Brookdale Community College announced Monday that it will build a $2.5 million Center of Excellence for Cybersecurity Education — an effort that will enable the school to expand its cybersecurity and related technical education offerings and programs.
Brookdale, a leader in cybersecurity education, is one of New Jersey’s two community colleges to hold the NSA/Department of Homeland Security designation as a National Center of Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. This distinction demonstrates Brookdale’s rigorous academic program in cybersecurity and its real-world experience in preparing students for careers in a high-growth industry.
Brookdale will combine a $1,937,711 grant it recently received from the state through the County College Career and Technical Education Program Expansion with a $645,903 match from the school to pay for the center.
Brookdale plans to offer a new associate degree program that includes the existing cybersecurity offerings plus five added college certificates, including cybersecurity management (industry credential CSSIP) and cybersecurity auditor.
Michael Quissaunee, professor of engineering and technology at Brookdale, said the new certificates will be available for Fall 2022.
“The development of new courses and stackable credentials will provide options and access for students looking to work or advance their careers in cybersecurity, which is a priority for this project,” he said.
Brookdale President David Stout said the building will have impact.
“These efforts will grow the number of students completing associate degrees, industry certificates and new advanced cybersecurity courses,” he said. “Additionally, the upgrades will support existing partnerships with academia, industry and government and allow the college to establish new partnerships.”
According to cyberseek.org, there are currently 11,139 cybersecurity job openings in New Jersey. Those jobs will be attainable on completing one of Brookdale’s existing or planned networking and cybersecurity degree or certificate programs.
The renovation, new equipment and technology will be implemented in three phases, doing the following:
- Increase the capacity and capability of the virtual lab environment from 32 concurrent users to 288 concurrent users by installing new software and hardware (servers, routers and switches) in the existing datacenter located in Gorman Hall North;
- Renovate and upgrade the Gorman Hall South facility on Brookdale’s main campus in Lincroft, adding 50 new student seats;
- Furnish and equip the interior of the renovated facility (classroom furniture, equipment, technology and security) needed for expanded teaching space with industry-standard equipment.
This upgrade will also include networking hardware to support 16 concurrent students working to complete hands-on activities for the in-demand Cisco Certified Network Associate courses.