OCTOBER 19, 2006

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Rose State awarded $500,000 NSF grant for cyber security program


Cyber Security Professors Ken and Eileen Dewey

Rose State College will assume an ever-increasing role in the national initiative to secure cyberspace thanks to a grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF). RSC has been awarded a five-year, $499,364 NSF grant for a Cyber Security Scholarship program.

The RSC Cyber Security Scholarship program will serve 30 students each program year. The scholarships will be awarded to students working full-time toward their Associate in Science degree (Cyber Security Option) and will cover tuition, books, fees and cost of living expenses. The scholarship program will start accepting applications in the spring of 2007 and students will start taking courses in the fall of 2007.

“By awarding two-year scholarships students will be able to concentrate more on their studies by not having to worry about their financial obligations,” said Alan Neitzel, RSC Grants and Contracts Director. “This will increase student retention and help them make long-term plans regarding their education goals.”

RSC is the only two-year institution in the country to offer five national certificates for Information Assurance and Cyber Security. The goal of the program is to develop front-line practitioners or cyber-cops, security professionals, system analysts, and entry-level computer professionals who represent the first line of defense against attacks.

“We currently have 145 students enrolled in our Cyber Security courses,” said Ken Dewey, director of the RSC Cyber Security and Networking programs. “With the NSF grant we will be able to reach more students and help them develop skills needed to work in this growing and emerging career field.”

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, computer support specialists, including specialists trained in cyber security, are projected to be among the fastest growing occupations in the United States beyond 2012. The demand is projected to increase faster than the average for all occupations.

“Rose State College’s Cyber Security program is designed to provide training in cyber security and to meet the growing demand for cyber security specialists in Oklahoma and the nation.” said Dewey.

The NSF is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of $5.58 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 1,700 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 40,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes nearly 10,000 new funding awards. The NSF also awards over $400 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

For more information about the RSC Cyber Security Scholarship program, call Dewey at 733-7977 or 733-7510.