Lakeland News Posting

Lakeland designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense

Posted: June 22, 2022

Lakeland Community College has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) through academic year 2027. Institutions that receive a CAE-C designation have met the rigorous requirements set forth by the sponsor of the program, the National Security Agency (NSA). The NSA awards CAE-C designations to institutions that commit to producing cybersecurity professionals that will reduce vulnerabilities in our national infrastructure.

One of three CAE-C designations available through the NSA, the cyber defense designation specifically indicates that Lakeland is helping reduce threats to our national infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense as well as providing a pipeline of qualified cybersecurity professionals. At the time of writing, Lakeland Community College is one of 384 colleges and universities in the country who have received the CAE designation. Lakeland professor Nicholas DiTirro, Ph.D. spearheaded Lakeland’s efforts to apply for the CAE-CD designation, providing information and resources to the National Center for Academic Excellence.

“The CAE-CD designation puts Lakeland Community College, our information technology and computer sciences (IT&CS) department and especially our students into a very elite group of colleges and universities,” says DiTirro. “The demand for cybersecurity professionals is high, this designation shows our commitment to educating those professionals and providing much-needed additions to the workforce.”

In addition to the academic and career readiness opportunities the CEA-CD designation provides, it also opens up additional scholarship opportunities for students pursuing their IT&CS degrees. Once a school obtains their designations, it can compete for grants like the Department of Defense Cybersecurity Scholarship Program and can apply for the National Science Foundation’s Scholarship for Service program. More perks of the CAE designation include professional development opportunities for faculty, access to NSA peer-reviewed coursework to supplement current curriculum and the possibility for student internships through the NSA and other supporting bodies.

Learn more about Lakeland’s IT&CS programs at

By: Adam Continenza, Mktg and Communications Spclst

Media Contact:
Kerry Jonke