Edmonds College receives $1.5 million cybersecurity grant 

Edmonds College has offered hands-on training from internationally recognized experts in cybersecurity and digital forensics since 1999. Instructor Steve Hailey (standing) assists Trey Werner in repairing a hard drive. (Photo courtesy Steve Hailey)

Edmonds College will receive nearly $1.5 million in grants for its cybersecurity program, the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges (WSBCTC) announced. The grant is part of President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion Build Back Better package, which approved more than $500 million for cybersecurity funding. The WSBTCC distributed $6.85 million in grants to cybersecurity programs around the state.

“Edmonds College has been at the forefront of cyber defense and digital forensics education for over two decades,” said Edmonds College President Dr. Amit B. Singh. “Our alumni are well-established experts in the field, and we continue to train future professionals in real-world situations that prepare them for employment in the industry.”

Edmonds has offered cybersecurity and digital forensics courses since 1999, making it one of the longest-running programs in the nation. Almost $800,000 of the grant will go towards the cyber defense and forensics program in which students can earn an Associate of Technical Arts (ATA) degree.

A distinct advantage of the cybersecurity program at Edmonds College is that students receive hands-on, real-life experience under the guidance of faculty members Steve Hailey and Mike Andrew. Hailey and Andrew are the only cyberterrorism instructors in the state and serve as subject matter experts for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). They lead students through programs that provide opportunities to build their resumes by participating in authorized simulated cyberattacks, conducting security audits, and assisting law enforcement with active cases.

Edmonds College students and faculty can also participate in DHS-sponsored cyberterrorism courses for free, and students in the Cybersecurity Forensic Analyst Certification program have their final exam fee waived.

“The grant award to Edmonds College for our cybersecurity programs provides a fantastic opportunity to optimize our instructors’ capabilities and course offerings to students,” said Andrew. “Cyber Defense and Digital Forensics classes at Edmonds have earned a reputation for quality unmatched by any other institution in the region.  The grant award will help emphasize those advantages to an even greater degree.

“This will enable Edmonds cybersecurity and digital forensics faculty to focus on the core mission – enabling students who want a new successful career and teaching industry professionals who wish to enhance their skill sets and elevate their career path.”

Additional funding will go toward several certification programs: the Center for Industry Certification, cybersecurity specialist and digital forensics.

The Center for Industry Certification (CIC) will train and help increase employment opportunities in various industry-recognized certification programs. The funds will assist in the implementation and development of CIC for curriculum development, program design, instructional development and delivery, data analytics, development of advisory committees, and other program support initiatives.

Students anywhere in the world can now earn a certificate from Edmonds, as the prestigious cybersecurity and digital forensics programs are entirely online. The cybersecurity specialist and digital forensics certificates can be completed in four and two quarters, respectively. The college also offers four certificates of completion programs that can be earned in two quarters. Discover more by attending a free webinar on Sept. 10. Register at edmonds.eventbrite.com.

For more information on enrolling in the cyber defense and digital forensics program, visit www.edmonds.edu/programs/cis/cddf.html.

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