The purpose of the National CAE program is to promote higher education in Cyber Defense (CD), prepare a growing number of cybersecurity professionals, and to reduce vulnerabilities in the Nation’s networks.
Community colleges aspiring to gain the CAE2Y designation will strengthen their program, conversely strengthening their graduates. The CAE2Y designation also serves as a capacity-builder and powerful motivator for the growth of Information Security programs in two-year institutions while at the same time strengthening the national infrastructure at CAE2Y.
The CAE2Y designation brings internal and external recognition along with opportunities for collaboration and funding. Internally, the designation captures the attention of the college’s senior administration thus improving opportunities to increase the number of faculty positions, expand classroom/office space, and hire additional support staff. In addition, faculty across campus gain awareness of cybersecurity and its importance. Externally, the awareness of the importance of cybersecurity, and the excellence of the program recognized through the CAE2Y designation is increased significantly among local politicians, Chamber of Commerce, local employers, and the K-12 community. In addition, opportunities for collaboration and funding increase significantly.
LETTER OF INTENT
The first step in the CAE2Y application process is submitting a Letter of Intent to register on the NSA site and secure an account. Institutions must include an official letter stating the institution’s intent to apply for the CAE2Y designation. The letter must be on institution letterhead, signed by a collegiate official at an appropriate level (Dean or higher). Once an account is setup on the CAE website, this letter gets uploaded as part of the institution’s application (hard copies should not be mailed).
PROGRAM OUTREACH AND COLLABORATION
:: Shared curriculum and faculty
:: Articulation agreements with high schools and four-year institutions
:: Sponsorship/participation in cyber competitions, community outreach, and providing cybersecurity practitioners to students
STUDENT DEVELOPMENT/CURRICULUM PATH & RECOGNITION
:: Hands-on labs, Cybersecurity degrees/areas of study/tracks, or certificates available to students
:: Certificates for students to recognize completion of a Knowledge Unit (KU) mapped and CAE approved program. The degree/certificate must demonstrate that courses contained are mapped to KUs and that the path is attainable
CENTER ESTABLISHMENT & MAINTENANCE
:: A formal center/organization for use as a resource for faculty and students (it does not have to be a physical space)
:: “Center” website that is operational, dynamic, and current – containing up-to-date links to key cybersecurity resources, such as other academic institutions, government sites, conferences, workshops, cybersecurity news, Center point of contact(s) , cybersecurity courses, etc. The website must be easy to find and easily accessible.
:: Internal dissemination of cybersecurity information
:: Review of other departmental programs for the integration of cybersecurity
:: Presentations to disciplinary groups of faculty on infusion of cybersecurity
:: Development of cybersecurity modules for other disciplines.
PRACTICE OF Cybersecurity AT THE INSTITUTION LEVEL
:: Review and describe the institutional policies and procedures for cybersecurity practices
:: Discuss school’s practices with the Chief Technical Officer (CTO), Chief Information Officer (CIO), Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), or equivalent, for additional information.
:: Identify all full-time and adjunct faculty teaching in the program
:: Describe credentials and experience of the faculty (both full time and part time)
:: Describe internal and external professional development opportunities for these faculty
:: Describe planned future developments
KNOWLEDGE UNIT (KU) MAPPING
KUs are targeted technology areas composed of Topics and expected Outcomes. There is a total of 70 KUs, organized in three categories: Core, Mandatory and Optional.
:: Two-year institutions: the required number of Core KUs is 11
:: Four-year institutions: the required number of Core KUs is 17 (11 Core, like the two-year schools, plus 6 additional ones)
:: There are 51 elective KUs – four-year institutions must select 5
:: Summary of minimums: 2Y = 11 KUs; 4Y = 22 KUs
A GUIDE FOR MAPPING COURSES TO KNOWLEDGE UNITS
This National CyberWatch Resource Guide, A Guide for Mapping Courses to Knowledge Units (KU)s, provides information on mapping the CAE-CD required KUs to courses within an institution’s degree programs. The document explains the application process and the importance of course mapping to that process. Mapping is broken down into three phases: data gathering, course data entry, and formal mapping.