cybersecurity

UCCS has won an almost $6 million U.S. Department of Labor grant to create and run the Colorado Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Program.

Also known as C-CAP, the program will train workers for mid- and advanced-level cybersecurity roles. 

For the next four years, UCCS’ College of Business will run the program, offering 10 industry-recognized certifications.

The grant to UCCS was part of a nearly $100 million allocation to 27 organizations across the country. The $5,996,713 award to UCCS was the second-largest to a university, behind North Carolina State University.

Gurvirender Tejay, associate professor of information systems and director of C-CAP, said the grant means UCCS can serve communities in 10 states with high demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals, particularly California, Colorado, Florida, Texas and Virginia.

“We look forward to partnering with employers, workforce development boards, community colleges and relevant community organizations to expand the program nationwide,” he said. “UCCS is a leader in cybersecurity education and through C-CAP will serve to address severe cybersecurity skills gap facing our nation.”

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UCCS said C-CAP will include five cybersecurity apprenticeship programs to align with industry needs for analysts, consultants, IT auditors, penetration and vulnerability testers and managers. Each program will require the completion of three courses and associated bootcamps for a total of 12 credit hours of college education that will bridge the gap between basic and mid-level cybersecurity skills.

Each student will have a cybersecurity industry mentor to guide their progression through the apprenticeship through the College of Business’ Relationships, Opportunity, Acumen and Readiness program. Participating companies have agreed to provide salary increases to students in the program as they reach milestones. Courses can be completed online to support the hands-on training at the company’s location.

Students who complete the program will receive a minor in cybersecurity, a certificate in cybersecurity management and be eligible to take one of 10 industry-recognized certifications: CISM, CRISC, CEH, CISA, CySA+, SSCP, GCIH, GCIA, CCS and CCSP. UCCS’ announcement indicated more than 5,100 students are expected to complete the program over the next four years.

“We are excited to be facilitating a collaboration between employers and students that brings 21st century cybersecurity skills to the workplace,” Robert Block, associate dean of the College of Business and associate professor of business analysis, and co-director of C-CAP, said in the release. “We look forward to creating a competitive highly skilled cybersecurity workforce made up of veterans, military spouses, underemployed workers, minorities and women.”

For more information on C-CAP, contact gtejay@uccs.edu.