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UTICA COLLEGE – TV : Cybersecurity Program quality validated with Center of Excellence Designations fromThree National Organizations: NSA/DHS, DC3 and EC-Council

Did you know that the suite of Cybersecurity programs at Utica College have earned three designations as a national Center of Excellence? Earning these multiple designations places Utica in an elite group of schools and validates the quality and strength of our programs by the industry.

In this video, Zachary Lewis, Academic Support and Internship Coordinator and Joe Giordano, Director, MS Cybersecurity programs, describe the detailed accreditation process to UCTV Host, Dr. James Norrie.

Video Transcript: Cybersecurity Program quality validated with Center of Excellence Designations by Three National Organizations

Dr. Norrie: Welcome back to another exciting episode of UCTV, the afternoon edition, and I am joined today by Joe Giordano, a returning guest, and a new guest, Zachary Lewis, a member of our academic staff.

Zachary Lewis: I'm the Academic Support and Internship Coordinator for the School of Business and Justice Studies. I support our academic criminal justice studies and cybersecurity programs. I help in advising students and, essentially, the day-to-day operations of the suite of programs that we have.

Dr. Norrie: Great. Talk, Joe, if we can, about the really distinct nature of our cybersecurity programs because I think they're really world-class. I mean, they are clearly leading programs, but, you know, if I'm a student, perhaps I'm skeptical of our own claim of that. So I think we can lay claim to some pretty neat stuff around accreditations, and I think we led the market in some ways. So I'd like you and Zachary to talk to our prospective students about that.

Joe Giordano: Sure. We've been designated a Center of Excellence by three different groups, three different organizations.

Dr. Norrie: Three different groups?

Joe Giordano: Yes, three different groups.

Dr. Norrie: Is there any other institution in the country that has three?

Joe Giordano: I don't think so at this point in time. So the first group is the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. With them, we've been designated a Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity and Cyber defense education. That is really the gold standard. It is so extensive and so deep and detailed.

Zachary Lewis: So, essentially, as Joe mentioned, the NSA and DHS went through our undergraduate and graduate cybersecurity programs with a fine-tooth comb. We, essentially, proved to them that our faculty's credentials, all of our assignments, everything from the chapters in the textbooks that we teach from, to our lab assignments and our facilities.

Dr. Norrie: Pretty exhaustive process.

Zachary Lewis: It is.

Dr. Norrie: Amazing.

Joe Giordano: The second Center of Excellence designation we've earned is through the Defense Cyber Crime Center..

Dr. Norrie: DC3, all right.

Joe Giordano: DC3 designation, yes. They are in charge of the Centers for Digital Forensics Academic Excellence program [CDFAE], and we were the seventh school in the nation to be designated as a National Center of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence.

Dr. Norrie: Seventh school in the nation?

Joe Giordano: Yes.

Dr. Norrie: So we're one of a handful that have the gold standard, one of seven that have that.

Joe Giordano: Yes.

Zachary Lewis: We were the first in the nation to obtain both the NSA and DHS accreditation along with the DC3 accreditation.

Joe Giordano: The DC3 designation deals specifically with computer forensics education, and like NSA, they got down to looking at courses we offered, week by week, chapter by chapter, assignment by assignment. But we also had to show them our facilities, the fact that we are involved in doing real work in the computer forensics area in our secure research area. So they took a very detailed look. It was nearly as extensive as the NSA/DHS process.

Dr. Norrie: Wow. So for students looking for cybersecurity programs, I think we can lay claim to the high ground in terms of program quality, not as we've established it as an institution, but how the industry defines quality.

Joe Giordano: Right, right.

Dr. Norrie: Now Zachary, you also recently worked on a third one, so we've added a three-peat, to use a baseball term.

Zachary Lewis: Correct, correct.

Dr. Norrie: So tell me a little bit about that.

Zachary Lewis: We've recently been designated as an Academic Center of Excellence through EC-Council, and EC-Council is a premiere cybersecurity certifying body, which many of the big cyber technical jobs today are asking that students have [Certificates], either before they are employed or to obtain at some point in their employment.

Dr. Norrie: Wow. So this designation, then, would help what, our students and our graduates get the job?

Zachary Lewis: Essentially, yes. We have three particular specializations in our Master of Science. Our three specializations are in cyber intelligence, cyber operations, and computer forensics.

Zachary Lewis: So what we've worked to do is map each specialization to a particular EC-Council certification. So after the completion of the specialization courses, with additional outside studying, students will be able to successfully test for particular industry certifications.

Dr. Norrie: Well, I want to thank you both for joining us today. It sounds like we have some really outstanding, nationally-ranked programs in cybersecurity and forensics, and I appreciate you sharing your information with us today.

So if you want to find out more information about the programs they were talking about, those details on accreditation can be found on our website. Thanks for joining us. Have a great day.

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