$438K grant extended for cybersecurity education at PCT

The Pennsylvania College of Technology announced a National Science Foundation grant totalling $438,391 aimed at cybersecurity workforce development has been extended for another year.

The grant, “Improving the Pipeline: After-School Model for preparing Cyber Defense and Information Assurance Professionals,” introduces high school students to career possibilities in cybersecurity through interaction with information technology faculty.

“The extension of the NSF grant will allow Penn College to further educate local students and teachers about information assurance and cybersecurity,” said Bradley M. Webb, assistant dean of the college’s Industrial, Computing and Engineering Technologies program.

“Careers are plentiful and we need to infuse the field with high-quality graduates dedicated to securing the data systems we rely on daily. This program, developed with NSF support, helps accomplish that goal,” he said.

During the past two years, students from Williamsport, Jersey Shore, Muncy and Hughesville high schools have visited Penn College each week to learn about the field.

According to Penn College, by extending the grant for the upcoming academic year, the program is now open to any high school junior or senior in Lycoming County. Accepted students will receive a scholarship to cover the cost of the course, “Cybersecurity for Non-IT Majors.”

High school teachers are also eligible to take the class and become qualified to teach it as part of Penn College NOW, the college’s dual-enrollment program.

Of the 17 high school students that participated in the program during the 2017-18 school year, at least five decided to pursue careers in security. Last year, 23 students took the course and approximately half indicated an interest in seeking an information technology career, according to Penn College.

To apply for the program, visit www.pct.edu/cybercorps.

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