The National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have recently designated Lewis University as a National Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education.
“This is a very impressive designation. It will provide internship and scholarship opportunities for our students enrolled in the Bachelors of Science in Information Security and Risk Management program and the Master of Science in Information Security,” said Dr. Rami Khasawneh, dean of the College of Business and Graduate School of Management.
Dr. Ray Klump, chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, which coordinates the Master of Science in Information Security program with the College of Business, sees this as a rewarding recognition of the high quality of the program. “By providing essential training in both the technical computer science aspects of cyber security and the important business principles that help plan, monitor, and assess it, our MSIS program prepares students with a well-rounded, comprehensive view of this fast-paced field. It is good to be recognized for that.”
NSA and DHS jointly sponsor the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE/IAE) and CAE-Research (CAE-R) programs. The programs reduce vulnerability in the national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in Information Assurance and producing a growing number of professionals with Information Assurance 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.
Students attending a designated school, such as Lewis University, 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 United States government as well as opportunities for prestige and publicity for their role in securing the nation’s information systems.
As of 2010, there were 125 such designated centers in the United States and only 7 in Illinois. Some other schools with centers of academic excellence include Carnegie Mellon University, John Hopkins University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, George Washington University and Georgetown University.
Four-year colleges and graduate-level universities are eligible to apply to be designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in IA Education. Each applicant must pass a rigorous review, demonstrating its commitment to academic excellence in IA education. During the application process, applicants are evaluated against stringent criteria that in addition to information assurance (IA) curriculum include community outreach efforts, collaboration with other universities and community colleges, Information Assurance taught as a multi-disciplinary science, robustness of the university’s Information technology infrastructure, quality of IA faculty and student and faculty research initiatives in the IA field.
“This recognition from the NSA and the DHS affirms the quality of our faculty and coursework of our Information Security programs . The designation is an acknowledgement of our commitment to educate security professionals in charge of protecting the United States, our critical infrastructure and organizations worldwide” said Dr. Faisal Abdullah, chair and associate professor of the Management Information Systems Department.
The Master of Science in Information Security (MSIS) program at Lewis University is a joint venture of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Management Information Systems in the College of Business. The MSIS program is offered online and on-campus and has experienced tremendous growth in the last two years. Currently, there are 120 full-time graduate students in the MSIS program. The Bachelor of Science in Information Security and Risk Management is designed for students with an interest in the wide range of activities associated with the protection of information, one of an organization's most vital assets. The degree seeks to provide a student with a foundation in information security, risk management, security management, IT operations and data communications. There is also a MSIS fast track program, which allows Computer Information Systems, Computer Science, Information Security and Risk Management, and Information Technology Management majors to complete their undergraduate and graduate MSIS degree programs in less time than would be possible if taken separately.
For additional information, please contact Faisal Abdullah, director of the Master of Science in Information Security program at Lewis University, at (815) 836-5109.
Lewis University is a Catholic university offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,000 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares ethically grounded, globally aware, and socially responsible graduates. The ninth largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report.
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