The Information Assurance Program (IAP) of the Informatics Research Institute (IRI) at Idaho State is supporting two additional cohorts of undergraduate and graduate students in Information Assurance (IA) and MBA as a part of their existing Federal Cyber Service: Scholarship for Service (SFS) program.
A unique feature of this program is a mandatory participation in a weekly 20-hour Practicum, generating a variety of student research projects focused on the broad theme of organizational information asset protection. The program is recognized for producing students possessing solid knowledge and abilities to conduct routine IA activities such as certification and accreditation audits. To date, thirty seven students graduated from the program and were employed in cybersecurity positions in the federal government. Another unique feature of the Idaho State University SFS program is a requirement to complete three standard IA certifications: Security+, SSCP and CISSP. An interesting aspect of the program is its integration of MBA business skills with IA knowledge, producing rare and attractive graduates that are in demand by hiring managers of many federal agencies.
The project is having an immediate impact on the cybersecurity capabilities of the federal workforce by providing graduates with security skills to federal agencies. Recruitment of underrepresented groups expands upon the normal recruitment of women and minorities at ISU and is resulting in a better diversity in the SFS program than the overall campus percentages. Both PIs have developed a very active partnership with Hampton University, an HBCU, which is creating a strong minority pipeline to the ISU program.