Regis University will offer a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity this year, and will develop and share eight cyber degree classes with high schools and community colleges to boost interest in the field.

The College of Computer & Information Sciences is accepting students into the undergraduate cybersecurity program this fall with the first graduating class expected in 2020, according to a news release issued by Regis yesterday.

All cybersecurity classes will be offered online and at Regis’ Denver Tech Center campus for nontraditional students and at the Northwest Denver (Lowell) campus for traditional students. The classes will also be offered at Regis’ Colorado Springs campus if there is a demand for them.

Steven Fulton, director of Regis’ Center for Information Assurance Studies, said the university is “very excited” about the new degree.

“Our program is quite different from the few other undergraduate cybersecurity programs as it not only focuses on the technical needs, but uses research we’ve done into the interdisciplinary aspect of technical fields,” Fulton said in an email. “This includes such areas as working as a team, leadership, communication skills, the need for diversity in the field, and the like. It is truly a new way to look at the undergraduate cybersecurity programs.”

Last year Regis received a U.S. government grant of almost $1 million to focus on cybersecurity research, according to the release. One aspect of that grant was to create a series of cybersecurity courses that schools around the country could use to teach similar topics. Regis is planning to use these courses as a starting point for its new bachelor of science in cybersecurity program, the release said.

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The goal is to allow students who successfully complete these classes to transfer the early coursework credit to Regis to pursue a cybersecurity degree.

“We’re aware of the need for more cybersecurity professionals, and statistics seem to support what we see as well,” Fulton said. “We have been working with local community colleges to attempt to make it easier for their students to transfer to Regis to complete a four-year degree.”

The goal of sharing the classes and materials with community colleges and high schools is to make the courses “more approachable for those who may not be able to initially attend a four year institution,” he said.

By fall, Regis will have several of these classes ready to share, Fulton said.

“We want to generate multiple pathways into the career field,” Fulton added in the release. “Our goal with these classes is to interest students who may not understand or know about the cybersecurity career field. If we can get qualified high school teachers and community college instructors teaching some of these basic classes, students will have the opportunity to see and understand what cybersecurity is before they’ve made firm career decisions.”

Regis’ program lineup already includes several computer science and information technology undergraduate degrees and a master’s in information assurance.