MISSOULA – The University of Montana’s push to be the region’s cybersecurity hub took another step forward this week after the National Security Agency officially redesignated Missoula College as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense.

This prestigious designation highlights UM’s growing field of cybersecurity education and training, as well as a commitment to promoting a secure cyber landscape in today's interconnected world.

The NSA Center of Academic Cyber Defense designation is awarded to institutions that excel in providing students with the knowledge and skills necessary to defend against cyber threats. Missoula College received the designation as a direct result of the two-year college’s dedication to preparing the next generation of cybersecurity professionals and contributing to national cybersecurity efforts.

"Missoula College is a leader in cybersecurity education and training, and we are proud the NSA recognizes that,” said Dr. Tom Gallagher, dean of Missoula College. “This designation is a big deal and a testament to the hard work and dedication of our faculty and staff in providing a top-notch cybersecurity education to our students. We are proud to contribute to the nation's cybersecurity efforts and to be part of a network of institutions dedicated to protecting our digital world."

In recent years, Missoula College has grown its cybersecurity offerings to include short-term credentialing courses, a two-year associate’s degree and dual-enrollment courses for Montana high school students.

“Missoula College’s cybersecurity program has consistently demonstrated excellence in teaching, outreach and innovation,” said Diane Burke, a Missoula College clinical professor and director of CyberMontana. “The college's faculty members are recognized experts in the field, and students benefit from hands-on training and access to cutting-edge resources.”

The designation was announced at the National Cybersecurity Education Colloquium in Chicago. This event serves as a platform for cybersecurity experts from academia, government and industry to share knowledge, best practices and the latest developments in the field. Missoula College’s presence at this event highlights its commitment to staying at the forefront of cybersecurity education.

Cybersecurity is just one academic program powering significant growth at Missoula College. With 1,436 students taking courses this fall, enrollment has increased by 18% over the past year. Since 2021, Missoula College enrollment has grown by more than 24%.

- by UM News Service -

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