MCC earns designation from NSA for Cybersecurity

Metropolitan Community College has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense two-year education (CAE2Y) through academic year 2023 by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. MCC representatives were recognized last night during a designation ceremony at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The ceremony is part of the National Cyber Summit, a gathering of the industry’s top professionals. The College was selected for the designation after the NSA conducted a thorough review of College’s cybersecurity curriculum. 

The designation of National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense two-year education positions Metropolitan Community College on a national and international level to prepare students to contribute to the national defense,” said Gary Sparks, MCC faculty member and program director of MCC’s Center for Cybersecurity Education. 

The goal of the academic excellence program from the NSA and DHS is to reduce vulnerability in national information infrastructure by promoting higher education in cyber defense and producing professionals with cyber defense skills. All four-year, two-year and graduate level institutions are eligible for the designation as long as they meet a strict set of criteria. The national designation comes on the heels of a partnership with Cyberworld Institute, an agreement that greatly expands the College’s course offerings in cybersecurity and IT. 

“The partnership with Cyberworld Institute is a strategic complement to MCC’s line of existing credit courses. By offering high-end certification training we are better positioned to support the needs of our rapidly growing cybersecurity and IT industries locally,” said Robert Caldwell, project manager at MCC’s Workforce Innovation Division. 

Under the agreement, MCC and CWI have collaborated on a training model that augments existing certification curriculum with hands-on experiential learning-based labs. Students can practice responding to real-life situations by participating in nationwide cyber range attack and defense exercises. MCC will create job-ready students with globally recognized vendor certifications at all experience levels, from beginners to expert users. 

Classes include: Certified Information Systems Security Professional, Certified Cloud Security Professional, Certified Information Security Manager, Certified Information Security Auditor, Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Network Defender, Chief Information Security Officer, CompTIA A+, Network+ and Security+. All courses align with the Department of Defense’s cyberspace workforce framework. 

For more information about MCC’s Center for Cybersecurity Education, visit