CHEYENNE, Wyoming – Laramie County Community College is one of fourteen community colleges nationwide to receive grant funding and participation in a joint collaboration with Microsoft and the American Association of Community College (AACC).
Microsoft and AACC’s “Cyber Skills for All” initiative is designed to increase community college workforce development capacity through collaboration aimed at skilling people for participation in the digital economy.
“Community colleges are critical to expanding the cybersecurity workforce in the United States,” said Naria Santa Lucia, Microsoft General Manager for Digital Inclusion and U.S. Community Engagement. “We’re proud to support the American Association of Community Colleges and these community colleges as they accelerate their cybersecurity programs.”
As a recipient of the funding, LCCC will build upon existing cybersecurity programming in an effort to:
- Overcome regional enrollment accessibility limitations through innovative and engaging options for remote and non-traditional students.
- Drive enrollment increases to the program through retention initiatives to remove or reduce barriers to completion and success.
- Increase cybersecurity program enrollments by 5 percent in year one, with 10 percent growth in years two and three, for a total target of 25 percent growth from 2022-2025.
- Develop strong cybersecurity industry partnerships to drive experiential opportunities for students and graduates.
- Align educational outcomes to achieve the National Security Agency Center of Academic
Excellence in Cybersecurity recognition.
“This partnership highlights the growing need for cybersecurity training in all markets and will serve to boost LCCC’s ability to deliver inspiring education and training in the field to all of Wyoming and beyond. This grant will help us improve our remote learning capabilities and experiences for all students, through flexible course engagement and innovative practical application experiences regardless of a student's location,” said Troy Amick, program director, Information Technology Pathway at LCCC. “The grant also aims to bolster the workforce by providing scholarships for cybersecurity programs to promote the continuation of education for students in need.”
Currently, cybersecurity is in demand both as a stand-alone academic discipline and as a cross-cutting set of skills and competencies needed in every industry. “Building a robust workforce pipeline benefits both students and local businesses,” said Walter G. Bumphus, president and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges. “We are pleased to partner with Microsoft to help build a national workforce pipeline and directly support the nation’s community colleges with industry developed curriculum and training that helps them to teach the skills needed for a career in the high demand field of cybersecurity. Community colleges are well positioned to help the technology industry train and hire a skilled and diverse workforce across the country.”
LCCC’s Information Technology (IT) Pathway currently provides opportunities for students to receive necessary training to successfully enter the IT industry, with degree options including credit diplomas and an associate degree. Students that graduate from the program are workforce ready and transfer eligible. With an IT degree from LCCC, students have the opportunity to enter careers such as Network Security Administrator, Cybersecurity Analyst, and Information Security Specialist.
As the voice of the nation’s community colleges, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), delivers educational and economic opportunity for nearly 12 million diverse students in search of the American Dream. Uniquely dedicated to access and success for all students, AACC’s member colleges provide an on-ramp to degree attainment, skilled careers and family-supporting wages. Located in Washington, D.C., AACC advocates for these not-for-profit, public-serving institutions to ensure they have the resources and support they need to deliver on the mission of increasing economic mobility for all.
Microsoft is working with community colleges and nonprofits to help close the cybersecurity skills gap. Learn more about their efforts.