/ Published May 27, 2020
Thursday, May 21, 2020, CSforALL, Air Force Junior ROTC, Mississippi State University Bagley College of Engineering, and the National Cybersecurity Training and Education Center (NCyTE) at Whatcom Community College announced 25 Air Force JROTC cadets selected for the inaugural Air Force Junior ROTC Cyber Academy, the capstone experience of the JROTC-CS Demonstration Project.
Participating cadets were selected through a competitive process from 30 Air Force JROTC host schools participating in the JROTC-CS Demonstration Project is a public-private partnership working to develop a national model for computer science and cybersecurity education to be deployed across the nationwide network of over 3,400 JROTC host high schools.
During the cyber academy, the cadets will build skills in state-of-the-art computing and cybersecurity under the supervision of instructors from Mississippi State University and Whatcom Community College’s Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense. The program will be delivered remotely due to COVID-19, and each cadet will be equipped with a cyber workstation including a laptop computer with a branded bag, gaming headset, and additional tools needed to fully engage in the program through support from Capital One. The cadets will work in small collaborative teams led by MSU students and supported by technical mentors from the Air Force, and will participate in weekly career conversations with high-level industry professionals. Upon completion, each cadet will earn three college credits from Mississippi State University and will have the opportunity to sit for the COMPTIA IT Fundamentals certification exam. The value of the AFJROTC Cyber Academy scholarship is $8,000.
“We look forward to having the cadets from across the country enroll at Mississippi State University in a for-credit cybersecurity course and get a jump start on their college education,” shared Sarah Lee, Assistant Department Head, Computer Science and Engineering Department, MSU Bagley College of Engineering.
“The NCyTE Center (ncyte.net) at Whatcom Community College is pleased to partner with Mississippi State University for this important endeavor. The overarching goal of the NCyTE Center is to strengthen and build the cybersecurity workforce nationwide. This academy serves as an important contribution to this goal and the ultimate goal of securing the nation.” — Corrinne Sande, Director/PI NCyTE Center at Whatcom Community College
The 2020 Air Force JROTC Cyber Academy inaugural class:
Aberdeen High School
Alan B. Shepard High School
Bob Jones High School
Bloomingdale Senior High School
Edmond North High School
Shadow Ridge High School
North Las Vegas
Howell High school
North East High School
Utah Military Academy
Prattville High School
Northeast High School
Choctawhatchee High School
Fort Walton Beach
Choctawhatchee Senior High School
Harry S Truman High School
John Bowne High School
Santiago High School
Currently the Department of Labor predicts cybersecurity jobs will grow at a rate of 32%, and the Center for Cyber Safety and Education reports there will be 1.8 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2022, a 20% increase over 2015.
“Headquarters AFJROTC is excited about this initiative and for each of our cadets selected. This program embodies the purpose and vision of the AFJROTC mission — developing young citizens.” shared Colonel Stephen T. Sanders, Director, HQ AFJROTC. “The cyber skills and technology certifications offered through this program will provide options and opportunities including up to $10,000 in enlistment bonuses and collegiate scholarships. Whether our cadets have military or civilian careers in mind, we are preparing them for the future.”
“The fact that these cadets are jumping in to be a part of our inaugural program — and doing so virtually — is a testament to the demand for technology career exploration opportunities among young people. We are looking forward to learning from their experience this summer and building out a model to bring computing and cybersecurity to JROTC cadets broadly.” said Ruthe Farmer, Chief Evangelist, CSforALL
The JROTC-CS Demonstration Project supports the goals of the JROTC Cyber Training Act of 2019 (H.R. 3266 and Sen. 2154) and is in alignment with Section 512 of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, which amended Section 2031(b)(3) of title 10, United States Code, to include instruction or activities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in the JROTC program. At scale, this program model has the potential to engage over 545,000 high school students in computer science and cybersecurity education pathways, as well as build technology education capacity at over 3,400 JROTC high schools, serving 4 million students overall.
The JROTC-CS Demonstration Project is public-private partnership led by CSforALL in collaboration with the JROTC-CS Advisory Consortium Members including: Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot; U.S. Air Force Junior ROTC HQ; Capital One; Google; Intel Corporation; Lockheed Martin; Microsoft; Mississippi State University; National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE); National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC); SANS Institute; Snap Inc.; The College Board; The Internet Institute.
Interested in learning more, visit https://www.csforall.org/projects_and_programs/jrotc/
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