OU earns national designation for excellence in cyber defense education

OU earns national designation for excellence in cyber defense education
Huirong Fu and students
The recognition is part of a national initiative to reduce vulnerability in U.S. information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense and producing a growing number of professionals with cyber defense expertise in various disciplines.

The U.S. government recently designated Oakland University a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. 

The recognition, which lasts for five years, is part of a national initiative to reduce vulnerability in U.S. information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense and producing a growing number of professionals with cyber defense expertise in various disciplines. 

 

“This recognition is a testament to the expertise of faculty and staff who contribute to OU’s standing as a leader in the field of Cyber Defense Education,” said Professor Huirong Fu, program director of the M.S. program in Cyber Security and founding director of the OU Center of Cyber Security.

“We are honored to provide our students and community partners with high-quality Cyber Defense Education, while being part of a collective effort to address the nation’s information security priorities.”

                                                                                        

Cybersecurity is a top concern for the U.S. government. In fact, nearly one in five Americans has been the victim of a cybercrime, and cyberattacks cost the average U.S. company more than $15.4 million per year.

 

Two- and four-year colleges and universities receive the Cyber Defense designation based on their robust degree programs and close alignment to specific cybersecurity-related Knowledge Units (KUs), validated by top subject matter experts in the field.

 

Oakland University defines its Cyber Defense program of study as the System Administration Track of the B.S. program in Information Technology. The 128-credit program is housed in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the School of Engineering and Computer Science and is accredited by the ABET Computer Accreditation Commission.

 

The program integrates hands-on labs, papers, and presentations, develops students’ scholarly skills through cyber competitions, and works closely with cybersecurity practitioners and industry partnerships. Faculty members continuously secure research grants from various funding agencies, contribute to peer-reviewed publications on cybersecurity topics, present their research at local, regional, national and International venues, and serve as mentors to students.

 

The program has also been incorporated into various non-Cyber Defense courses and degree programs. Faculty have worked to advance cyber defense knowledge at K-12 schools, community colleges, technical schools, and minority colleges and universities. In addition, OU’s Center of Cyber Security serves as a focal point for its cyber curriculum and practice. The center’s mission is to advance interdisciplinary collaborative research and technology solutions in the field of cyber security.

 

As a result of the designation, students are eligible to apply for scholarships and grants through the Department of Defense Information Assurance Scholarship Program and the Federal Cyber Service Scholarship for Service Program. Official letters of notification will be sent to the State Governor, members of the U.S. Congress and appropriate Congressional Committees.

 

Dr. Fu added that the Cyber Defense designation would not have been possible without support from the School of Engineering and Computer Science, School of Business Administration, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Nursing, Office of the Registrar, e-Learning and Instructional Support, Office of Institutional Research and Assessment, Macomb-OU INCubator, and OU INCubator. She also credited James Lentini, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs; Louay Chamra, dean of the School of Engineering and Computer Science; and Lunjin Lu, professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering; and Anyi Liu, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, for their outstanding administrative support.

 

OU also received support from Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) National Resource Center Director and Principal Investigator Corrinne Sande, and C5 Program Project Coordinator Tosha Amos at Whatcom Community College/CyberWatch West, along with Associate Dean and Professor Kevin Floyd at Middle Georgia State University.

 

Find out more about OU’s Information Technology program at oakland.edu/secs/undergraduate-programs/information-technology.