NORTHFIELD, Vt. — Norwich University is proud to partner with Whatcom Community College to support the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Air Force initiative for AFJROTC Cyber Academies. Norwich will host one of the five virtual summer Cyber Academies for 20 Air Force JROTC cadets.

The camp is made possible through a $106,000 National Science Foundation grant. Norwich University Professor Dr. Michael Battig, director of the School of Cybersecurity, Data Science and Computing will support the AFJROTC cyber initiative with Professor Kris Rowley and four student mentors. Kris

“The Air Force, the NSF, and the partner colleges are clear that we must build the U.S. pipeline of cyber talent,” Battig said. “Reaching this JROTC cohort is a big step in that direction. Our involvement in this camp is consistent with our core mission in this endeavor to help build future cyber leaders.”

During the cyber academy, the Air Force Junior ROTC cadets will build state-of-the-art computing and cybersecurity skills under the supervision of instructors from Norwich University and Whatcom Community College’s Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense.

During the cyber academy, the Air Force Junior ROTC cadets will build state-of-the-art computing and cybersecurity skills under the supervision of instructors from Norwich University and Whatcom Community College’s Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense. The program will be delivered remotely because of COVID-19, and each student will be equipped with a laptop computer with a headset and additional tools needed to engage in hands-on and laboratory activities. 

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Dr. Michael Battig

The Norwich student mentors, rising juniors or seniors, will demonstrate expertise in cybersecurity and computing and will serve as leadership role models outside the classroom. Each cadet will earn three college credits for Introduction to Cybersecurity or equivalent (45 hours) upon completion. The camp will also let 20 JROTC cadets earn industry certification in CompTIA IT Fundamentals and prepare them for the certification exam.

“Norwich recognized early the critical role cyber was going to play in all facets of our public and private life and the significant attack vector it would create,” Norwich Vice President of Strategic Partnerships Phil Susmann said. “Norwich has built academic programs and research initiatives examining all aspects of information defense and information warfare. Today, we must continue to grow the corps of military and civilian cyber leaders and this Air Force Junior ROTC program is preparing the next generation to meet the challenge.”

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Kris Rowley

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts cybersecurity jobs will grow at a rate of 32% by 2028, and the Center for Cyber Safety and Education reports there will be 1.8 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2022, a 20% increase over 2015.

Air Force JROTC currently operates in almost 900 high schools with more than 120,000 cadets.

History of success

Norwich University’s cybersecurity education programs are ranked No. 2 nationally by the Ponemon Institute and consistently rank among the nation’s best. Norwich University is recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity Defense Education by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and has received designation as a Center of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence (CDFAE) by the Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3). 

In 2020, Norwich University was designated the lead institution of the nation’s six Senior Military Colleges to develop the Department of Defense Cyber Institute program using grant funding provided by NSA. The Norwich Cyber Institute is now developing academic, experiential (internal/external), and educational infrastructure leading to a talent pipeline for potential careers in the military and civilian Department  of Defense cyber workforce.

In 2020, Norwich University was also awarded a two-year NSA grant to lead the Cybersecurity Evidencing Competency Oversight Project. Norwich is leading workgroups to determine the development and measurement of competency in students, competitions, and tools. In support, the Norwich University Applied Research Institutes (NUARI) is developing and executing 10 regional NCAE-C cybersecurity exercises engaging students for skills competency development and measurement.

About Norwcih University:
Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by U.S. Army Capt. Alden Partridge and is the oldest private military college in the United States. Norwich is one of our nation's six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).

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