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Washtenaw Community College

Washtenaw Community College—a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education

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A highly skilled cybersecurity workforce is a strategic national security advantage

Washtenaw Community College has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The announcement places WCC among a select group of two-year, four-year, and graduate-level institutions nationwide to receive the prestigious distinction.

WCC’s Computer Science and Information Technologies department is proud to be reviewed by NSA as it determined to provide rigorous instruction with the most current cybersecurity industry trends to students.

It’s a rigorous standard we were able to meet, which shows future employers that our students completed a program that meets the criteria of the National Security Agency,” said program advisor Cyndi Millns.

The future of cyber wall

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has forecasted a 32% growth rate in the cybersecurity industry through 2028, highlighting the critical importance of quality higher education in the field.

WCC has been a leader in cybersecurity education since it became one of the first institutions in the state to offer a degree program in the early 2000s. The current program, which was revamped in 2017, prepares students for an entry-level job in the high-demand field or the ability to transfer to a four-year institution. In fact, the WCC program was designed in coordination with Eastern Michigan University so graduates could transfer directly into EMU’s Information Assurance & Cyber Defense bachelor’s degree program.

Although the designation recognizes the strength of the college’s Cybersecurity program, in particular, the entire college was scrutinized during the months-long application process. Millns credited the college’s “mindset as an institution” with helping the program achieve the National Center of Academic Excellence status.

Building academic excellence

The goal of the Center for Academic Excellence program is to reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure and defend U.S. government, business, and infrastructure sectors by promoting higher education and expertise in cyber defense.

WCC’s) ability to meet the increasing demands of the NSA CAE program criteria will serve the nation well in contributing to the protection of the National Information Infrastructure. The National Cyber Strategy addresses the critical shortage of professionals with cybersecurity skills and highlights the importance of higher education as a solution to defending America’s cyberspace. A highly skilled cybersecurity workforce is a strategic national security advantage.



The Educational landscape is changing dynamically. The new generation of students thus faces the daunting task to choose an institution that would guide them towards a lucrative career.

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