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DSU cyber designations renewed until 2022
President José-Marie Griffiths and Dr. Kevin Streff (center) accept the CAE renewal certificates for Dakota State University.

DSU cyber designations renewed until 2022

Academics, Beacom College of Computer and Cyber Sciences, Admissions

Three of Dakota State University’s designations as National Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) have been renewed by the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The centers in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE), Cyber Defense Research (CAE-CDR) and Cyber Operations (CAE-CO) have been renewed until 2022.

“These CAE renewals demonstrate that we have been and continue to be a premier technology university,” said Dr. José-Marie Griffiths, president of Dakota State.

To be designated as a CAE, the institution must meet stringent criteria, including mapping curricula to a core set of cyber defense knowledge units. “Renewal is important because it again signals that the NSA and DHS have confidence in our programs, faculty and students,” said Dr. Kevin Streff, professor in the College of Computing.

DSU received its first CAE distinction in Information Assurance Education in 2004, one of 50 programs recognized, Streff said. Today, there are almost 300 nationally recognized programs among universities, colleges and two-year programs. Because Dakota State has one of the nation’s most decorated cyber security programs, it is a leader for those 300 CAEs, he said, serving as one of four Cyber Defense Consultative Regional Resource Centers in the U.S.

This ongoing success is the result of dedication and diligence of many at Dakota State. “These efforts of Dakota State’s faculty result in innovative curriculum, novel research projects and outreach programs which reach hundreds of young people each year. These combine to bring in high-achieving students whose academic and research achievements build the quality and reputation of the university’s cyber programs,” Griffiths said. 

As a CAE, “Dakota State students get preferential access to job placement, internships, scholarships, and other advantages,” Streff stated. Also “the community can trust that DSU is making the right investments in its cyber program, which will lead to continued growth for DSU, Madison and South Dakota.”

The nation also benefits as each CAE contributes to the advancement of state-of-the-art cyber defense knowledge and practice. Through the CAE-CDE program, vulnerability in the national information infrastructure is reduced through the promotion of higher education and research in cyber defense, as well as increasing the number of professionals with expertise in cyber defense disciplines. CAE-CDR schools aid in understanding cyber defense technology policy and practices, which enables the United States to effectively prevent and respond to a catastrophic cyber event. The CAE-CO program focuses on enhancing the national security posture through cyber operations technologies and techniques such as collection, exploitation and response.