The Cyber Skills for All: Community Colleges Lead the Way initiative is managed by American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) with funding from Microsoft. This three-year initiative is building a community of practice focused on elevating cybersecurity pathways through community colleges as a means of economic development. The RFP has now closed.
Each community college chosen will receive $20,000 to:
- Engage in group and individualized strategic economic development discussions led by AACC twice a month aimed at:
- Building high-quality cybersecurity programs at community colleges to prepare graduates to enter a variety of occupational areas across the digital economy;
- Increasing participation of students from groups that have historically been underrepresented in the technology and cybersecurity industry.
- Mobilize two college workforce and economic development leaders to strategize with AACC and other subject matter experts as appropriate about prioritizing cybersecurity talent development with their respective economic development leaders (chambers, mayor’s office, workforce partners, etc.)
While many community colleges have well established and robust cybersecurity programming, ideal community colleges in these cohorts will be building their program capacity and have aims at increasing cybersecurity skills for all. Each of these colleges will identify their unique local or regional labor market needs and target student populations. Colleges can focus on a particular underserved population for which they see economic opportunity through cyber training or focus broadly on all students.
AACC will provide technical assistance to each site through monthly conference calls, site visits where necessary and allowed, and provide customized technical support for each college. Subject-matter experts will participate where necessary. Working in partnership with Microsoft, AACC will document best and promising practices for scaling to the wider network of AACC’s membership and other interested parties as appropriate.