Institutions that receive a Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cybersecurity designation have met the rigorous requirements set forth by the joint sponsors of the program, the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The NSA and DHS award the CAE in Cybersecurity (CAE-C) designation to institutions that commit to producing cybersecurity professionals that will reduce vulnerabilities in our national infrastructure.
The mission of the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE) program is to create and manage a collaborative cybersecurity educational program with community colleges, colleges, and universities that
- Establishes standards for cybersecurity curriculum and academic excellence,
- Includes competency development among students and faculty,
- Values community outreach and leadership in professional development,
- Integrates cybersecurity practice within the institution across academic disciplines,
- Actively engages in solutions to challenges facing cybersecurity education.
Types of CAE Institution Designations
There are three types of designations schools can pursue Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD), Center of Academic Excellence in Research (CAE-R), and Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations (CAE-CO). Moraine valley Community College is a Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD).
History of the CAE program and MVCC
In 1999, the National Security Agency (NSA) launched the Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE-IAE) program. Under this program, an institution could receive the CAE-IAE designation if it passed rigorous curriculum and program requirements. By May 1999, seven schools became designated as a CAE, and soon, many more institutions joined the ranks of CAE-designated institutions. While the CAE-IAE program initially formed to address the shortage of intelligence community professionals, the program later expanded to address the lack of qualified cybersecurity professionals in the workforce.
In 2004, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) became a co-sponsor of the CAE-IAE program. The program added a research designation (CAE-R) in 2008. In 2017, the CAE-IAE program name was changed to the CAE in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE). A designation pathway for two-year colleges (CAE-2Y) began in 2019. Moraine Valley Community College was one of the original six CAE2Y institutions.