• Mt. Hood Community College, Cyber Defense Program recognized as National Center of Academic Excellence by NSA, DHS

    Gresham, Ore.

    T he US National Security Agency and US Department of Homeland Security have recognized Mt. Hood Community College as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education Two-Year (CAE2Y) beginning June of 2015 through 2019, making MHCC the only institution of higher education in the state of Oregon to hold such a designation.

    In a letter to the college, the NSA congratulated MHCC and its Cyber Defense Program for meeting the increasing demands of program criteria - an effort that will result in "contributing to the protection of the National Information Infrastructure." In recent years, the federal government has put a high priority on developing a rigorous cyber defense program, including creating a US Cyber Command in 2010 as part of the military structure to defend against cyber attacks. In an April 1, 2015 post to its website, the National Security Council called strengthening US cyber security the "defining challenge of the 21st century."

    "This is an area of expertise that is only going to grow as we continue to move more and more of every aspect of life under networked computer access," said MHCC's Cyber Defense Program professor Dr. Wayne Machuca. "Health records, banking, personal identification - it's all online and it all needs to be safe from disruption, destruction or theft."

    MHCC's two-year program is designed to provide students with a thorough background in cyber defense, including in hardware and software repair, network development and implementation, cryptography, disaster recovery, ethical hacking and much more. The program can prepare students for further certification or education, or to immediately find a job in a rapidly expanding job market.

    The college will take part in a formal recognition ceremony and be presented with the official CAE2Y certificate in June, 2015.

    For more information about Mt. Hood Community College's Cyber Defense program visit mhcc.edu/cis or email Dr. Wayne Machuca at wayne.machuca@mhcc.edu