Regional Cybersecurity Education Collaboration



Michigan is facing

drastic shortages in

cybersecurity professionals.

Building the educational infrastructure, generating students’ interest in technology careers and solving the IT teaching faculty shortfalls are critical to our state’s success.

What is
the vision?

The Michigan Cyber Range Regional Cyber Education Collaboration envisions a collaborative between the higher education community and key private sector partners to address the widening gap between the supply of skilled cybersecurity professionals and the demand for those skills.

The long-term goal is to provide a robust cybersecurity curriculum to institutions throughout the state via a mix of face-to-face and distance learning courses, at 2-year and 4-year colleges.

Objectives
• Building a workforce to meet the exponentially growing demand for cyber professionals in government, non-profit and private sectors (117% growth in 2010-2014)

• Prepare key industries in Michigan, such as automotive, defense, law enforcement, energy, health care, finance, education and agriculture, to meet the evolving challenges in cybersecurity.

• Establish public/private partnerships that will foster and develop a self-funded revenue model to support the collaboration long term.


Approach
The RCEC will operate with its partners to leverage the network of the Michigan Cyber Range and Merit Network infrastructure to deliver cybersecurity training, testing and exercise support under current and evolving national standards.

The RCEC is seeking private organization support to provide scholarships throughout the state for cybersecurity education and certifications. Scholarship partners will have direct access to the workforce and talent that their generous support has helped create, through RCEC internship programs.



What are the goals of the RCEC?
  • Build a workforce to meet the exponentially growing demand for cyber professionals;
  • To prepare key industries in Michigan, such as automotive, defense, law enforcement, energy, health care, finance, education and agriculture to meet the evolving challenges in cybersecurity;
  • And to establish public/private partnerships that foster a self-funded revenue model to support the program in the long-term future.

This will be accomplished by providing a robust cybersecurity curriculum to students and organizations throughout the state via a mix of face-toface and distance learning courses at 2-year and 4-year colleges.

What institutions are involved in the collaboration?
Initial partners of the RCEC include Wayne State University, Central Michigan University, Northern Michigan University and Merit Network. The RCEC is currently recruiting additional educational partners, and fully expects to grow the program.

Merit Network and the Michigan Cyber Range have successfully provided 24 states with education, training and cybersecurity certifications. Those
engagements will be leveraged to grow the RCEC into a nationwide cybersecurity ecosystem in the coming years as the collaboration evolves.

How will the RCEC be funded?
The RCEC will establish public/private partnerships that foster and develop a self-funded revenue model to support the collaboration in the long-term future. The collaboration is seeking private organization support to provide scholarships throughout the state for cybersecurity education and certifications.

What does a scholarship consist of?

Each per-student scholarship contribution will range from $3,000 – $5,000 depending upon the course, the certification sought and the
organization which delivers the course. The aim is to provide complete coverage of a scholarship recipient’s costs, however, in some instances, students may be responsible for a portion of course fees.

Scholarships will include for-credit, not-for-credit and certification courses. “Block” donations from organizations will also be accepted.

Who is eligible to receive the scholarships?
For-credit, not-for-credit and certification courses are offered, therefore, scholarships will be made available to Michigan high school students, 2-year and 4-year college and university students, professionals in the workforce and Veterans.
What benefits will donation partners receive?
RCEC will create an online ‘sponsor portal.’ The portal will allow supporter organizations to browse resumes and course completion information of the scholarship recipients. This provides supporters with direct access to the talent they are helping create for internship and employment opportunities.
What is the fiduciary process?
Merit will collect and distribute scholarship dollars to educational partners, in-line with the program goals and gift designations. Merit will also centrally track the metrics associated with the program.
How will students know which courses to enroll in?
The RCEC’s website will feature career advice and industry information from Michigan’s cybersecurity experts and admissions advisors from our higher education partners. In addition, infographics and interactive charts, which feature specific cybersecurity professions, will direct students toward the appropriate curriculum to qualify them for a specific job title.
What is the proposed timeline for implementation?
The RCEC program will be launched in early 2017, with contributions starting immediately. The RCEC has set a goal of 2020 by 2020. We will assist students to complete 2,020 courses by the year 2020.
How can an organization become an RCEC scholarship supporter?
Organizations can visit merit.edu/CyberEd to request more information on RCEC scholarships. In the future, the sponsor portal will assist supporters in choosing the courses, institutions and student grades/levels they prefer to provide funding to.

Become an RCEC Sponsorship Partner