Re-Design of OCCC’s Cyber Information Security Program
(Featured photo: Cyber Space – Photo by madartzgraphics from pixabay.com)
Oklahoma City Community College’s Cybersecurity Program has had changes occur recently within its program.
The program has recently been validated by the National Security Agency through the academic year of 2027.
Sara Mathew, the chair of the Computer Science Department said that the Cybersecurity program offers courses where students learn the theory and get hands-on skills in areas such as operating systems, hardware, networking, cloud computing, programming, database, network defense, pentesting, web security and digital forensics.
Jobs that can be obtained from completing the Cybersecurity program include entry level positions in the IT industry. Some of the places that have hired students include the FAA, Dell, Apex, City and State agencies, banks, CNI, and Citizens Potawatomi Nation.
“Outside the classroom, students are given opportunities to participate in professional development opportunities such as cyber club, cybersecurity competitions, cyber security related workshops and presentations by guest speakers from industry, workforce development workshops, internships and preparation for industry certifications,” Mathew said.
Mathew further said full time students take about 2 years to complete their degree, though part time students typically take longer with their studies.
“With most of the courses having an online section, this offers flexibility to working students or students who may be deployed or have to travel,” she said.
Mathew noted the application process for the NSA started in 2021, and that the process looks at the program as a whole as well as validates the school’s commitment to the success of students and the program.
The re-designation process also validates the commitment of the Computer Science department in leveraging its resources to students, the college, its business associates and the local community.
Mathew further explained that the NSA evaluates and accredits institutions that provide Cybersecurity degrees and curricula. The validation is performed by security experts and other members of other educational institutions to ensure that the school offers effective Cybersecurity education.
“The re-designation process of the validation of the program of study of the Cybersecurity AAS program ensures that our program aligns with and meets criteria related to knowledge units developed as part of the US government’s focus areas,” Mathew said.
She then said that the re-designation of the program of study is a validation of the curriculum, faculty, and OCCC’s investment in the students through resources and opportunities that are made available to them.
Mathew hopes that courses in the degree will continue to be updated to ensure that students are ready to defend against the threats of tomorrow.
“We will continue to add modules and hands-on workshops to supplement course material and provide an avenue for students to add to their skills. These will comprise of topics that are current, in demand and also geared towards industry certifications. We will continue working with our industry partners to offer more internships and employment opportunities for students,” Mathew said.
The department will continue to use the Cyber/Information security program to highlight the College’s commitment to meet the ever-evolving needs of the federal and Oklahoma’s workforce through relevant, innovative curriculum, state of the art resources and industry partnerships.
“We hope to expand our program by enrolling more students and working with more partners in industry, government agencies and 4-year universities,” Mathew said.