UMGC Recognized for Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity 

Adelphi, Md. (Feb. 14, 2022)—The National Security Agency (NSA) Program Management Office has once again designated University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense, singling out the university as a leader in cybersecurity education.  

Since April 2002, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency have consistently designated the UMGC as a leader in cybersecurity education.  

“Receiving the National Center of Academic Excellence designation validates the high quality of our cybersecurity-related programs,” said Helen Barker, department chair of the Cybersecurity program at UMGC. “The rigorous application process demonstrated our commitment to academic excellence in this area.”  

The announcement this month places UMGC among a select group of two-year, four-year, and graduate-level institutions nationwide to receive the prestigious CAE-CD distinction. It follows the recent approval of UMGC’s Master of Science in Cybersecurity Management and Policy as a recognized program of study with the NSA and Department of Homeland Security. 

The CAE-CD designation validates UMGC programs of study through the academic year 2027 and continues the university’s advancement at the forefront of teaching and training the nation’s cybersecurity workforce.   

“The designation reflects UMGC’s ability to meet the increasing demands of the program criteria to contribute to the protection of the national information infrastructure and address the critical shortage of professionals with cybersecurity skills,” said Dr. Loyce Pailen, senior director for the Center for Security Studies, which led the CAE Institutional and Program of Study redesignation process.  

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has forecasted a 32 percent growth rate in the cybersecurity industry through 2028, highlighting the critical importance of quality higher education in the field. Pailan said the 10-month process that resulted in the CAE-CD designation “was the culmination of a significant cooperative effort among many academic and administrative stakeholders at UMGC.”  

Since April 2002, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency have consistently recognized UMGC strength in cybersecurity education.  

“(UMGC’s) ability to meet the increasing demands of the program criteria will serve the nation well in contributing to the protection of the national information infrastructure,” said Karen Leuschner, national CAE program manager at NSA.  

The CAE-CD designation is awarded to regionally accredited academic institutions offering cybersecurity-related degrees including majors, minors, and/or certificates at the associate, bachelor and graduate levels. An applicant institution must show significant community involvement, academic activities, and institutional practices in cybersecurity, as well as have one or more programs of study under consideration that meet the CAE-CD requirements.