In June 2014, the National Information Assurance Education and Training Program (NIETP) office under the authority of the U.S. National Security Agency announced that the University of Arizona was designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE-IAE) for the academic years 2014 to 2021.
This notification was a "re-designation," as the University of Arizona had received its original designation in April 2009 for the academic years of 2009 to 2014.
Official letters of notification were sent to the University's (former) president, Dr. Robert Shelton, the Arizona governor, members of the U.S. Congress, and appropriate congressional committees. For more information see the National Center's web site.
The CAE-IAE re-application was part of ongoing efforts within the Eller College's Department of Management Information System's Information Assurance and Security Education Center (IASEC). The renewal application passed a rigorous review that was evaluated against a stringent criteria, demonstrating tis competency and commitment to academic excellence in Information Assurance education.
Dr. Paulo Goes, MIS department head, states “Having this designation is an enormous accomplishment by itself. It puts us in great company of elite institutions in the nation. It is particularly important for UA due to its location and the existing strong partnerships with the defense industry, border security, homeland security. It provides the reputation and recognition to all our programmatic efforts in security and information assurance, which we can specifically leverage in terms of offering certificate programs, and other information security/IA initiatives to a broader audience of IT professionals.”
The designation is held at the University of Arizona level.
NSA and Homeland Security Sponsorship
The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) jointly sponsor the National Centers of Academic Excellence in IA Education (CAE-IAE) and CAE-Research (CAE-R) programs.
The goal of these programs is to reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in information assurance (IA) by producing a growing number of professionals with IA expertise in various disciplines. Designation as a CAE-IAE or CAE-R is valid for five academic years, after which the school must successfully reapply in order to retain its CAE designation.
Students attending these designated CAE-IAE schools become eligible to apply for related scholarships and grants through the Department of Defense Information Assurance Scholarship Program and the Federal Cyber Service Scholarship for Service Program.
Nationally designated CAE-IAEs and CAE-Rs also receive formal recognition from the U.S. government which provide various opportunities for recognition and publicity for their ongoing IA educational and research role in securing our nation's information systems infrastructures.
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Information security image courtesy Shutterstock.