HCC receives grant for cybersecurity training

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Hagerstown Community College has been awarded a $650,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to prepare students for careers in the growing field of cybersecurity.  

“This award will posture HCC well to be a leader in cybersecurity education, both in Western Maryland and throughout the state,” said Guy Altieri, HCC president. “We greatly appreciate the efforts of Senators Mikulski and Cardin to make federal dollars available for competitive grants for training and job creation in this important career area. As we prepare to open the new STEM Building, the timing couldn't be better in terms of ensuring that both the capital and operational resources are in place to train our students for cybersecurity and other STEM-related high-skill, high-wage careers.”

HCC will use the grant funds to create a cybersecurity career pathway, developing partnerships with school systems, four-year institutions, and employers, including the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). In addition to new degree and certificate programs in cybersecurity, HCC will offer hands-on training, professional development for teachers, and flexible course scheduling for students in the program. HCC's program will reach out to area high schools to encourage students to pursue cybersecurity careers.

HCC also recently received a $50,000 grant from Cyberwatch, a consortium of over 40 higher education institutions, businesses, and government agencies. The grant will be used to conduct a community outreach campaign to heighten awareness of cybersecurity and cyber threats, and to create a cybersecurity institute to provide various types of short-term training for industry certification. As a member of Cyberwatch, HCC has the opportunity to share best practices, methodologies, curricula, and course materials, as well as to receive training and support for its students and faculty.

HCC has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Two-Year Education (CAE-2Y) by the NSA and was one of the first six community colleges in the U.S. to receive this honor. This distinction enables students to transfer seamlessly from HCC to four-year colleges in order to complete their degrees.