Careers Preparation National Center

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The Careers Preparation National Center (CPNC)

Initiated through a grant from the National Center of Academic Excellence – Cybersecurity (NCAE-C), housed in the National Security Agency, Norwich was designated in October 2022 as the lead institution to manage a coalition of nine institutions of higher learning to develop the NCAE-C Careers Preparation National Center (CPNC). 

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The Norwich-led CPNC will build on prior and identify new NCAE-C efforts to foster the development of college students with the knowledge, skills, and competencies required for government and industry employment. The CPNC team will address federal, state, and local government and industry requirements and student professional development (communication, critical thinking, and collaboration) to better prepare NCAE-C cybersecurity students for today’s and tomorrow’s work roles.

"We are eager to identify opportunities to link the CPNC efforts with our NCAE-C Norwich Cyber Institute grant and other initiatives to further benefit students, faculty, and the cybersecurity workforce,” says Dr. Sharon R. Hamilton (Colonel, Retired, U.S. Army).


The program office at Norwich, led by Dr. Sharon R. Hamilton, Vice-President of Strategic Partnerships, will guide the governance, process, and infrastructure to develop and promote collaboration and joint engagement across the CPNC coalition, NCAE-C National Centers, and our critical government and industry Partners.


Norwich University was awarded a two-year $5M grant. The CPNC team will continue to develop and oversee regional exercises, implement competency integration into NCAE-C validated programs of study, develop a competency statement e-library, and will continue the measurement of competency development tools and competition competencies. The CPNC will actively collaborate with the CAE Community National Center, NCAE-C Education Pathway National Center, NCAE-C Candidates and Peer Review National Centers, and all NCAE-C designated institutions.


The National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C) program is managed by NSA's National Cryptologic School. Federal partners include the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)/National Initiative on Cybersecurity Education (NICE), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Defense Office of the Chief Information Officer (DoD-CIO), and U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM).

NCAE-C program aims to create and manage a collaborative cybersecurity educational program with community colleges, colleges, and universities that:

  • Establishes standards for cybersecurity curriculum and academic excellence,
  • Includes competency development among students and faculty,
  • Values community outreach and leadership in professional development,
  • Integrates cybersecurity practice within the institution across academic disciplines,
  • Actively engages in solutions to challenges facing cybersecurity education.


CAE-C Regional Exercises

Exercise participants will better understand critical roles and responsibilities during incident response in public and private entities.

Non-IT participants will gain an increased understanding of technical roles during a response, while participants with more IT backgrounds may gain an increased awareness of non-IT impacts on the cyber response process and its outcomes.

CAE Regional Exercises

  • All four regional exercises will focus on Space-ISAC (Information Sharing and Analysis Center).
  • Planning is an ongoing collaborative effort.
  • SPACE-ISAC will support the exercises through planning and execution for all four regions.
  • This is a technical focused exercise, but just cyber! We encourage you to reach out and collaborate with other departments in your institutions.
  • Similar experience for those who participated in the 2022 exercises. Participants will be in standard-entry-level roles (based on NCWF roles).


National Exercises

NUARI will partner with selected CAE institutions from across the country and possibly include interested public and private entities to plan TWO nationwide exercises conducted in the DECIDE platform.

Participation in the Nationwide exercises will be open to all students and faculty at CAE institutions.


SOC in a Box

This is an extremely valuable outcome from the 2020-2022 NCAE-C Evidencing Competency grant to develop and document the Security Operations Center (SOC) “blueprint.”

This SOC blueprint contains the technology, people, procedures, and protocols for standing up and implementing a SOC in a higher education environment with the right support from leadership.

The implementation and support of a SOC at your institution could:

  • enhance capabilities to develop workforce-ready talent immediately, improve and enhance the overall academic experience
  • create additional and self-sustaining revenue streams for the university with external partnerships.

NUARI will provide

  • Blueprint instructions
  • Strategic and technical guidance
  • Virtual/remote support


Senator Patrick Leahy School of Cybersecurity and Advanced Computing is home to the fastest-growing majors on campus. Grant dollars support cybersecurity faculty research, professional development, and certifications. They also support new faculty and Cyber Institute staff hires. Cyber faculty from the six senior military colleges support joint Cyber Institute events.

Latest news from the Senator Patrick Leahy School of Cybersecurity and Advanced Computing

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