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Virtual technology will be demonstrated at UA Little Rock. (Benjamin Krain)
UA Little Rock has established itself as a leader in cybersecurity education, and a grant from the National Security Agency (NSA) ensures it stays that way.
The nearly $800,000 grant from the NSA National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity will help expand a national cybersecurity education program for teachers. It will also help develop a standardized curriculum to create pathways for cybersecurity education between high schools and colleges.
Through the Cyber 1 Inauguration grant, UA Little Rock will serve as lead institution to help expand the National Cybersecurity Teaching Academy (NCTA), create a free cybersecurity training course for teachers, and update policies that help accredit cybersecurity programs used in colleges.
UA Little Rock will work with academic partners at DePaul University and the University of Louisville, as well as Dark Enterprises, a women-led nonprofit dedicated to advancing cybersecurity education. Philip Huff, assistant professor of cybersecurity, and Sandra Leiterman, executive director of Cyber Arena, will serve as principal investigators.
Students at work on UA Little Rock’s “Expect More” campaign using STEM and the university’s Cyber Gym, which offers cloud-based cybersecurity training. (Benjamin Krain)
A grant from the NSA National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity, which established the NCTA in 2021. The NCTA is a collaboration of 10 institutions in nine states offering the first college cybersecurity education certification program in the country.
UA Little Rock is one of only three universities in the country, along with the University of Louisville and DePaul University, to offer the NCTA Teaching Cybersecurity Graduate Certificate.
The Graduate Certificate “Teaching Cybersecurity Graduate” prepares university teachers to deliver advanced internship courses in cybersecurity. Teachers receive instruction in a nationally recognized cybersecurity curriculum and core cybersecurity principles.
UA-PTC Chancellor sees workforce preparedness
Summer DeProw, an Arkansas higher education veteran, has assumed leadership of the University of Arkansas-Pulaski Tech with the goal of creating a strategic plan and highlighting academic programs that result in viable wages for students.
Speaking at a campus forum, DeProw said the school’s mission is to apply the new knowledge that’s coming from industry and top research institutions and teach people how to use it. UA-PTC needs to bring high tech and equip students with basic knowledge and basic skills so they can master advanced concepts, she said.
Skills like math and writing, DeProw said, are “realized—they’re applied” at colleges like UA-PTC and in the workplace. “We train lifelong learners here.”
DeProw transitioned to her post after serving as provost.
UA-PTC offers diverse learning opportunities, small classes, and more than 80 accredited programs day, night, or online to create a flexible schedule that fits lifestyle and helps people achieve their goals.
Founded in 1945 as a trade school, UA-PTC is the largest two-year college in the University of Arkansas system. It has evolved over the years to meet different educational needs. The main campus is in North Little Rock, and there are campuses in Pulaski and Saline counties.
DeProw received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Arkansas State University and her doctorate in higher education from the University of Mississippi. She led the business department at Williams Baptist in Walnut Ridge and served as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Evaluation and Accreditation at Arkansas State before taking the Provost position at UA-PTC.