Virginia Tech Designated NSA Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations

RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that the National Security Agency (NSA) has designated Virginia Tech as a Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations (CAE-CO). The first university to receive this status in the Commonwealth, Virginia Tech joins an exclusive list of sixteen other universities in the nation in bearing this designation.

“This elite designation is an outstanding addition to Virginia’s cyber portfolio,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe. “This very technical, interdisciplinary, higher education program is firmly grounded in computer science, computer engineering, and electrical engineering disciplines and offers students an opportunity to attain the highest level of cyber credentialing in the Commonwealth. Cyber security is at the very heart of our efforts to build a new Virginia economy, and Virginia Tech’s CAE-CO designation contributes to the Commonwealth’s position as one of the premier locations for this industry.”

The CAE-CO program supports the goal of creating a more cyber-aware workforce through education initiatives. Universities selected for this designation must offer a curriculum that promotes both interdisciplinary knowledge and hands-on technical studies, including courses in software reverse engineering, cybersecurity law, and mobile and cellular technologies. The Virginia Tech Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, minor in Cybersecurity, and focus in Cyber Operations, combined with the university’s “hands-on, minds-on” approach to academic achievement, offer a curriculum that serves the mission of the CAE-CO.

“In order to maintain our leadership position, the Commonwealth must create and sustain a highly qualified cybersecurity workforce,” said Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson. “Having a CAE-CO at Virginia Tech is a differentiator for the Commonwealth.”

“Over the past three and a half years, we have made it a top priority to partner with our colleges and universities as they work to earn these prestigious designations from the NSA,” said Secretary of Education Dietra Trent. “Virginia Tech’s success in this endeavor puts us one step closer to making education relevant for the 21st century and preparing all of our students for the careers of the future.”

“Virginia Tech is proud to receive this designation,” says Dr. Charles Clancy, Director of Virginia Tech’s Hume Center for National Security and Technology.  “Virginia Tech has a strong legacy of service to the nation embodied in our school motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), and this program will only enhance our efforts to prepare the next generation of leaders in the critical fields of cyber security and cyber operations.”

Virginia Tech will hold the CAE-CO designation for five academic years, from 2017 to 2022. Virginia Tech has received a previous designation as an NSA Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense and is also designated by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence as an Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence.