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Published on November 20th, 2021 📆 | 4287 Views ⚑

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University’s Cybersecurity Program Ranked Among the Best Nationwide

The digital publication AccessCyber.org has included the University of New Haven’s undergraduate cybersecurity program among the top 10 in the country, alongside such schools as the Rochester Institute of Technology and Carnegie Mellon.

November 18, 2021

By Meagan Cipollina, Contributing Writer

AccessCyber.org has included the University of New Haven’s undergraduate cybersecurity program among the top 10 in the country.

The University of New Haven’s undergraduate program in cybersecurity has scored high marks, ranking among the top 10 such programs across the nation, according to a new report released by AccessCyber.org, a digital publication for anyone looking to delve into the world of cyber- or information security, with resources covering career opportunities, education, and training.

For its Top 10 list, AccessCyber.org focused on four major factors when ranking the undergraduate programs across the country: community involvement, scholarship access, industry-aligned curriculum, and alumni feedback. These key factors, AccessCyber.org says, best examine how each individual program improves students’ access to the most up-to-date models, events, training, and more in a rapidly developing field. Based on those indicators, the University of New Haven was ranked alongside prestigious schools such as Carnegie Mellon, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Purdue University.

One alumnus of the program, Christopher Meffert ’16, who currently works for the MITRE Corporation, says “the program provided the base for me to launch my career in cybersecurity. The skills I acquired while in school have allowed me to hit the ground running at MITRE.”

Meffert believes the University’s standing alongside such notable schools is extremely validating. “The other schools have competitive programs as well, so seeing this ranking reaffirms how good the program I went through really is. It also indicates that the program is contributing to its students’ growth and maturity. The program itself gave me a chance at a career that I thought was out of reach for me.”

‘Our curriculum has been vetted at the highest level’

Ibrahim “Abe” Baggili, Ph.D., the founding director of the Connecticut Institute of Technology, discussed some of the major factors contributing to the ranking, citing it’s the state’s only CyberCorps Scholarship for Service program, which is supported through a $4 million grant from the National Science Foundation, as well as its Department of Defense supported Cyber Scholarship program.

Additionally, the University’s program has earned the acclaim of some of the leading experts and organizations in the field. Dr. Baggili says, “Our curriculum has been vetted at the highest level by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Security Agency (NSA), and this is why we are one of only 22 universities in the country designated as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations (CAE-CO).”

Other highlights of the program include its connections to the community beyond the classroom. “The Tagliatela College of Engineering is very much involved in fostering a community dedicated to students’ learning and expanding their skills,” says Dr. Baggili. “We host the only regional cybersecurity and technology expo, and we support an extremely active cybersecurity and hacking club that competes nationally and internationally.”

‘The ongoing battle against cybercrime’
Image of Ibrahim Baggili, Ph.D.

Ibrahim “Abe” Baggili, Ph.D.

Additionally, students and faculty within the program take part in extensive outreach to younger students looking to investigate cybersecurity. Dr. Baggili says there are a variety of programs and activities for students in kindergarten through 12th grade to learn more about this facet of information technology. One event, the GenCyber Agent Academy, is an intensive summer camp at the University for high schoolers, where they can take courses focused on programming as well as hacking concepts, cyber forensics, network defense, and more.

The University’s new TIED program, which stands for “Technology Innovation, Experience, Discovery,” is also doubling down on that outreach to the next generation of cybersecurity students. High schoolers are able to take three computing courses while earning college credit at the University. The courses, Introduction to Computer Security, Introduction to Programming, and Discrete Math, allow students to build connections with industry professionals and current University faculty.

Much of the program’s engagement – within the University and beyond – helped burnish its reputation leading to its inclusion in AccessCyber.org’s Top 10 list. The editor-in-chief of AccessCyber.org and author of the article, Gotham Sharma, offered his praise of the cybersecurity program.

“I want to extend my congratulations to the faculty, staff, and cybersecurity students at the University of New Haven who work tirelessly to put their school on the map, and join us in the ongoing battle against cybercrime,” he said. “We’re honored to do our part in spreading the word about their many achievements.”

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