TU faculty keep U.S. cybersecurity curricula safe (and organized)

By Megan Bradshaw on October 31, 2017

Towson University is a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education and one of only 19 National CAEs in Cyber Operations.

Towson University (TU) is a National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cyber Defense Education and one of only 19 National CAEs in Cyber Operations. Now the Department of Computer and Information Sciences (CIS) is aiming to be a national model for cybersecurity curriculum management.

Associate professor and department chairperson Sidd Kaza, Ph.D., has received over $300,000 from the National Security Agency (NSA) to design and develop a curriculum management platform for the national cybersecurity curriculum.

Towson University’s CIS department has almost a decade of experience doing so. Since 2008, TU’s Security Injections Project—co-directed by Kaza and Blair Taylor—has designed and continuously hosted a learning material ecosystem with over 50 cybersecurity teaching modules, using standard templates, and instructional resources including syllabi, videos and curricular mappings.

These projects are increasingly recognized as a model for introducing cybersecurity content in classes and building effective learning materials. To date, over 400 faculty—across 240 institutions including over 91 community colleges and several high schools—have used the cybersecurity materials on the portal.

The Cyber4All project umbrella at TU is a collaborative effort that includes faculty from inside and outside the TU community,” said Kaza. “Undergraduate, master's and doctoral students have been involved in this project that has attracted over $3.5 million in federal and funding since 2008.”

With the grant, Kaza and his team of TU undergraduate and graduate students are proposing to develop the Cybersecurity Labs and Resource Knowledgebase (CLARK) prototype. The system will have three distinct components—an outcomes-based entry, a scalable template-based storage and a flexible multi-interface search. These features will address gaps left by present digital library systems and make the prototype suitable for use by both defense agencies and academia. 

This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel's priorities for Towson University: Strategic Plan Alignment.