This proposal will inaugurate a CyberCorpsÂ®: Scholarship for Service (SFS) program at the Tennessee Technological University. The hybrid program, ensuring students? participation in research and outreach activities alongside education in cybersecurity, will offer both accelerated and traditional graduate studies paths to students from Tennessee as well as students from women and underrepresented minority populations across the nation. The proposed CyberCorpsÂ® is a university-wide effort leveraging resources and expertise from the Computer Science Department, Cybersecurity Education Research and Outreach Center, College of Engineering, Student Success Center, Office of Admissions, College of Graduate Studies, Library, Office of Research, and Career Services. This CyberCorpsÂ® program will be the first one in the state of Tennessee and it will have the opportunity to serve the Appalachian area in Tennessee.
The project will provide strategies and techniques that have the potential to be effective in addressing challenges associated with SFS program management. The project will take recommendations from experts based on demonstrated evidence to develop and exercise a suite of best practices for effective management of SFS program. The project will draw upon teaching, research and outreach experiences of the investigators, and the assessment experience of the evaluation specialist.
The project provides broader impact by delivering a SFS program that will lead to broader participation and better preparation of the information assurance and cybersecurity workforce. Students underrepresented in cybersecurity are a major focus of this project. As such, an expected broader impact of the project is to contribute to the ability of the United States higher education enterprise to produce a diverse group of cybersecurity professionals. As part of its broader impact, this project will contribute to the statewide effort to meet a shortage of skilled workers by having the CyberCorps scholarship opportunity accessible to first-generation/low-income community college students impacted by the TN Promise initiative. Since TTU is situated within and serves Central Appalachia, this project will have the opportunity to serve the Appalachian area in TN, which is one of the poorest regions in the country. The region also has a lower education attainment level than the country as an average.