CSU, MCSD partner to earn NSA cybersecurity grant

(Source: Muscogee County School District)
(Source: Muscogee County School District)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – In what may be a first for Georgia, Columbus State University is partnering with the Muscogee County School District on a National Security Agency (NSA) grant to develop and implement a course in cybersecurity education specifically designed for middle school students.

The $50,000 NSA grant allows CSU's TSYS School of Computer Science and its developing TSYS Center for Cybersecurity to work with Rothschild Middle School Leadership Academy to create a course in cybersecurity education specifically designed for 7th and 8th-grade middle school students.

The course will be structured on the National Security Agency (NSA) Cybersecurity First Principles but will be broken down into age-specific topics understandable by 7th- and 8th-grade students.

The NSA Cybersecurity First principles include domain separation, process isolation, resource encapsulation, least privilege, modularity, layering, abstraction, data hiding, simplicity, and minimization.

The course will facilitate a learner-centered classroom with numerous hands-on exercises that provide opportunities for middle school students to apply their newly gained knowledge of cyber security education.

About 140 7th and 8th-grade students at Rothschild Middle School will have the appropriate prerequisite to take the year-long elective course on cybersecurity education during the 2017-2018 school year.

The TSYS School of Computer Science, its TSYS Center for Cybersecurity, and Muscogee County School District will ensure the cybersecurity education course will provide age-appropriate and performance based cybersecurity education in a safe environment for middle school students and will meet Georgia curriculum standards.

The Rothschild teacher developing this fall's course— to be called Business Principles & Computer Science— is enrolled at CSU this summer in the Information Security course in the TSYS School of Computer Science, which is designated by NSA as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education.

Additionally, CSU is part of a group of seven University System of Georgia institutions to develop the USG's capabilities in IT and cyber security as well as significantly increase the number of IT and cyber security industry qualified graduates coming from USG institutions.

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