CyberWatch West supports efforts by its member community colleges to develop transfer pathways. When two-year colleges make such agreements with four-year institutions, students graduating with an associate degree for transfer are able to transition smoothly into a related university program leading to a bachelor's degree.
Below are some examples of model pathways established to help students earn bachelor's degrees in cybersecurity and/or information security.
Example 1: "Many to One" Agreement — BS in Computer and Information Systems Security at Western Washington University
Through a partnership with Whatcom Community College, Western Washington University created a baccalaureate degree program that builds on the technical knowledge of information systems that students gain by earning Whacom's Associate in Applied Science—Transfer (AAS-T) Degree in Cybersecurity.
Up to 91 quarter credits from Whatcom can transfer into Western's B.S. in Computer and Information Systems Security (CISS) degree program. Students earning the bachelor’s degree benefit from having both the technical skills and the additional education requirements expected by the majority of potential employers, specifically larger businesses and local, state, and federal government agencies.
Four additional community colleges in Washington State now send AAS-T students to Western to earn CISS bachelor’s degrees. The transfer requirements for Edmonds Community College, Highline College, Olympic College, and Peninsula College can be found in the CISS section of Western's website.
More details on the transfer pathway between Whatcom and Western can be found on the Whatcom Community College website.
Example 2: Statewide Agreement — Washington State Two-Year College to Whatcom's Bachelor of Applied Science
Any student who earns a 90-credit, IT-related associates degree from a Washington State community or technical college can apply to transfer into Whatcom Community College's Bachelor of Applied Sciences (BAS) IT Networking — Cybersecurity program.
Beginning fall 2018, this program will expand nationally, becoming open to residents of all eligible U.S. states as an online option.
Example 3: Statewide Agreement — California Information Technology Model Curriculum
Community colleges in California adopting the Information Technology (IT) Model Curriculum are able to transfer students directly into a bachelor's degree program at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB). As part of the B.S. in Information Systems and Technology program at CSUSB, students choose to focus on either Computer Information Systems or Cyber Security Intelligence.
The model curriculum (available for download here) was finalized by the Intersegmental Curriculum Faculty Workgroup (ICFW) in March 2015. It includes four courses that map to Knowledge Units (KUs) for the National Security Agency's National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CD) for 2 year colleges designation.
“We are hoping to see this curriculum model replicated at other CSUs as a way for community college students in Information and Computing Technologies (ICT) to have more options,” stated Dr. Tony Coulson, a professor in the Information & Decision Sciences department at CSUSB and the director of its Cyber Security Center. Dr. Coulson is also a co–principal investigator for CyberWatch West.
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