American Flag  Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

STEM Improvements

Integrated Learning: Incorporating Cybersecurity into Existing Curricula

 As the cybersecurity field continues to grow, there are certain specialty areas that help develop competent cybersecurity professionals. Most often, these include the science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM, fields. As such, one of the main goals of NICE is to help ensure cybersecurity can be integrated into already-developed STEM curricula. NICE has a number of efforts underway towards this goal.

One of the primary ways the government aims to increase STEM integration in the classrooms is through the National Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE). The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) jointly sponsor the CAEs, and the goal of these programs is to reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research, and by producing a growing pipeline of professionals with information assurance expertise in various disciplines.  There are now 166 centers in forty-two states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and each recognized leaders in these fields. Program graduates often become cyber experts who help to protect national security information systems, commercial networks, and critical information infrastructure in both the private and public sectors. 

The government is also exploring K-12 education curricula. One example of this is the Computer Science: Principles project. The Computer Science: Principles is a proposed Advanced Placement (AP) course under development that seeks to broaden participation in computing and computer science. The development of this project is being led by a team of computer science educators organized by the College Board and the National Science Foundation, and pilots are currently underway at the high school and college levels. AP credit is not currently offered for this course and present efforts in CS Principles are part of the requisite process to make it an AP course. The test is scheduled to debut in May 2016. To learn more about this project, visit the Computer Science: Principles website

Another example of incorporating cyber into K-12 classrooms is the CS10K project. This is a large-scale, collaborative project that brings together educational stakeholders from wide-ranging communities with the goal of systematically changing the scale, curriculum, and pedagogy of teaching computer science at all levels. It will focus in particular on computer science in U.S. high schools as well as introductory computing at the college level. As part of the systemic changes in teaching computer science the CS10K project aims to have 10,000 teachers in 10,000 high schools teaching a new curriculum by 2015.

The government continues to enhance cyber education efforts and further integrate cyber studies into existing STEM curriculum and has continually evolving programs to do just that. This page will contain updates on government initiatives as they become available.