University of Louisville Cybersecurity Workforce Certificate Program

UofL lands an additional $4 million for cybersecurity research and training programs. Funding also adds four new schools serving diverse populations as collaborators. The University of Louisville has secured an additional $4 million to further cutting-edge biometrics research and add four new schools to help develop its Cybersecurity Pathways Coalition. The Coalition is a group of schools in the country that has created the content.  

The new funding, via the National Security Agency’s National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity, builds on a previous $6.3 million grant initially secured in 2020. Backed by that funding, UofL now leads a coalition of schools working to advance our cybersecurity technology and workforce training. This original coalition of NCAE-certified institutions includes the University of Arkansas Little Rock, the University of North Florida, and Kentucky Community and Technical Colleges (KCTCS).  

Led by UofL’s Digital Transformation Center, the four new schools joined the collaborative effort to develop and refine online training modules to teach cutting-edge topics, such as artificial intelligence, analytics, blockchain, internet of things (IoT), and other aspects of cybersecurity. The new collaborators are Kentucky State University, Simmons College, the City University of New York, and Kennesaw State University, several of which serve diverse populations. Currently, the coalition is offering both 2-month and 3-month program options with various collections of topics included in each program.  

The certificate leverages technology industry badging from Microsoft, IBM, and Google with gamification and hands-on applied learning with use cases from industry partners. Students can earn badges at the Explorer, Practitioner, or Professional level or specialized badges in a particular field of cybersecurity.  

“As technology continues to become more of an integral piece of our everyday lives, a strong cybersecurity industry, and workforce are the most important protections we have to make our financial and healthcare systems secure,” said Sharon Kerrick, a lead on this project and Assistant Vice President of the UofL Digital Transformation Center. “We can fill that need with this focused, accelerated curriculum that prepares diverse students of all backgrounds for careers in cybersecurity.” 

“This is next-generation cybersecurity research,” said Adel Elmaghraby, a lead on the project and professor at the UofL Speed School of Engineering. “You can hack a person’s username and password; but you can’t hack their movements and mannerisms. Protections like this are critical as our future economy becomes increasingly technology-enabled and connected.” 

UofL also recently was selected by the U.S. Department of Defense to work on research and

education to strengthen the country’s cyber defenses. UofL was the only school from Kentucky for both networks and one of only a handful to hold the competitive Carnegie Research-1 classification. 

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