More colleges join AACC/Microsoft cyber skills initiative


The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) has announced the second cohort of 14 community colleges that will join a national effort by Microsoft and AACC to help two-year colleges create and expand cybersecurity programs.

Through the Cyber Skills for All initiative, Microsoft and AACC are partnering with dozens of community colleges to give them technical assistance and support their cybersecurity programs.

The new group of colleges will receive $20,000 each to participate in the “community of practice,” which comprises community college workforce and economic development executives who will work to skill people for jobs and participation in the digital economy, according to a release. The colleges will join the first cohort of colleges selected last year.

The colleges in the second cohort are:

“The United States faces a cybersecurity skills crisis – we simply don’t have enough people to combat the increasing number of cybersecurity attacks,” said Kate Behncken, corporate vice president at Microsoft Philanthropies. “By working with AACC, we can help ensure there are enough people with the necessary skills to keep organizations secure and people safe.”

The partnership is critical to ensuring that students have the skills needed in an ever-changing field, said AACC President and CEO Walter Bumphus.

“Working together with Microsoft, we will provide these community colleges with resources to ensure students learn the relevant skills needed in the workforce. Selected community colleges will have the opportunity to learn best practices from one another to continue to deliver high-quality, industry-relevant cyber skills education to all students,” Bumphus said.

AACC also will host monthly webinars for the colleges on critical areas to embed and prioritize cybersecurity within their college’s workforce development efforts.

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