The U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) has awarded Central Piedmont Community College a two-year, $94,266 cybersecurity grant to purchase and install new equipment for the college's NETLAB, an online lab solution that provides students with access to live IT infrastructure to perform technology related experiments from any Web-based computer.
The funding is being awarded through the U.S. Department of Education's Cybersecurity Education Technological Upgrades for Community Colleges pilot program, an initiative that seeks to improve infrastructure for cybersecurity education programs at community colleges. Select colleges must use the funds to make technological upgrades at its facilities, enhancing its ability to offer state-of-the-art cybersecurity education programs to students.
Central Piedmont will use the grant to modernize, enhance and expand the capacity of its NETLAB, located in the Levine Information Technology Building on Central Campus. Funds will help purchase equipment vital to the NETLAB's success, including a Cisco router and gigabit switch, two Dell Power Edge servers and the NETLAB+ Virtual Edition appliance. Doing so will enable the college to create a training environment in which students are afforded hands-on use of forensic software within a learning environment that reflects the industry standard.
"Cybersecurity has emerged as a significant federal priority. As a result, there is a growing need for quality cybersecurity education programs across the region," said Mike Hogan, associate dean of STEM at Central Piedmont. "By boosting the functionality of our NETLAB, we'll ensure Central Piedmont is well positioned to ensure low income student populations, as well as underrepresented minorities, will have access to in demand education that results in lucrative careers in cybersecurity."
To learn more about the U.S. Department of Education's FIPSE program, please visit https://www2.ed.gov/programs/ppcetucc/index.html. For more information on Central Piedmont's Information Assurance and Digital Forensics program, visit cpcc.edu/career/programs/cyber%20crime%20info%20system.