SAC's Commitment to Cybersecurity Education
San Antonio College is the largest single-campus community college in the State of Texas and is focused on growing programs to meet the needs of the state and national workforce. Cybersecurity is a key area of growth not only regionally, but nationally, and San Antonio College has undertaken structural efforts to address this need through a growing opportunity of curricular offerings in addition to working to solicit grant opportunities to assist students with funding their education in this key field.
Faculty and Student Groups
SAC currently has students involved in two different student organizations focused on gaining additional skills in cybersecurity, a locally sponsored cybersecurity club and a chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) residing at the college. Through these student organizations, students at San Antonio College participate in the National Cyber League, CyberStart America, PicoCTF, the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC), and the CyberPatriot competitions for our dual-credit students. In total, 12 full-time program faculty support the efforts of students in cybersecurity studies.
San Antonio College’s GenCyber Student Summer Camp 2023 will introduce 40 middle school and high school students to a hands-on and student-centered cybersecurity curriculum based on the GenCyber Cybersecurity Concepts. The camp will be held Monday, July 24 through Friday, July 28.
SAC seeks every opportunity to engage with students to expose them to the vast field of cybersecurity and to create avenues for them to delve deeper into the wide range of professional fields available. This comes principally through encouraging participation in the Cybersecurity Club and ACM local chapter and encouraging attendance at student workshops highlighting cybersecurity opportunities (e.g., internships, and competitions).
SAC has strongly encouraged students to learn, train, and participate in CTF-style events, through participation in the Cybersecurity Club like the National Cyber League Competitions.
San Antonio College students participate in the National Cyber League, Girls Gone Cyber, PicoCTF, and Cyber Patriot competitions.
Sponsored Research and Grants
There are currently seven sponsored cybersecurity educational activities ongoing at San Antonio College. These grant projects all involve members of the San Antonio College faculty and their students and, in total, they entail expenditures of no less than $3.4M from external sources. These projects include research sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Education, the National Security Agency, the Department of Defense, and as subcontractors for Dakota State University and the University of West Florida. The titles for these projects underscore the broad array of cybersecurity topics that cybersecurity faculty are currently addressing. These titles include Scholarship for Service 3CP Pilot School, Department of Education Equipment Upgrade Grant, Dakota State University Faculty Development Grant, National Defense Education Program Cooperative Agreement, and University of West Florida Workforce Development Grant.
San Antonio College has the resources, the facilities, and the capabilities to address a broad array of cybersecurity topic areas. The San Antonio College Cybersecurity Education Laboratory has been designed to accommodate the facilitation of “hands-on” training and education providing a flexible workspace with a modular group working environment layout. Offering 12 square feet of space per student, the lab meets all access and accommodation requirements. The lab was designed to offer facilitated instruction in applied cybersecurity, network engineering, Unix and Windows® system administration techniques, database administration, project management, and statistical management techniques. This facility supports not only classroom instruction and laboratory exercises but is also the “clubhouse” for the ACM club. The goal of this facility is to provide applied pedagogical laboratory space for educational development.
This lab includes high-caliber workstations, routers and switches, private network access, local hypervisors for virtual machine provisioning, and dedicated Internet access.
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