Cal State San Bernardino

Tony Coulson, executive director of the Cal State San Bernardino Cybersecurity Center, is pictured with some of his students. The National Security Agency selected the university to be a leader of its core workforce development initiative.  (Contributed photo by CSUSB)

The National Security Agency (NSA) has chosen Cal State San Bernardino to be a leader of its core workforce development initiative, selecting it for a $10.5 million grant and naming the university’s Cybersecurity Center as the Community National Center for Cybersecurity Education.

This prestigious designation illustrates CSUSB’s continued prominence as the premier institution of higher education for cybersecurity education and took effect Sept. 18, according to a news release issued by the university.

The announcement was made during a virtual presentation on Oct. 7 that featured Cal State San Bernardino President Tomás D. Morales; U.S. Rep. Pete Aguilar, representing California’s 31st Congressional District; Diane Janosek, commandant of the National Security Agency’s National Cryptologic School; and Tony Coulson, executive director of the CSUSB Cybersecurity Center.

As the Community National Center for Cybersecurity Education, the CSUSB Cybersecurity Center will establish and manage three Center of Academic Excellence-C Communities of Practice, coordinate cutting edge research, establish and support five regional hubs around the country, and support cybersecurity education nationally, Coulson said.

“The United States has a deficit of over 500,000 cybersecurity workers. This is an opportunity for over 300 colleges and universities to work together to help solve the workforce crisis including K-12, and over 20 initiatives and hundreds of partners across the United States,” said Coulson, who will oversee the center.

The center also serves as a national model for excellence in cybersecurity education, and its innovative curriculum, community outreach, and education initiatives received national attention and praise, the university said.

Innovative project ideas such as the NICE Challenges and the Cyber Realm Card Game, developed at CSUSB, continue to lead the way in cybersecurity education.

Recently, CSUSB also embarked on several projects like INSuRE, sponsored by the National Security Agency (NSA), as well as building a Virtual Security Operations Center.

Morales said the designation and grant shows the great work being done by the Cybersecurity Center and the university’s dedication to providing an exceptional academic experience in developing society’s future leaders.

Aguilar, who made the formal announcement of the designation and grant, said the prestigious designation complements the Cybersecurity Center’s ongoing work.

“I worked to re-establish the DoD Cyber Scholarship Program so that schools like CSUSB could demonstrate the full potential of their students, faculty and programs. This investment in CSUSB’s Cybersecurity Center is a tribute to the hard work of Dr. Coulson and his team, and will allow CSUSB to remain at the forefront of training our country’s next generation of cyber security professionals,” said Aguilar.

Janosek, commandant of the NSA Cryptologic School, said the NSA is reaching out to premier elite academic institutions to help develop the next generation of cyber talent to fill the significant gap of needed cybersecurity workers.

“The partnership that we are looking at is the coalition leadership role that CSUSB is going to be doing for us,” Janosek said.

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