Quincy University launches Cybersecurity Degree Program

QUINCY (WGEM) — Quincy University’s first courses in its new Cybersecurity Degree Program began this fall semester, school officials say.

The curriculum includes 42 credit hours in cybersecurity coursework with a focus on active learning in the newly created cybersecurity lab and dedicated server room.

The program is coordinated by Lavanya Mandava, Ph.D., who earned a doctorate in computer engineering from Lavanya Mandavathe University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.

“I am looking forward to developing a strong curriculum for cybersecurity and assisting in the enhancement of the Computer Science Department,” said Mandava. “Qualified cybersecurity professionals are currently in extremely high demand, which is only expected to rise more in the future.”

School officials state that development of the cybersecurity curriculum and lab has been made possible in part by a grant from the U.S. Dept. of Education Title III-A Strengthening Institutions program. The $2.25 million grant was awarded to QU in fall 2018.

The approved grant proposal, “Expanding Student Access to STEM,” was the result of extensive consultation with area educators and business leaders, who identified cybersecurity as an area of critical strategic need, both locally and nationally.

The newly constructed cybersecurity lab was completed over the summer and houses 24 work stations. The experimental network is segregated physically and electrically from the university’s production network and is comprised of state-of-the-art hardware and software.

Students will gain experience with HP servers, VMware and HyperV. They will work with the latest Firewalls from Cisco, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks. They will also learn about core and edge switching as well as routing on Cisco and HP switches and routers.

According to the Joint Task Force on Cybersecurity Education, “The world faces a current and growing workforce shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals and practitioners. In fact, both government and nongovernment sources project nearly 1.8 million cybersecurity-related positions going unfilled by 2022.”

Jim Roberts

Jim Roberts

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