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Notre Dame College is launching a cybersecurity major and opening the first of multiple high-tech interactive learning spaces in its $400,000, three-phase project in support of the new bachelor’s degree and related intelligence programs.

The College is enrolling its first students in the new on-site and online cybersecurity Bachelor of Arts programs this fall and has completed construction of a state-of-the-art situation room and cybersecurity lab. The cybersecurity major prepares students with the information technology and problem-solving skills needed to safeguard sensitive data for private and public organizations across the country. The College also offers a cybersecurity minor. Both programs are available on site and online.

“Notre Dame College is the only institution in the Cleveland-metro area to have this cybersecurity program and a brand new facility on campus,” said Florentine Hoelker, Ph.D., dean of the Finn Center for Adult, Online and Graduate programs at the College. “Notre Dame College is truly cutting edge as far as this program.”

The $200,000, 1,100-square-foot cybersecurity situation room features video screens on each wall and enhanced Internet and computer equipment to simulate cyberattacks so that student can device and implement defense strategies. All technologies have recording and video capture and transmission features. The, innovative classroom also features an observation room from which faculty instructors can monitor and alter the technology in real time.

Cybersecurity Curriculum

Notre Dame has been collaborating with corporate and state technology and security agencies to design the situation room and to develop the new major, which requires 70 credits. The minor in cybersecurity is 19 credits.

The curriculum for the cybersecurity bachelor’s degree is structured to enable students to earn multiple certificates based on industry standards as they progress through the program, in addition to the bachelor’s degree. The major includes a practicum and an internship that can serve as a base for additional certifications.

“Cybersecurity is an incredibly rigorous and lucrative career in the United States. Bachelor’s degree graduates earn close to six-figure salaries upon completion,” Hoelker said. “In the wake of the pandemic, cyberattacks and cyber scams have been increasing. The need for professionals in the field is even greater in our country now than before.”

Cybersecurity Experience

The situation room is the first of three construction projects, totaling over $400,000, planned over the next three years in support of Notre Dame’s cybersecurity, intelligence studies and emergency management degree programs.

The second phase will be a cybersecurity laboratory in 2021 and a combined intelligence studies and emergency management center in 2022.

These facilities are part of a $2.1 million Title III Strengthening Institutions grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to develop a Center for Intelligence and Security Studies at the College. The five-year grant program began in October 2019.

Cybersecurity Careers

Both nationwide and in Cleveland, cybersecurity professionals are needed, l but a suitably educated workforce is unavailable

The U.S. Departments of Commerce and Homeland Security reported in 2017 on the national need for an expanded cybersecurity workforce, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts one of the fastest increases of 32 percent in job demand over the next ten years for cybersecurity professionals. Ohio Jobs and Family Services lists information security and intelligence analysts as “in demand” for the state.

Specifically, there are more than 313,000 job openings nationwide and thousands in Cleveland for companies as diverse as the Cleveland Clinic to the Federal Reserve, according to the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education.

As the Cleveland service area grows its medical culture of healthcare providers and its knowledge economy careers, it needs cybersecurity professionals to safeguard the data of healthcare, financial and software companies, according to Hoelker.

Cybersecurity Campus

The cybersecurity major and minor and situation room add to the emerging culture of intelligence expertise already at Notre Dame.

The College offers Bachelor of Arts programs on-site in intelligence studies and emergency management and an online Master of Arts in intelligence studies. The two bachelor’s degrees are expected to be available online as well as on-site in the coming years, too.

In addition to the construction of the situation room and two high-tech simulation classrooms for cybersecurity, intelligence studies and emergency management, Specific Title III grant activities will encompass curriculum development, furniture and technology upgrades for the classrooms, the Career Services Center and a collaborative learning space in the College library, as well as funding to build the College endowment.

Grant funds also are included for enhancing the College’s Career Services Center to heighten the focus on professions in the country’s security and intelligence fields and to expand internship opportunities with premier U.S. employers.

July 2020

About Notre Dame College

For almost a century, Notre Dame College has educated a diverse population in the liberal arts for personal, professional and global responsibility. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College has grown strategically to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of students and the dramatic changes in higher education. But it has never lost sight of its emphasis on teaching students not only how to make a good living but also how to live a good life.

Today, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master’s degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. Notre Dame College offers NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs for men and women and is located in a picturesque residential neighborhood just 25 minutes from the heart of Cleveland. Hallmarks of the Notre Dame experience include stimulating academics, personalized attention of dedicated faculty and staff, and small class sizes.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information contact