Over $95,000 for two years for cybersecurity programSmith Announces Education Grant to Brookdale Community College
Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) announced on Thursday that Brookdale Community College in Lincroft will receive a $95,334 grant from the Department of Education for its cybersecurity program.
“Cybersecurity training is absolutely critical to national security, now and in the coming years, and I am pleased to announce that Brookdale Community College’s cybersecurity program will have even more resources available to equip students with solid training and skills,” Smith said.
“Brookdale’s new FIPSE award, under the Pilot Program for Cybersecurity Education Technological Upgrades for Community Colleges, will enable the college to provide students with a no-cost, safe, robust and highly-customizable environment to learn, apply and master the real-world, hands-on skills that are so critical in Cybersecurity,” said Michael Qaissaunee, the Program Administrator for the FIFSE-USDOE’s Pilot Program for Cybersecurity Education Technological Upgrades for Community Colleges grant.
“In this dedicated virtual lab environment, Brookdale can quickly ramp up new labs and courses developed by a national network of partner colleges, develop custom labs, host on-site and regional competitions and provide lab capacity for other community colleges and high schools,” Qaissaunee said.
The Department of Education grant will fund the creation of a virtual lab for the college’s cybersecurity program, affording students an opportunity to sharpen their cybersecurity skills without any cost to them.
With the funding, the college can quickly develop new labs and courses, host lab capacity for other community colleges and high schools, and host regional cybersecurity competitions. Without the virtual lab, faculty had to resort to less-effective options for students to learn hands-on cybersecurity skills.
The Department of Education’s grant program, the Pilot Program for Cybersecurity Education Technological Upgrades for Community Colleges Program, affords community colleges the resources to make technological upgrades that they otherwise might not be able to make.
Smith, whose Congressional office computers were hacked in 2006 and 2007, emphasized the importance of cybersecurity to overall national security.
“In recent years, we have seen cyber attacks not only against Congress, but a much larger pattern of attacks that has targeted the executive branch, the Pentagon, and American businesses,” Smith said.
“The Pentagon is fending off attacks 24/7. Russian agents working for the Kremlin successfully hacked our election infrastructure in 2016. We have seen only an increase in this malicious activity, and we should be doing everything we can to ensure that cybersecurity is a priority in our education programs. This grant money will further that all-important goal,” Smith said.