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‘Pretty big deal:’ NSA, CISA recognize UAH cybersecurity program

HUNTSVILLE — The National Security Agency and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency have redesignated the University of Alabama in Huntsville as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense, the university announced.

UAH is also a National Center of Academic Excellence in Research making it one of just 48 schools to hold CAE-CD and CAE-R designations.

“Reducing vulnerabilities in our national cyber infrastructure and ensuring that there are
capable cyber professionals to defend that infrastructure from attack is more important
now than it ever has been,” notes Dr. D.J. Hovermale, a clinical assistant professor in the
UAH College of Business. “By renewing UAH’s designation as a Center of Academic
Excellence for Cyber Defense Education, the NSA is confirming that the cybersecurity
program at UAH is in a position to help achieve both of these goals. Students can have
confidence that they will learn what they need to be successful in their cyber careers if they
attend UAH, and employers can have confidence that the UAH grads they hire will have
what it takes to help them achieve their respective missions.

“This is a pretty big deal.”

The CAE-CD designation process requires a review of two elements: a cybersecurity program of study and an established center for cybersecurity at the university. The UAH COB and the CCRE worked jointly to complete the designation process, led by Dr. Tommy Morris, the founding director of the UAH CCRE.

UAH was originally designated in 2007 and has remained continuously designated since then. This is the university’s second renewal.

The validation process included a review of the master’s in cybersecurity degree program’s management track. Dr. Fan Tseng and Dr. Jae Park in the UAH College of Business helped work on the submission of information to support the re-affirmation as well.

“The National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense designation is a symbol of
quality that tells students and employers that UAH cybersecurity degrees are mapped to
knowledge units based on national standards, that the university implements a continuous
improvement process to manage degree programs and that UAH contributes to the
cybersecurity community locally and nationally,” said Morris. “The CAE-CD designation also makes UAH eligible for many grant programs.

“UAH students benefit greatly from this designation; every year we offer 10 to 15 scholarships directly tied to this designation.”

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