Colorado Northwestern Community College.
Just over a year after receiving a $ 500,000 grant from the Colorado Attorney General’s Office to create a cybersecurity program at Colorado Northwestern Community College, the local community college will officially begin offering the growing program for students in the fall.
CNCC made it official on May 12 after overcoming two main milestones: hiring a program director and receiving program approval by the Higher Learning Commission.
“Our newest cybersecurity program will offer students the opportunity to receive one or more university certificates; his Associated of Applied Science and various industries recognized credentials for career or further studies in one of the nation’s most sought-after and highest-paying professions in the technology sector, ”said CNCC President Ron Granger , in a press release announcing the program.
For students who want to learn or deepen their skills in computer networking technology, the program will begin with the basics of the network, the principles of information security, the basics of network security, and firewalls / network security.
The new instructor, Dr. Rodney Alexander, will teach all four classes in the morning and evening this fall.
“We welcome Dr. Rodney Alexander to Craig and the university. He joins us from Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, where he taught networking and cybersecurity after a long career in the Department of Defense that began when he enlisted and served our country in the military, ”Granger said.
Alexander, who started in November 2020, quickly established the college as a CISCO Networking Academy, began setting up dedicated computer labs and settling into Craig’s life.
“I was surprised to see deer walking the streets of the city. Everyone has been very kind, “Alexander said.” We have a lot of work to do to prepare our first cybersecurity students. “
The development of the cybersecurity program is supported by a $ 500,000 grant from the Colorado Law Department, under the direction of Attorney General Phil Weiser, awarded in January 2020.
A business industry leadership team made up of people involved in cybersecurity at the local, regional and state levels advises the college on the most desired skills, knowledge and abilities in the profession, CNCC said.
In addition, the board helped determine the equipment and software needed for the learning labs.
“The need for cybersecurity professionals continues to grow, offering opportunities to work locally and also remotely. Our role is to advise the university so that the program aligns with the industry to ensure that students graduating from the program are prepared to enter the workforce, ”said Tim Osborn, chairman of the BILT cybersecurity advisory committee and Craig Station operations manager.
Cybersecurity is the practice of defending computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks and data from malicious attacks, according to the cybersecurity and infrastructure agency. Cybercrimes, such as identity theft, fishing (impersonation) and ransomware attacks, are on the rise, as is the need for people to help prevent them.
Northwestern Colorado will not be the first region to turn to the high-tech sector in a coal transition, as the Appalachian region experienced a similar transition about a decade ago with the growth of companies like Bitsource in Pikeville , Kentucky.
“We are a region full of practical inventors, accidental entrepreneurs, creators and workers who use their skills to carry out their work. When we re-imagine this work in another context, it’s not so hard to believe that any coal miner will have what it takes to be the coders and cybersecurity professionals of the future, ”said Kathy Powell-Case, Dean of Education Craig Career Technique campus.
The next step is to qualify the program for federal financial aid eligibility. The development of the program is timely and budgetary, as enrollment in the fall classes is now open.
For more information and to register for classes, visit: http://www.cncc.edu/cyber.
Managing editor Joshua Carney can be contacted at 970-875-1790 or firstname.lastname@example.org.