HCC receives grant from National Science Foundation to partner with JHU

(Release: August 1, 2014) – The National Science Foundation has awarded a $713,996 grant to Hagerstown Community College to support a partnership with the Johns Hopkins University to offer research opportunities and hands-on training to students studying cybersecurity at HCC.
“We are extremely pleased to receive this grant from the NSF,” said President Guy Altieri. “The partnership with the Johns Hopkins University will add greatly to our capabilities in cybersecurity, providing opportunities for our students to interact with JHU’s world-class cybersecurity research faculty members associated with the Information Security Institute. It will also further strengthen the curriculum and opportunities for our STEMM Technical Middle College students in the cybersecurity pathway.”
Through this partnership, HCC and JHU will formalize an Educational Partnership Agreement that will allow HCC students to assist with research conducted by the Johns Hopkins University Information Security Institute’s (JHUISI) students and faculty. Benefits of the project will include improved educational programs and job opportunities for HCC students as well as JHUISI graduate students who wish to pursue careers in undergraduate education.

“The Johns Hopkins Information Security Institute is delighted to launch this NSF-sponsored partnership with HCC. Our faculty and students are enthused about the opportunities to collaborate on projects, offer seminars and short courses, work on curriculum development together, and even seek start-up opportunities,” said Anton Dahbura, interim executive director, JHUISI.

“This partnership creates a career development pipeline for HCC students, giving them experience with state-of-the-art practices in this rapidly-moving field and aligning them with advanced degree opportunities along with connection to potential private and government employers,” added Dahbura.

The project will serve as a model for other community colleges in the country to bridge the gap between their institutions and four-year research universities. By improving the educational level of local citizens and helping create a more diversified workforce in the growing field of cybersecurity, this partnership has far-reaching implications to the economic development efforts of the county.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment in the cybersecurity field is expected to increase by 37 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Maryland is one of fastest growing states in the nation for the number of employers in the cybersecurity industry.
HCC offers two associate degrees and a number of specialized certificates in cybersecurity. In 2010, HCC was one of the first community colleges in the nation to be named as a Center of Academic Excellence for Two-Year Education in information assurance (CAE2Y) by the National Security Agency. HCC cybersecurity courses are aligned with Cyberwatch, a consortium of over 40 colleges, businesses, and government agencies. This alignment assists HCC students in transferring their college credits to four-year schools.

This three-year grant is the second NSF grant that HCC has received for its cybersecurity program. In 2011, HCC received a $650,000 grant from the NSF to help grow the program after its initial implementation.

To learn more about HCC’s cybersecurity program, the NSF grant, and the partnership with JHU, contact Daniel Vogel, director of the Technology and Computer Studies Division at HCC, at dtvogel@hagerstowncc.edu or 240-500-2402.