The City Sentinel

Rose State College prepares students as cyber sleuths to meet national security needs

Darla Shelden Story by on February 25, 2013 . Click on author name to view all articles by this author. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Rose State is the only community college in the nation that provides all six levels of federal cyber certification, putting its students, like program participant Jim Thavisay, in high demand. Photo by Ken Beachler.

Rose State is the only community college in the nation that provides all six levels of federal cyber certification, putting its students, like program participant Jim Thavisay, in high demand. Photo by Ken Beachler.




By Darla Shelden
Contributing Writer


More and more governmental and private entities, from the Pentagon to individuals are facing cyber security threats causing many to ramp up their efforts to counter cyber attacks. Rose State College is now offering federal cyber certification to its students to fill this need.


A recent report from the Washington Post states that the Pentagon is in the midst of a major expansion of its cyber division.


“Private companies as well are increasing efforts to secure trained cyber security workers,” said Professor Ken Dewey, the Director of Rose State’s program.
Rose State is the only community college in the nation that offers all six levels of National Certificates from the Federal Committee on the National Security Systems (NSTISSI/CNSS). Most students can gain cyber security certification within two years, putting Rose State graduates in high demand.


The college has graduates who are currently employed at the CIA, the FBI, the Department of Defense, Federal Aviation Administration as well as major companies like Dell Computers, Chesapeake, and Devon.


Rose State College President, Dr. Terry Britton said, “With the constant attacks from cyber criminals on private, corporate, and government accounts, Rose State College faculty strive to prepare students to stay current. We are providing well-prepared cyber sleuths as fast as we can to meet the needs.”


In addition to the in-state efforts to expand the program, Rose State has been designated as a center of excellence in the area of cyber security by the National Security Agency (NSA). A grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) has expanded the number of scholarships available.


Rose State’s NSF grants for cyber security can pay for tuition, fees, books, and some spending money depending on FASFA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).


“Every one of my students who wants a job has a job, usually within days,” Dewey said.


“The college is in the midst of an expansion effort for the program, including new faculty and upgraded networking capabilities through its proposed capital infrastructure plan.”


Designed to prepare students with the knowledge to gain immediate employment in the cyber security field, the program emphasizes an understanding of wireless, biometrics and remote access technologies along with computer forensic investigating methods. Customized student options are offered.


Cyber security is the business of protecting people, businesses and government agencies from an array of cyber space threats. As threats increase, so does the necessity for cyber security training to even more advanced levels.


Students wanting to enroll in Rose State’s Cyber Security program must be ready for college algebra, have a minimum 2.5 high school or college GPA (3.0 preferred), and declare cyber security as their major.


The program requires an interview with a Networking Cyber/Security faculty member. Students must pass an OSBI background check. Paid internships are available.


Impressed with Rose State’s program, Richard George, Technical Director, Information Assurance Directorate, National Security Agency (NSA) said, “The fact that you have all six levels of federal certification, shows that you have a faculty that understands and can impart that information to the students and get them prepared to go out and make a difference. This is a phenomenal achievement.”


Business Week recently reported in less than two years, more than 93 million Americans have had their personal information lost, stolen, or otherwise compromised. This results in the average identity theft victim spending $834 and 77 hours clearing his name.


Dewey added, “We have many students who go to work for the CIA, the FBI, the NSA and the Department of Defense. One of our students who went to work there changed how they were doing things and patented it. That’s the kind of student who comes from Rose State.”


If interested in enrolling in Rose State’s Cyber Security Program, contact Ken Dewey at kdewey@rose.edu, call 405-733-7977 or visit www.rose.edu/cybersecurity.

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