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CyberPatriot Center of Excellence

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November 01, 2017
cyberpatriot center of excellence seal

Midwest CISSE Chapter Earns CyberPatriot Center of Excellence Designation

The Air Force Association's (AFA) CyberPatriot Program Office has announced the Midwest CISSE Chapter (MCISSE) as its newest CyberPatriot Center of Excellence.

CyberPatriot, the nation's largest and fastest growing youth cyber education program, is AFA's flagship science, STEM program dedicated to strengthening cyber skills among American youth. The Center of Excellence designation is awarded to communities and institutions that provide leadership and support to further the educational experiences of their students through the CyberPatriot program.

The Air Force Association is a non-profit, independent, professional military and aerospace education association. Our mission is to promote a dominant United States Air Force and a strong national defense, and to honor Airmen and our Air Force Heritage.

CyberPatriot established the Center of Excellence program in 2011, and has since then recognized 11 other entities – Los Angeles Unified School District, the City of San Antonio, Spokane Public Schools, Rose State College (Okla.), Fairfax County Public Schools (Va.), STEMspark East Tennessee Innovation Hub, Huntsville City Schools (Ala.), Lee’s Summit R-7 School District (Mo.), SoCal Cybersecurity Community College Consortium, Elk Grove Unified School District (Calif.), and Red Bank Regional High School District (NJ).

The University of Detroit Mercy, which is the lead institution for the MCISSE coalition, began building Cyber Security awareness across Michigan in 2006.  MCISSE now covers the upper Midwest with all five of the National Security Agency Centers of Excellence in Michigan as well as partners from Ohio, Missouri, Colorado, Texas, and as far away as Warwick University in the United Kingdom. In 2015, MCISSE took on the challenge of expanding its reach into K-12 education by adding the CyberPatriot program.

“It has been our honor to help foster the spread of cybersecurity across our region,” said Tamara Shoemaker, Director of the Center for Cyber Security & Intelligence Studies at the University of Detroit Mercy. “The consequence of this effort has been to ensure that the pipeline of potential students is Cyber Security aware, both in practice and as a career choice.”

MCISSE’s extensive list of long standing relationships with the faculty and staff of universities and community colleges in the region, along with access to professionals who work in ICT and Cyber Security in the Detroit industrial base, has led to the establishment of mentor relationships with middle and high schools who presently participate. Mentoring services are also provided to the many districts that plan to participate in the future.

Through its efforts, MCISSE has gotten recognition from Michigan’s Governor and the head of the Michigan National Guard, both who have helped secure funding with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to promote the growth of the CyberPatriot Program. That funding has allowed MCISSE to hold two AFA CyberCamps and sponsor 80 team registrations for the current season, a huge jump from nine teams just three years prior.

For more information on MCISSE and CyberPatriot's Center of Excellence program, visit http://uscyberpatriot.org/about/centers-of-excellence.

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