The Texas A&M Cyber Leader Scholarship Program: Developing Cyber Leader-Scholars for the Nation
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Texas A&M University is only one of eight institutions nationwide that holds all three designations available from the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education and Research, and Cyber Operations. The Texas A&M University, in partnership with the Houston Community College System (HCC), propose the CyberCorps(R): Scholarship for Service (SFS) Cyber Leader-Scholars (CLS) Program. The researchers aim to leverage the academic excellence and expertise at both institutions to develop and mentor a diverse group of 35 undergraduate and graduate students so they may succeed as cyber leaders in federal, state, local, tribal and territorial government organizations. Through the implementation of the CLS Program, Texas A&M can share applied research on effective teaching and learning in cybersecurity for nationwide adoption to produce an unrivaled cybersecurity workforce.The cybersecurity curriculum at the university includes management, operational, and technical courses with extensive hands-on experiences. Texas A&M continues to enhance its strong academic program with new cybersecurity courses, such as Cyber-Leadership, Cybersecurity Risk Assessment/Risk Management, Policy, Law, and Ethics in Cybersecurity, Secure Coding, Digital Currencies, and Digital Forensics and Incident Response. Professional development activities for students will include active mentoring, internships, active participation at workshops, conferences, competitions, seminars, and opportunities to attain industry certifications. The proposed CLS Program will institute innovative methods for attracting, mentoring, and developing individuals from those under-represented in the cybersecurity workforce. In partnership with HCC, both a designated Texas A&M Chevron-Engineering Academy and a Center of Academic Excellence in 2-year education, students will be targeted at the community college level and HCC will assist with outreach into the Houston Independent School District. Finally, Texas A&M will leverage existing relationships from our NSA and NSF-funded GenCyber "Teach the Teacher" program and CyberPatriot mentorship program to educate high school students about CLS opportunities.This award reflects NSF''s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation''s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.