The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) College of Information Science and Technology (IS&T) has been awarded a $2.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to continue and expand its CyberCorps Scholarship for Service (SFS) program.
SFS helps strengthen the pipeline of highly-qualified students entering cybersecurity careers. The scholarship is specifically designed to support students who will work towards protecting the United States government’s critical information infrastructure such as utilities, military defense systems, and water treatment.
The grant will provide scholarships for qualifying students that may fully fund the cost of attending UNO, including: tuition and some fees, $22,500 stipend for undergraduate students and $34,000 for graduate students per academic year, a summer internship with a government agency, and a cybersecurity position at a government agency upon graduation.
SFS will help welcome a diverse student body to the IT landscape, and we’re excited to see what the next phase of this program will bring.”
- Hesham Ali, dean of the College of Information Science and Technology
“It’s an honor to receive the support from the National Science Foundation to continue and expand our Scholarship for Service program,” said Hesham Ali, dean of the UNO College of Information Science and Technology. “I’m incredibly proud of the work that our Cybersecurity program is doing every day to help educate the next generation of technology leaders. SFS will help welcome a diverse student body to the IT landscape, and we’re excited to see what the next phase of this program will bring.”
Students in IS&T’s SFS program will host their own Capture-the-Flag (CTF) cyber operations competition aimed at high school students, with specific recruitment goals of inviting underrepresented groups and rural communities to the event. The SFS scholars will also be challenged to create a “CTF-Cyber Operations in a Box” project, which will be shared with other higher education institutions and high schools to use in their own classrooms when teaching cybersecurity curriculum.
SFS at IS&T has been in place since 2004, the same year IS&T’s cybersecurity courses opened for enrollment. SFS has seen 35 students graduate with a Cybersecurity degree.
“It’s been exciting to watch the Scholarship for Service grow over the last 14 years,” said William Mahoney, associate professor at the UNO College of Information Science and Technology. “As cybersecurity problems become more complex in an ever-increasing technology-dependent world, we’ll rely on the very students going through this program to keep our assets safe. SFS supports students across the country in various cybersecurity programs, and I’m thrilled UNO is one of those institutions.”
The initial funding amount of $709,049 has already been received, the with the total expected to be $2,170,960 spread out over the next three years.
IS&T’s undergraduate Cybersecurity degree is one of just 20 other institutions designated as a National Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations (CAE-Cyber Operations) by the National Security Agency (NSA). The CAE-Cyber Operations classification is awarded to four-year colleges and graduate-level universities that meet the NSA’s rigorous criteria. What’s more, the Cybersecurity program was recently recognized as one of the “Military Times 10 Best Cybersecurity Programs.”
Cybersecurity professionals are in high demand. According the U.S. Bureau of labor Statistics, cybersecurity positions are expected to grow 28 percent through 2026. Payscale.com reports that median salaries for cybersecurity professionals range from $65,673 to $109,113.
More information about UNO's cybersecurity program can be found here.
About UNO’s College of Information Science and Technology
The College of Information Science and Technology (IS&T) at the University of Nebraska at Omaha represents the joint efforts of the University of Nebraska, the State of Nebraska, and private industry to address the growing global needs for knowledgeable professionals in Information Technology (IT). The College was established at UNO in 1996 to meet the growing demand for IT graduates in the Omaha metropolitan and surrounding area.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.