Pilot aims to bolster cybersecurity programs at 10 U.S. colleges

The Department of Education looks to upgrade programs at community colleges by administering million in grants.

The Education Department issued a notice July 30 soliciting applications from community colleges for grants to make technological upgrades to their cybersecurity education programs.

The deadline to apply is Aug. 29; the notice states that up to 10 grants will be chosen, with a maximum award value of $100,000 over 24 months. Grant recipients are expected to be chosen by Sept. 30 — the end of fiscal 2018.

The department announced the grant opportunity the same day it released the announcement of grant opportunities for developing open educational resources — open textbooks — for colleges and universities.

The grant process sets one “absolute priority” for the cybersecurity pilot — applicants are required to collaborate with any one of the three Advanced Technological Education (ATE) centers the National Science Foundation (NSF) has funded to improve cybersecurity education at the community college level.


The three centers are:

Together these centers coordinate a network of affiliated institutions, spanning more than 100 community colleges. Applicants for the Education Department grants must propose a project that collaborates with one of the centers and draws upon the expertise of the NSF’s ATE program.

For instance, CyberWatch West has more than 170 high schools and community colleges in its network, concentrated on the West Coast but including institutions as far away as Connecticut and Florida.

The Education Department notice states that applicants do not have to have an existing relationship with one of the three centers to meet the requirement, but the application has to include “a signed statement by an authorized official” from one of the centers certifying that it “will provide technical assistance or other aid to the applicant’s project.”


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