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Western Washington UniversityCommunications and Marketing
DATE: January 10, 2013 4:27:53 PM PST
Western and Whatcom Partner to Offer New Pathway to Bachelor's Degree Program in Computer and Information Systems Security

Contacts: David Bover, associate dean, Western Washington University’s College of Sciences and Technology, at (360) 650-6400 or david.bover@wwu.edu; and Corrinne Sande, Whatcom Community College Computer Information Systems Program Coordinator, at (360) 383-3552 or csande@whatcom.ctc.edu

BELLINGHAM – Western Washington University’s College of Sciences and Technology and Whatcom Community College are partnering to offer a new pathway to a baccalaureate degree in Computer and Information Systems Security.

Whatcom Community College (WCC) is pursuing a new two-year associate degree in Cybersecurity that can be transferred to Western. Students can choose to continue their education at Western for two years to earn the Computer and Information Systems Security (CISS) baccalaureate degree once they complete the Cybersecurity associate degree. This new program is designed to provide these students and other information technology professionals in Whatcom and Skagit counties the opportunity to continue their education to the bachelor’s degree level in the emergent industry of computer security.

The program is a collaborative effort involving Western, WCC and Bellingham Technical College funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. A group representing each of the partners is developing innovative curriculum and course articulations for the new program, including a direct four-year degree transfer pathway from WCC to Western. Course work will focus on developing knowledge and skills in security management, threat analysis, computer and software forensics, and security tools and techniques.

With the rise of cyber-attacks, corporate and government agencies are looking for ways to protect their information. However, there is a shortfall of trained professionals in cybersecurity.

According to Dirk A. D. Smith, of Network World, “83 percent of federal hiring managers in a recent survey said it was extremely difficult to find well-trained cybersecurity professionals and a projected shortfall of 20,000 to more than 40,000 people is expected in the years to come.”

The new degree program will prepare graduates to fill the urgent need for trained personnel in various professional roles: computer network security administrator, secure software development specialist or digital forensic practitioner. The Western program is targeted to enroll an initial cohort of students this fall.

The program partners will be hosting an information session at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 17 at the WCC Syre Auditorium in room 103. The main entrance is on the north side of the building, at 237 West Kellogg Rd. Parking is free.

For details contact David Bover, associate dean, Western Washington University’s College of Sciences and Technology, at (360) 650-6400 or david.bover@wwu.edu; at Whatcom Community College contact Corrinne Sande, Computer Information Systems Program Coordinator, at (360) 383-3552 or csande@whatcom.ctc.edu.

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