The Air Force Association (AFA) named the Southern California Cybersecurity Community College Consortium (SoCalCCCC) as the ninth CyberPatriot Center of Excellence, the association said Thursday.
CyberPatriot is the AFA’s program devoted to strengthening cyber skills among American youth and is the largest youth cyber education program in the U.S., split into three main programs: a youth cyber defense competition, cyber camps, and an elementary school initiative.
AFA rewards communities or institutions as centers of excellence that provide leadership and support to further the educational experiences of students using the CyberPatriot program. CyberPatriot established the Centers of Excellence program in 2011 and has recognized eight other entities: the Los Angeles Unified School District, the City of San Antonio, Spokane Public Schools, Rose State College (Okla.), Fairfax County Public Schools (Va.), STEMspark East Tennessee Innovation Hub, Huntsville City Schools (Ala.), and Lee's Summit R-7 School District (Mo.).
This newest southern California-based center of excellence comprises Cerritos College, Coastline Community College, Cypress College, El Camino College, Fullerton College, Irvine Valley College, and Long Beach City College.
“Our community college consortium is dedicated to developing cybersecurity pathways for K-12 students from high school to college and on to a cybersecurity profession. We believe that the CyberPatriot program helps students develop the technical and soft skills needed for a successful career in cybersecurity,” Irvin Lemus and Tobi West of the SoCalCCCC, said in a statement