Metropolitan State University designated as Center of Excellence in Cyber Defense Education


The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have recently announced that Metropolitan State University’s application to be designated as a National Center of Excellence in Information Assurance (IA) and Cyber Defense (CD) Education was approved. Faculty members Brahma Dathan, professor, Firasat Khan, community faculty, and Steven Creason, assistant professor, worked together on the application for the NSA and DHS. Metropolitan State has been recognized as a National Center for Excellence since 2005.

The NSA and DHS work collaboratively to create standards for academic institutions to apply for the designation and the application process is rigorous. According to the NSA, “The purpose of the National CAE designation program is to promote higher education in IA and CD and prepare a growing number of IA/CD professionals to meet the need to reduce vulnerabilities in the nation’s networks.”

Many faculty members and students have worked together to contribute to Metropolitan State’s recent success in the cyber arena. Areas of study include an undergraduate program in information assurance and computer forensics and a graduate certificate in management information systems information assurance. Metropolitan State is also in the process of developing a cross disciplinary master’s degree in cybersecurity.

Furthermore, the National Science Foundation awarded funds to Sue Fitzgerald, professor, for her work with cyber education standards and Assistant Professor Faisal Kaleem and a small group of Metropolitan State students won second place in the Minnesota Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. “It’s clear that Metropolitan State has the talent and the energy to build and sustain an outstanding program in cyber defense and education,” says Provost Ginny Arthur.