ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --- The Air Force Association's CyberPatriot program has announced Southern California Cybersecurity Community College Consortium as its ninth CyberPatriot Center of Excellence.
CyberPatriot, the nation's largest and fastest growing youth cyber education program, is AFA's flagship science, technology, engineering and mathematics (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. CyberPatriot established the Centers of Excellence program in 2011, and has since then recognized eight 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.), and Lee's Summit R-7 School District (Mo.).
The Southern California Cybersecurity Community College Consortium (SoCalCCCC) consists of Cerritos College, Coastline Community College, Cypress College, El Camino College, Fullerton College, Irvine Valley College, and Long Beach City College. SoCalCCCC meets regularly to support its members and the community by ensuring consistency in its educational programs and developing the CyberPatriot model of partnerships between K-12 schools and local community colleges.
"Our community college consortium is dedicated to developing cybersecurity pathways for K-12 students from high school to college and on to a cybersecurity profession," said Irvin Lemus and Tobi West of SoCalCCCC. "We believe that the CyberPatriot program helps students develop the technical and soft skills needed for a successful career in cybersecurity."
In the most recent season, Coastline and Cypress partnered to recruit 27 new teams from local schools, and hosted the teams to compete in the online rounds at Coastlines Garden Grove Campus. It focuses on recruiting participants by holding orientation sessions with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. In addition to recruiting students, SoCalCCCC has done great work in recruiting mentors from its colleges to aid K-12 students with cybersecurity training. Trainers include college and high school instructors that are passionate about the CyberPatriot program and cybersecurity education.
To share the model established by SoCalCCCC for hosting CyberPatriot events at community colleges, Coastline Community College and Cypress College send instructors to academic conferences throughout California. SoCalCCCC is also currently working on a how-to-guide for community colleges across the state to set up training events and host competitions on campuses. This effort has been ideal in fostering relationships between K-12 schools and the cybersecurity educators at the local community colleges.
For more information on SoCalCCCC and CyberPatriot's Center of Excellence program, visit http://uscyberpatriot.org/about/centers-of-excellence.
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.