Information Assurance Education in Two- and Four-Year Institutions - Prof. Dr. Norbert Pohlmann

Information Assurance Education in Two- and Four-Year Institutions


L. Pérez, S. Cooper, E. Hawthorne, S. Wetzel, J. Brynielsson, A. Gökce, J. Impagliazzo, Y. Khmelevsky, K. Klee, M. Leary, A. Philips, N. Pohlmann, B. Taylor, S. Upadhyaya:
“Information Assurance Education in Two- and Four-Year Institutions”,
Proceedings of the 16th annual conference reports on Innovation and technology in computer science education – working group reports,
ACM New York,

The 2011 ITiCSE working group on information assurance (IA) education examined undergraduate curricula at the two- and fouryear levels, both within and outside the United States (US). A broad set of two-year IA degree programs were examined in order to get a sense of similarities and differences between them. A broad set of four-year IA degree programs were also examined to explore their similarities and differences. A comparison between the two-year and fourfour-year degree programs revealed that the common challenge of articulation between two- and four-year programs exists in IA as well. The challenge of articulation was explored in some depth in order to understand what remedies might be available. Finally, a number of IA programs at international institutions were examined in order to gain insight into differences between US and non-US IA programs. Permission to make digital or hard copies of all or part of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. To copy otherwise, or republish, to post on servers or to redistribute to lists,
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A lack of consensus of what constitutes information assurance (IA) education has led to IA degree programs with widely varying curricula. The US National Security Agency (NSA) and the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) jointly sponsor the National Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) in IA program [1]. An academic institution’s resulting designation provides some evidence of the coverage of that institution’s IA program. There are three different CAE program designations:

  1. CAE-Research (CAE-R) [2] for research institutions,
    primarily a measure of the college’s research output in
  2. CAE/Information Assurance Education (CAE/IAE) [3]
    which measures four-year US institutions according to
    the following criteria: Outreach/Collaboration, the
    extent to which IA is treated as a multidisciplinary
    science, the extent to which the institution encourages
    the practice of IA, the extent that the academic program
    encourages student research in IA, the extent of faculty
    activity in current IA practice and research, IA
    Resources, robustness of the IA academic program,
    existence of a declared center for IA education, and the
    number of IA faculty and their course load.
  3. CAE two-year (CAE2Y), which measures two-year
    institutions with similar criteria to four-year institutions
    without a research expectation, and with the expectation
    that faculty members will have appropriate industry

    The NSA/DHS CAE program is only open to US institutions. A
    key component of the application process is the mapping of an
    existing curriculum to a series of training standards (the CNSS
    401X standards [4]). It should be noted that the CAE standards are
    currently in the process of being updated.
    This working group has examined the programs of several twoand four-year institutions with respect to IA education. This paper
    defines and describes the distinct and complementary missions of
    two and four-year institutions with respect to IA education,
    describes the differences and similarities of the educational
    programs at two- and four-year institutions and at US and non-US
    institutions, and documents some of the challenges and
    opportunities for articulation between two- and four-year IA
    degree programs. This working group’s mission is motivated by
    the increasing role community colleges have been playing in IA
    education, and builds on the work of the 2009 and 2010 ITiCSE
    IA working groups.

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