CEROC Hosts Community College Cyber Enrichment (C3E) Workshop

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Eric Brown, elbrown@tntech.edu, 931-372-3519

Cookeville, TN – The Community College Cyber Enrichment (C3E) program is funded by the Department of Defense via the Cybersecurity Scholarship Capacity Building Program to grow the pipeline of cybersecurity workforce from community colleges in Tennessee. The project provides opportunities and resources for Tennessee community college students in academic pathways to Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degrees in computer science and cybersecurity and ultimately leads to careers in the cyber security workforce. The project
aims to foster an interest in cybersecurity and provide students exposure to careers available in this field.

This year, Tennessee Tech University / CEROC successfully hosted two webinars for C3E, as well as a workshop for interested community college students. Like many events this year, COVID-19 restrictions necessitated virtual meetings for all events. Students participating in the program received a stipend from DoD. Over 60 community college students from seven different community colleges in Tennessee attended the virtual workshop held on November 6-7, 2020.

C3E Participants

During the workshop they received advice from individuals who are currently working in the industry, as well as professors and currently enrolled students who shared their experience with cybersecurity. Students were able to expand their social network through breakout rooms. They were also able to participate in some CTF challenges on the soarCTF platform (a CTF written by Tennessee Tech CyberCorps SFS and DoD CySP scholars) with volunteers from the CyberEagles student cybersecurity club providing logistical support.

Speakers featured during the event included:

For the upcoming Spring and Fall semesters, selected students will be sponsored to participate in an online cybersecurity competition with training as well as opportunity to attend a cybersecurity conference that will take place Summer 2021. Selected applicants will have sponsored opportunities to participate in a summer bridge program at Tennessee Tech University, and can apply for DoD and CySP Scholarship program.

CEROC: Cybersecurity Education, Research and Outreach Center at Tennessee Tech University, under the direction of Dr. Ambareen Siraj, is a center of excellence in the College of Engineering focused on crowd-sourced education programs; research in emerging cybersecurity topics; and outreach programs to stakeholders in academia, government and industry. CEROC is an NSA-accredited Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE), host of the first and largest CyberCorps SFS program in the State of Tennessee, and host of the only DoD Cyber Scholarship program site in the state placing the center among the top tier of such centers in the nation. CEROC, via Dr. Siraj’s work, is also the founding group for the Women in Cybersecurity Conference, the largest conference of its type focusing on enhancing diversity within the cybersecurity workforce. More information about CEROC and its programs can be found at https://www.tntech.edu/ceroc or by sending an email to ceroc@tntech.edu