New York Tech students working at a computer


New York Tech Designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense

January 24, 2024

Extending a designation first awarded in 2016, New York Tech is designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) education through the academic year 2028.

The National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C) program for Cyber Defense is administered by the National Security Agency (NSA). The CAE-CD designation is awarded to regionally accredited academic institutions offering cybersecurity-related degrees and whose graduates can meet the increasing demands of the U.S. government’s cybersecurity workforce. New York Tech is one of only two institutions (and the only four-year university) on Long Island designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense education.

The NCAE-C program aims to promote and support quality academic programs of higher learning that help produce the nation’s cyber workforce. “Your ability to meet the increasing demands of the program validation will serve the nation well in contributing to the protection of the National Information Infrastructure,” noted National CAE Program Manager, NSA, Renae Weathers, in a letter informing New York Tech of its extended designation. “The United States Government will continue to invest in and enhance programs that build the domestic talent pipeline.”

New York Tech has been a leader in offering cybersecurity education for 20 years. Babak D. Beheshti, Ph.D., dean of the College of Engineering and Computing Sciences, emphasized the significance of this extended designation, including the NSA validation of the university’s rigorous curriculum, the support to faculty vying for ever-increasing levels of grant funding, and the opportunities created for students to secure government and private sector scholarships and careers in cyber defense.

“This continued designation underscores our commitment to providing exceptional career-oriented professional education and access to opportunity, hallmarks that distinguish a New York Tech education,” Beheshti said.

NSA designation provides many benefits to New York Tech and its students and requires those students interested in receiving an NSA certificate or applying for the Department of Defense (DoD) Cyber Scholarship Program to successfully complete 13 specific courses that meet NSA-defined Knowledge Unit requirements, which are grouped into thematic areas, including cybersecurity foundational courses and technical core courses.

Five New York Tech students to date have been awarded the DoD scholarship and are now working in various government organizations around the country, helping to protect against increasing numbers of global cyberattacks. The DoD provides scholarships as a grant to designated NCAE-C schools. Students receive the full cost of tuition, required books and fees, and a stipend. In exchange for a full scholarship, students perform a service obligation with the DoD as civilian employees.

The DoD cyber scholarship program, sponsored by the DoD Chief Information Office, is administered by the NSA. According to its website, program objectives are to promote higher education in all disciplines of cybersecurity, to enhance the Department’s ability to recruit and retain cyber and IT specialists, to increase the number of military and civilian personnel in the DoD with this expertise, and ultimately, to enhance the nation’s cyber posture.