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New Institute For Cyber Security Includes Modernized Computer Technology Programs

Posted March 18, 2024 at 1:21 pm

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College proudly announces the launch of the Institute of Cyber Security (ICS), offering a comprehensive educational suite of pathway programs that includes three associate degree programs and two certificate options.

The College’s Institute for Cyber Security promotes and encourages cybersecurity awareness and practice through teaching, research, and service activities.

“We are excited about the opportunity to address the specific cybersecurity needs and local demands of our community,” stated Dr. Cynthia Doherty, Vice President of Academic Affairs. “Our students will not only meet the standards set by the College, but also align with industry standards, ensuring preparation for the field of cybersecurity.”

Starting in the Fall 2024 semester, the Institute for Cyber Security’s Computer Technology program will unveil updated curriculums for both of its tracks – Cyber Security and Information Technology Administration.

The certificate program in Cybersecurity also has a revamped curriculum, which teaches the skills to effectively safeguard computers and networks against a wide range of threats, including malware, viruses, protocol attacks, and more.

The Cyber Security and Information Technology Administration associate degrees will contain a full-time, two-year curriculum with the possibility of completing as many as 69 credits. The Cybersecurity certificate is a part-time, two-year program consisting of seven courses for 22 total credits.

Each technical course of the certificate program will provide students with a different certification that is preferred by employers within the cybersecurity field.

Pennsylvania Highlands is also collaborating with local high schools to introduce a two-year program that allows students to earn the certificate while still in high school. Students will begin the program as juniors and complete it by the time they earn their high school diploma. Two high schools have already committed to the project, with several others considering participation.

Scholarship money for the courses may be available to the students from the PC4A grant.

“This opportunity through PC4A is a chance to get interested students started in the field earlier,” stated Greg Paonessa, Instructor of Computer Technology. “A lot of high school students are at the point where they don’t know exactly where they want to go. With this option, if they like it, they can get involved sooner and be more prepared for further education or future employment upon completion of the certificate.”

All Computer Technology programs require an internship or a final project to graduate, so students will already have field experience in their respective area upon employment.

“The Institute for Cyber Security attracts not only students, but also individuals employed full-time, offering broad appeal across diverse demographics,” stated Erica Reighard, Dean of Faculty.

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About PC4A (www.pc4a.org)
Pennsylvania Highlands Community College is a part of the PC4A Consortium. PC4A is comprised of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and six community colleges in Pennsylvania. The goal of PC4A is to support and strengthen the cyber security workforce in the United States of America. The PC4A Project is proudly funded by the US Department of Defense. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Naval Research.