CIS Earns National Center of Academic Excellence Designation

CIS Earns National Center of Academic Excellence Designation
The CIS Department's hard work has earned the university a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance designation. Above, Cal Poly Pomona students compete in a Cyber Defense Competition.

Cal Poly Pomona once again has cemented its role as a national leader in cyber security education thanks to some recognition from the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The federal agencies recently announced that Cal Poly Pomona's designation as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education has been renewed until 2013. The designation in information assurance, also known as cyber security, is based on the curriculum and faculty research in the Computer Information Systems (CIS) department in the College of Business Administration (CBA).

This year, Cal Poly Pomona was one of only six institutions in the state — and one of 93 institutions throughout the country — to receive a designation as a Center of Academic Excellence.

“This university-level designation reflects the bottom-up commitment of CIS faculty, CBA administrators and campus security professionals to the importance of information assurance,” said CIS Professor Dan Manson.

The federal government began designating Centers of Academic Excellence out of the need to have trained professionals who can make the Internet and computer networks safe and, as a result, help stabilize our economy and bolster our national security. Many CIS graduates have gone on to work for law enforcement agencies helping to prevent identity theft and other cyber crimes. Many more work for private companies, protecting computer networks from thieves trying to steal information.

Cal Poly Pomona first received the designation in 2005 and has quickly become a recognized leader in information assurance. CIS faculty members are sought after by law enforcement agencies and network professionals throughout the world to talk about the importance of cyber security. They also consult other institutions in the CSU system on how to become a Center of Academic Excellence.

The renewed designation will give the CBA an opportunity to continue providing a knowledgeable workforce in a growing business field.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, five of the 20 fastest growing jobs between 2004 and 2014 will be in computing disciplines, including information assurance. Also, being a Center of Academic Excellence will make students and the university eligible to apply for scholarships and grants from federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Defense.

Cal Poly Pomona will formally be recognized for its re-designation at an awards ceremony on June 4 at the University of Texas at Dallas.