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National Leadership in Cybersecurity Workforce Development from the UWF Center for Cybersecurity

The Center for Cybersecurity is continuing to expand its national leadership in workforce development through several new initiatives.

 

U.S. service woman looking at laptop.

National Cybersecurity Workforce Development Program

The University of West Florida leads the National Cybersecurity Workforce Development Program, CyberSkills2Work, a nationally scalable and sustainable cybersecurity workforce program to rapidly expand the number of qualified cybersecurity professionals. The program is funded by a $9 million, three-year National Security Agency grant and the training is provided by a coalition of 10 institutions designated by the NSA as National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (CAE-C).

The CyberSkills2Work program focuses on recruiting, preparing, and placing transitioning military, first responders, and veterans into cybersecurity work roles in our nation’s Critical Infrastructure Sectors, including defense industrial base, energy, and financial services. 

The program prepares participants for 14 entry-level through advanced cybersecurity work roles that align with the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework. The program offers flexible training pathways, offered online, in-person or hybrid, by a coalition of 10 CAE-C designated institutions. Each pathway provides training courses, industry certifications, and digital credentials.

For additional information visit the National Cybersecurity Workforce Development Program page or contact Mónica Respondek, Program Coordinator, Center for Cybersecurity, at mrespondek@uwf.edu.

This program is funded by the National Security Agency under the NCAE-C-003-2020 - NCAE-C Cyber Curriculum and Research 2020 Program.


 

Instructor and student standing in front of wall monitor

UWF CyberSkills2Work Program

The UWF CyberSkills2Work Program, offered by the University of West Florida’s Center for Cybersecurity, is an intensive cybersecurity training program designed to grow and diversify the cybersecurity workforce. The program provides FREE cybersecurity training and career development for eligible transitioning military, transitioning first responders, and veterans to prepare and transition them into rewarding cybersecurity jobs in our nation’s Critical Infrastructure Sectors, including financial services, defense industrial base, and energy sectors.

For additional information visit the UWF CyberSkills2Work Program page or contact Mónica Respondek, Program Coordinator, Center for Cybersecurity, at mrespondek@uwf.edu.

This program is funded by the National Security Agency under the NCAE-C-003-2020 - NCAE-C Cyber Curriculum and Research 2020 Program.


 

Man working in data center

UWF CyberSuccess Program sponsored by Regions Foundation

The UWF CyberSuccess sponsored by Regions Foundation is an intensive cybersecurity training program designed to grow and diversify the cybersecurity workforce. Funded by the Regions Foundation and offered by the University of West Florida’s Center for Cybersecurity, the program provides FREE cybersecurity training and career development for eligible transitioning military and veterans to prepare and transition them into rewarding cybersecurity jobs along the Cyber Coast. 


For additional information visit the UWF CyberSuccess Program page or contact Monica Respondek, Program Coordinator, Center for Cybersecurity, at mrespondek@uwf.edu.

This program is funded by a grant from the Regions Foundation.


 

ICS Lab

ONR - UWF Cyber and Electronic Warfare Workforce Development Program

The innovative project, which is funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) under Award No. N00014-21-1-2025 with funds amounting to $249,642, is projected to nurture a capable and trained workforce with the skills to defend and protect our critical infrastructures primarily those in the industrial and defense sectors with the following objectives:

  • to actively involve five interns (ROTC cadets and other military-connected students), one in each of the following cutting-edge and innovative research areas: optimization techniques of threat model analysis, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone’s Radio Frequency (RF) signal security, applied machine learning on malware analysis, threat intelligence and threat hunting on ICS, and autonomous ground vehicle security;
  • to upskill 34 participants with cyber and electronic warfare competencies through three subsidized short courses and scenario-based exercises for hands-on learning;
  • to develop and implement a cybersecurity scenario-based training system for professional and curriculum development; and
  • to develop a robust strategy for sustainability and self-sufficiency through a periodically enhanced curriculum on ICS security and a proactive approach to ICS security product development.

The courses for upskilling participants in cyber and electronic warfare include CompTIA Security+, Threat Intelligence, and Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Security. The courses will be offered free of charge to selected participants in Summer 2021. For additional information visit the ONR - UWF Cyber and Electronic Warfare Workforce Development Program page or contact Dr. Guillermo Francia, III, Principal Investigator, at gfranciaiii@uwf.edu.


 

Instructor Student in Classroom

NCAE-C Cybersecurity Faculty Development Program

The NCAE-C Cybersecurity Faculty Development Program project is a coalition among seven institutions, led by Dakota State University. At the University of West Florida, our project will take a two-pronged approach to address the critical shortage of qualified faculty in cybersecurity and related disciplines with the following goals:

Goal 1: Offer workshops to existing university and college faculty to prepare them for scenario-based teaching and integrating scenarios into curricula

  • One 3-day workshops in December 2021, three in summer 2022
  • Total 80 participants targeted over two years
  • Equip participants with knowledge, skills, and competencies to create scenario-based teaching environments in their respective classrooms

Goal 2: Establish a recruitment program to identify veterans with appropriate experience and expertise to provide them with relevant pedagogical/technical knowledge and skills to teach in designated and candidate CAE-C institutions

  • Establish a pilot recruitment program to recruit ten veterans (five per year)
  • Create pathways for selected veterans, provide them with required knowledge, skills, and competencies, and bring them in an adjunct pool to teach lower-level courses in 2-year and 4-year colleges and universities

For additional information or questions, please contact Dr. Tirthankar Ghosh, Professor and Associate Director, Center for Cybersecurity, at tghosh@uwf.edu.

This program is funded by National Security Agency Grant Number H98230-20-1-0414 (Sub-Award Number 266-840269).