Safeguarding Cyberspace

IT and cybersecurity courses for high school and college students. 

Cyber Patriots team meeting at Fishburne Military Academy.

Photo courtesy of Fishburne Military Academy 

Our daily lives pretty much depend on computers, and there’s an entire invisible army of people who keep those computers safe from everything from hacking to viruses. Virginia schools are leading the way in educating high school and college students in IT and cybersecurity.

The SANS Institute is using a game-based recruiting method to have students at Norfolk State University compete for a piece of a $2.5 million scholarship pie. Students who participate but don’t win are also eligible to win $500 to use at their school.

At James Madison University in Harrisonburg, a pilot program is launching to help working professionals better understand cybersecurity threats and strategies as part of the JMU Outreach & Engagement Professional Development, which offers a range of noncredit classes for the business community. 

And at the high school level, Virginia’s private high schools are giving their students a competitive edge when it comes to computer science by partnering with community colleges. Students at Fishburne Military School in Waynesboro have the opportunity to graduate with a technical certificate from Piedmont Virginia Community College by completing the Basic Computer Technician Training course. This will make them a CompTIA A+ Certified Computer Technician, which opens up a variety of entry-level employment opportunities. 

Christ Chapel Academy in Woodbridge has a dual enrollment partnership with Northern Virginia Community College. Students complete challenging, college-level courses taught by instructors certified by NVCC and have the opportunity to graduate high school with up to 12 IT credits. 

Whether it’s at the high school, community college, or four-year college level, Virginia students are being prepared to keep the engines of our lives running smoothly.

For more about Norfolk State University, James Madison University, Fishburne Military School, or Christ Chapel Academy, check out Top High Schools and Colleges 2019. This article originally appeared in our October 2019 issue.

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