SUU Awarded Nearly $4 Million Apprenticeship Grant

Published: February 25, 2020 | Author: David Bishop | Read Time: 2 minutes

Apprenticeship Grant, CybersecurityReceiving one of the largest academic grants in the university’s history, Southern Utah University has been awarded a $3.98 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to provide training in the field of cybersecurity. Coupled with a $1.7 million match from the private sector, the grant totals more than $5.6 million. 

SUU will use the grant to meet the growing demand for cybersecurity professionals by providing training and education-based courses to apprentices. The first emphasis will be in the manufacturing industry. Private industry partners have committed 1,500 of their employees to participate in the program in Utah, Washington and Oregon. 

“This grant is not only a major win for Southern Utah University, but also in our efforts to grow the emerging job sectors of the 21st Century,” said Dr. Frank Hall, dean of SUU’s College of Science and Engineering. “This grant will allow us to further increase our footprint in training tomorrow’s cybersecurity professionals.”

SUU applied for the federal grant, along with its academic partner Washington State University. Dr. Tim Ball, assistant professor of information systems at SUU, will oversee administration of the grant. Dr. Ball has extensive background working with the federal government and military doing research and development of tools and techniques for cybersecurity and electronic warfare.

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney spearheaded SUU’s application in Washington, DC. 

“I was pleased to advocate for SUU’s apprenticeship program to receive this grant, which will support the university’s efforts to expand opportunities in growing sectors in the West,” Senator Romney said. “Apprenticeships are proven pathways to middle and high skilled jobs, and SUU is a leader in equipping apprentices for careers in manufacturing, energy, and cybersecurity.”

SUU was the only university in Utah to receive an award from the Department of Labor’s “Apprenticeships: Closing the Skills Gap” grant. In total, DOL funded 28 public-private partnerships across the United States. 

In SUU’s program, all apprentices will enroll in core cybersecurity courses and, upon completion, receive a professional certificate.

SUU is already home to one of the top cybersecurity programs in the country. The university’s bachelor’s degree in information systems with a cybersecurity emphasis is certified as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency. In addition, SUU’s master’s degree in cybersecurity is ranked in the top 50 nationally and is the only 100 percent online cybersecurity master’s in Utah.  

The new apprenticeship program allows SUU to continue on its growth plans in the field of cybersecurity education. 

The federal government projects a 32% increase in the need for information security analysts between now and 2028 with an annual median salary of nearly $100,000.

Tags: Cyber Security

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