Governor McAuliffe announced today that the United States National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have officially designated Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC) as a National Center of Academic Excellence in CyberDefense. This designation recognizes schools that excel in training students to become leaders in cyber defense and establishes LFCC as one of the nation’s academic trailblazers in the area of cybersecurity.
“This prestigious designation for LFCC is not only good news for the school, it is good news for the Commonwealth,” Governor Terry McAuliffe said. “We need young people receiving training in high-tech, high-paying sectors like cybersecurity, and we need them receiving that training right here in Virginia. I’m proud of LFCC’s hard work in earning this designation, and I look forward to the dividends it will pay as we work to build the New Virginia Economy.”
Currently, there are only a small number of educational institutions nationwide with this specific designation, and LFCC is one of two community colleges in the state of Virginia.
“LFCC’s designation as a National Center of Excellence in Cyber Defense speaks volumes about the commitment our community colleges have to innovation and career readiness,” Secretary of Education Anne Holton said. “They are on the front lines, preparing our students to take on the challenges of the 21st century and embrace the careers pathways of the future.”
“Filling Virginia’s cyber workforce pipeline is paramount to advancing Virginia's cyber-leadership position," said Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson. “By achieving this certification, Lord Fairfax Community College has expanded opportunities for their students in Virginia's growing cyber-community."
Based upon a list of knowledge, skills and abilities provided by NSA/DHS, LFCC had to demonstrate significant contributions in the areas of cybersecurity education, outreach, and knowledge to earn the designation.
“Not only will this give LFCC students access to important scholarship opportunities, internships, and employment recognition but it will also open doors for collaboration with other institutions in this field of study,” said program lead for the Cybersecurity academic program and the LFCC Cybersecurity Center Dr. Henry Coffman.
“Through foresight and innovation, our program will become a model for other community colleges in cybersecurity,” LFCC President Dr. Cheryl Thompson-Stacy said. “Professor Henry Coffman's forward thinking helps, not only our local community and state, but our nation to stay safe both in the real world and in the virtual world.”
LFCC offers a full cybersecurity career studies certificate (CSC), and an Associate of Science degree in Information Systems Technology with a Cybersecurity CSC as the focus.