Friday, September 6, 2013

NSA Expands College Recruitment Program

    Even as the National Security Agency (NSA) addresses public perceptions of overreach in its surveillance activities, the agency is broadening its recruiting efforts for future cyber experts.  An announcement on Wednesday named four new schools chosen to participate in the NSA's "Cyber Initiative."  The press release explains the program:
An outgrowth of the President's National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, the program identifies institutions that have a deeply technical, interdisciplinary curriculum centered on fields such as computer science and electrical engineering. The agency has long worked with schools to improve education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. 
In addition, the program offers some participants opportunities to apply their learning or enhance their teaching in summer seminars at NSA...
Topics covered are routinely taught in colleges and universities, but this initiative seamlessly integrates the material to help students better understand how they could someday help to defend the nation.  
    The four schools chosen for the 2013-14 academic year are:
  • Air Force Institute of Technology in Ohio;
  • Auburn University, Alabama;
  • Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania; and
  • Mississippi State University.
    Although "[s]ummer seminar participants must undergo background checks and obtain temporary, top-secret security clearances," it is noted that "students and faculty members do not engage in actual U.S. government intelligence activities."
    The four existing schools in the program are:
  • Dakota State University, South Dakota
  • Naval Postgraduate School, California
  • Northeastern University, Massachusetts
  • University of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Note: A version of this article first appeared at The Weekly Standard.

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