Kean University in Union has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense by the National Security Agency for its academic programs and practices to address the shortage of trained cybersecurity professionals.
The designation allows faculty and students to apply for additional research grants and scholarships from the U.S. Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, National Security Agency and other agencies and organizations, and collaborate with other centers of excellence.
“Higher education plays a critical role in defending America’s cyberspace, and Kean University is helping to meet that challenge,” said President Lamont Repollet in a prepared statement. “Being designated as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense demonstrates that Kean graduates are prepared to meet the need for trained cybersecurity professionals, which is vital to the region and our nation.”
Kean’s NSA CAE-CD designation initiative was led by Stan Mierzwa, managing assistant director and lecturer at Kean’s Center for Cybersecurity. Associate Professor Jing-Chiou Liou served as the academic point-of-contact for the cybersecurity curriculum.
The goal of the NSA’s centers of academic excellence program is to promote academic programs of higher learning that help produce the nation’s cyber workforce.
“We are delighted to be designated a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense,” said Patricia Morreale, executive director of Kean’s School of Computer Science and Technology. “The designation recognizes the quality of our computer science in cybersecurity bachelor’s program and lets employers looking for outstanding cybersecurity staff know that Kean graduates are highly qualified.”
National CAE Program Manager Karen Leuschner noted in a letter to Kean that the university’s programs and efforts in cybersecurity “will serve the nation well in contributing to the protection of the National Information Infrastructure.”
The CAE-CD program is part of the National Cyber Strategy, which addresses the shortage of cybersecurity professionals with highlights the importance of higher education as a solution.
“I am thrilled for our Center for Cybersecurity to be designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense,” said Jin Wang, dean of Kean’s College of Business and Public Management. “This designation will further motivate and empower us to better prepare our students to become professionals with cybersecurity skills.”
Kean was named a CAE-CD university through 2027.
“Kean University is contributing toward successfully training and educating the future workforce for positions in the high-demand cybersecurity field,” said Mierzwa in a statement on the designation. “This validation will help the University further its efforts to develop and expand its cybersecurity programs, aiming to provide greater opportunities for our students and graduates in this growing field.”