Director of the Cybersecurity Programs discussing the designations:

Read the transcript:

Joseph V. Giordano, M.S., Professor of Practice in Cybersecurity: “The first designation that we received, and it came in in mid-May, was with the Defense Cybercrime Center. Just a little background, the Defense Cybercrime Center is probably the most prolific organization in the world when it comes to digital forensics. The Defense Cybercrime Center has a program called the Centers for Digital Forensics Academic Excellence Program. We applied to the program and we were the 7th school in the country to be designated a National Center of Excellence in digital forensics education.”

“The second designation that we were awarded was by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security as a Center of Academic Excellence in information assurance and cyber defense education. This is essentially the gold standard in our field. This is a rigorous process that one goes through, that an institution goes through. Like the Defense Cybercrime Center, NSA and DHS look at the institution, the accreditation, the institutional dedication to the academic field, and to the technical field.”

“The NSA basically looks at every course related to cybersecurity, information assurance, and cyber defense. Each syllabus, each course’s week to week quizzes, texts, exams, labs, facilities. So they are looking at your organization top to bottom. Horizontal, vertical, every aspect, every inch.”

“Right now we believe that we are the only school in the country to have earned both the Defense Cybercrime Center designation and the NSA DHS designation.”

“The US is more dependent upon cyber technologies than any country in the world. Whether you’re talking military, government intelligence, law enforcement, business industry, and very important national critical infrastructures. So being a school that’s recognized and designated to educate students in this area, knowing that these security problems are going to be with us for a long time, we need to put the most educated, bright individuals out there protecting our information resources.”

“If you look across the educational landscape, you’ll see programs that maybe deal with cyber operations, or you’ll see master degree programs especially that are very computer science oriented, but I don’t think you really see anything that has the diversity and even the level of depth that we have here.”

Check out the press releases here:

A list of NSA CAE-CD designated institutions can be found here.

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For more information about Utica College's Online Cybersecurity Certificate, Bachelor's or Master’s degrees, Request More Information or call us today at 315.732.2640 or toll-free at 866.295.3106.