By: Diane Stirling
(315) 443-8975

Syracuse University has received re-designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE/IAE) by the United States National Security Agency (NSA)/Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

NSA and DHS jointly sponsor the National Centers of Academic Excellence in IA Education (CAE/IAE) and CAE-Research (CAE-R) programs. The goal of these programs is to reduce vulnerability in the Nation’s information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in information assurance, and by producing a growing number of professionals with information assurance expertise in various disciplines. CAE/IAEs and CAE-Rs receive formal recognition from the U.S. Government as well as opportunities for prestige and publicity for their role in securing our Nation’s information systems.

School of Information Studies (iSchool) Associate Professor Joon S. Park, who is the Center of Academic Excellence/Information Assurance Education point of contact for both education and research at the University, worked with several schools and a number of IA faculty members across campus during the recertification process. They include the iSchool, the College of Law, the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. 

Re-designation evaluation is intended to measure the depth and maturity of programs of instruction in IA at the graduate and undergraduate levels. To receive a re-designation, a college must meet rigorous requirements that illustrate how it has made improvements to its educational program. This includes a review of a school’s IA academic program efforts, outreach and collaboration efforts, faculty-centered efforts, student-centered scholarship efforts, and other supporting evidence. Program additions, such as new information assurance courses and test programs also are reviewed, and the NSA/DHS also looks at the means faculty use to conduct research, as well as its educational information assurance policy, Park said.

Professor Park is director of the iSchool’s Certificate in Advanced Studies (CAS) program for Information Security management (ISM). He also serves as principal investigator for the Department of Defense (DoD) Information Assurance Scholarship Program (IASP) at Syracuse University.

The University originally received its CAE/IAE designation in 2001 and was re-designated in 2004 and 2007. The University also received CAE-R in 2009. Designation as a CAE or CAE-R is valid for five academic years, after which the school must successfully reapply in order to retain its designation. According to the 2011 announcement, there are 118 CAE/IAEs and 50 CAE-Rs in the nation. 36 institutions are designated as both CAE/IAE and CAE-R.

Students attending these designated schools are eligible to apply for scholarships and grants through the Department of Defense Information Assurance Scholarship Program and the Federal Cyber Service Scholarship for Service Program.