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News Release 18-092

Community College Cyber Pilot Program makes first awards

New cybersecurity program trains veterans, bachelor’s degree holders

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Awards to help protect America's economic prosperity and security through cybersecurity education.

October 3, 2018

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

A new National Science Foundation (NSF) program made its first awards to community college partnerships that work to help motivated students become highly qualified cybersecurity professionals in government positions.

NSF's Community College Cyber Pilot (C3P) program issued three awards to project leads that will build research collaborations among partners in six states: California, Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas and Washington.

"We know that community colleges play an important role in providing essential academic and training opportunities to a wide range of individuals," said Karen Marrongelle, NSF's assistant director for Education and Human Resources. "The awards made through the pilot C3P Program will provide scholarships and create professional pathways for both veterans of the Armed Forces and for bachelor's degree holders who want to pursue careers in cybersecurity."

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 gives NSF, in coordination with the Office of Personnel Management, authorization to develop and implement a C3P program as part of NSF's CyberCorps®: Scholarship for Service (SFS) program.

Specifically, the act authorizes scholarships for students who are bachelor's degree recipients or veterans of the Armed Forces, or who are pursuing associate degrees or specialized program certifications in the field of cybersecurity.

Projects funded through this pilot program will integrate research on successful practices in persistence and retention strategies for veterans and underrepresented STEM majors.

The awards aim to help protect American economic prosperity and security through the development of an innovative and efficient cybersecurity education system that will produce a 21st century cybersecurity workforce as well as a cyber-informed citizenry.

The proposed partnerships will allow collaboration on activities, including student skills competitions, certification preparation workshops, faculty-student mentorship and visits to local federal agencies. The awards will also pave the way for the development of models to expand the SFS program to community colleges.

Below are the project titles, sponsor institutions and principal investigators for the new awards.

NSF's Advanced Technological Education and NSF Scholarships in STEM (S-STEM) programs are co-funding the awards.


Media Contacts
Bobbie Mixon, NSF, (703) 292-8070, email:

Program Contacts
R. Corby Hovis, NSF, (703) 292-4625, email:
Victor P. Piotrowski, NSF, (703) 292-8670, email:
Chun-Hsi (Vincent) Huang, NSF, 703-292-7877, email:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2020, its budget is $8.3 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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