University News

WIU's Cybersecurity Major Receives NSA Validation

May 16, 2022

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL – Western Illinois University's undergraduate degree in cybersecurity has received a Program of Study Validation from the National Security Agency's (NSA) National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense.

The validation, which signifies that WIU's program meets the demands of contributing to the protection of the National Information Infrastructure, runs through the 2027 academic year.

"By having the NSA's Program of Study Validation, we are on track to becoming one of the NSA National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C)," said WIU Computer Science Professor Binto George. "This is excellent news for our faculty and students, and the WIU community to celebrate. This is also a significant recognition for the WIU School of Computer Sciences, the College of Business and Technology and WIU."

WIU's curriculum for the bachelor's degree in cybersecurity has been redesigned over the years, preparing program majors for their career paths.

"As NSA Point of Contact (PoC) for WIU, I gladly acknowledge the great teamwork and dedication of the Ad Hoc application committee members: Dr. Dennis DeVolder (Director of Computer Sciences and Alternate PoC), Dr. Jim McQuillan, Dr. George Mangalaraj, Dr. Hoang Bui, Dr. Nilanjan Sen and Dr. Antonio Cardenas-Haro," said George.

College of Business and Technology Interim Dean Craig Conrad said the designation is a nod to the work put in on the curriculum.

"The validation of the Cyber Security curriculum by the National Security Agency indicates a strong endorsement of the program's quality," said Conrad. "I greatly appreciate the efforts and dedication of the faculty of the School of Computer Sciences in making this happen for our students."

The NCAE-C program partners with Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)/National Initiative on Cybersecurity Education (NICE), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Defense Office of the Chief Information Officer (DoD-CIO), and U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM). The program also strives to create and manage cybersecurity educational programs with institutions of higher education, including establishing standards for the curriculum and providing student and faculty development.

To receive the official validations, collages must submit their curriculum for review to make sure the coursework lines up with the objectives of the agencies.

For more information about WIU's School of Cybersecurity, visit

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