NSA Center of Academic Excellence  

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The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) jointly sponsor the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE/IAE) and CAE-Research (CAE-R) programs. The goal of these programs is to reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in IA and producing a growing number of professionals with IA expertise in various disciplines. Designation as a CAE/IAE or CAE-R is valid for five academic years, after which the school must successfully reapply in order to retain its CAE designation. The United States Naval Academy was designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in IA Education in 2010.

Why is this important to midshipmen?

Students attending designated schools are eligible to apply for scholarships and grants through the Department of Defense Information Assurance Scholarship Program and the Federal Cyber Service Scholarship for Service Program.

CAE/IAEs and CAE-Rs receive formal recognition from the U.S. Government as well as opportunities for prestige and publicity for their role in securing our Nation's information systems.

Criteria for NSA Center of Academic Excellence:

The National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education Program (CAE/IAE) is open to nationally or regionally accredited four-year colleges and graduate-level universities. The mission of a nationally accredited institution must be in Information Assurance (IA) or a similar area.

Applications are assessed against a specific set of criteria, listed below, which are intended to measure the depth and maturity of programs of instruction in IA at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Applicants must clearly demonstrate how they meet each of the criteria. Minimum requirements for each of the criteria must be met to obtain designation. Successful applicants are designated as a CAE/IAE for a period of five academic years, after which they must successfully reapply to retain the designation. The criteria are reviewed annually and strengthened as appropriate to keep pace with the evolving nature of IA.

  1. Outreach/Collaboration
  2. IA Treated as a Multidisciplinary Science
  3. University Encourages the Practice of IA
  4. Academic Program Encourages Student Research in IA
  5. Faculty Active in Current IA Practice and Research
  6. IA Resources
  7. IA Academic Program is Robust and Active
  8. Declared Center for IA Education
  9. Number of IA Faculty and Course Load

A full description of CAE/IAE criteria can be found here.

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