Lakeland Community College was recently awarded a Choose Ohio First (COF) grant to support computer science fields. The grant, in the amount of $68,880, will provide computer science scholarships, with a particular focus on the cybersecurity degree concentration.
An online information session about how to apply for the scholarship as well as information about the cybersecurity degree concentration will be held Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2020, at 7 p.m. Attendees can register for the online session at lakelandcc.edu/itcs.
The COF program is an initiative from the Ohio Department of Higher Education. It is a key component of the state's strategic effort to significantly strengthen Ohio's position in world markets such as computer science and related fields.
Because it affects businesses and institutions of every size and scope, cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing job fields in the U.S., with an estimated 3.5 million jobs needing to be filled by 2021, according to a report by noche.org. Adding to this need, the FBI announced earlier this year that they are redirecting their focus from counterterrorism to combating cyberattacks.
In response to the growing demand, Lakeland added a cybersecurity degree concentration this past fall semester and a certificate in spring 2019. The new curriculum was developed with funds from a Fenn grant from The Cleveland Foundation and with input from local companies with high demand for jobs in cybersecurity, including STERIS, Progressive, Cleveland Clinic and Cornerstone IT. The cybersecurity curriculum will be housed within Lakeland's Information Technology and Computer Science department.
"An 'earn-and-learn' model is being implemented, meaning students will have opportunities to work in the cybersecurity field while attending classes," said Barb Friedt, dean of applied studies at Lakeland. "Through this model, students will get on-the-job experience while earning credits toward a degree. Employers will benefit from having students on-site at their facilities so they can integrate what they learn in the classroom with acquiring workplace skills at the same time."
Lakeland's cybersecurity program will focus on serving two main groups; professionals already in the field of information technology and computer science who are looking to add to their existing credentials, as well as new students who will use Lakeland as a starting point to enter the field.
For more information, contact professors Nick DiTirro and Tony Slabicki at firstname.lastname@example.org.