The University of Illinois at Springfield has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAEIAE) for academic years 2009 through 2014. The award was made by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security, joint sponsors of the CAEIAE program.
The program is designed to help reduce the vulnerability of the nation’s information infrastructure, according to Dr. Ted Mims, Chair of UIS’ Computer Science Department and Director of The Center of Systems Security and Information Assurance within the department.
“This award gives UIS the prestige of having a role in securing our nation’s information systems,” Mims said. “The Department of Computer Science applied for the designation on behalf of UIS in January. The application was reviewed against nine stringent criteria, which are intended to measure the depth and maturity of UIS programs in Information Assurance at the graduate and undergraduate levels.”
Mims said the department has developed and offered courses in Systems Security and Information Assurance during the last six years. In September 2003, UIS became a partner with seven community colleges in a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant that was used to create The Center of Systems Security and Information Assurance at UIS.
Mims noted that a prerequisite for being considered for the academic excellence designation was certification of all Information Assurance educational programming and courseware. UIS’ courseware, evaluated in 2006, was found to meet the national training standards of the Committee on National Security Systems.
To date, Mims said 19 students have earned bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science with an emphasis in Systems Security and Information Assurance. And a total of 11 graduate certificates in Systems Security and 12 graduate certificates in Information Assurance have been awarded.
Following the five-year period, UIS must reapply for the designation. Mims said the criteria are reviewed annually and strengthened as appropriate to keep pace with the evolving nature of Information Assurance. Students who attend UIS and participate in programs affiliated with the CAE are eligible to apply for scholarships and grants from the Department of Defense Information Assurance Scholarship Program and the Federal Cyber Service Scholarship for Service Program.
A ceremony recognizing UIS’ achievement will be held on June 1-3 at the 13th Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education in Seattle, Washington.
The Center of Systems Security and Information Assurance at UIS is dedicated to promoting research and education in information security, assurance, and privacy. The Center’s website, designed by Sviatoslav Braynov, assistant professor of Computer Science, can be viewed at http://csc.uis.edu/center/.