Thursday, May 30, 2024

Bossier Parish Community College to Spearhead the Launch of the Louisiana Cyber Academy

by BIZ Magazine

BOSSIER CITY – Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC), in collaboration with Baton Rouge Community College, Grambling State University, LSU Shreveport, Nicholls State University, and Southern University at New Orleans, is thrilled to announce the establishment of the Louisiana Cyber Academy (LCA). This groundbreaking initiative, supported by the Louisiana Board of Regents, aims to revolutionize cybersecurity education across the state.

The LCA will serve as a central hub for the development and delivery of a state-aligned cybersecurity curriculum, addressing the critical shortage of cybersecurity professionals in Louisiana. The academy is poised to launch six fully online courses leading to a Cybersecurity Fundamentals Certificate, meticulously aligned with the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework.

“Louisiana’s public postsecondary institutions are facing a pivotal challenge — we are not producing enough cybersecurity graduates to fill the increasing number of specialized jobs in our state,” said Dr. Rick Bateman, Jr., Chancellor at BPCC. “The LCA is our proactive strategy to scale the state’s cybersecurity workforce effectively and efficiently.”

The initiative comes in response to a stark workforce gap: despite producing 357 graduates in cybersecurity in 2023, Louisiana saw 4,500 related job openings remain unfilled. The LCA aims to significantly boost the number of qualified professionals by integrating cybersecurity studies into existing degree programs across various disciplines, including business, criminal justice, and maritime studies.

Industry partners across multiple regional labor market areas will also play a crucial role as thought partners, ensuring the curriculum remains cutting-edge and relevant to immediate and future market needs. Additionally, faculty members from participating institutions will create and manage the curriculum through the newly formed LCA Curriculum Leadership Workgroup.

In its pilot year, the academy plans to enroll 50 students, with ambitions to expand access to all public postsecondary institutions in Louisiana in subsequent years.

“This collaborative effort not only addresses the immediate need for skilled cybersecurity professionals but also aligns with the Louisiana Board of Regents’ Master Plan to increase educational attainment and meet the state’s economic demands,” added Bateman.

The LCA exemplifies a shared commitment to educational innovation and workforce readiness in a digital age, setting a precedent for cybersecurity education nationwide.

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