photo of a female working on a computer

North Hennepin Community College (NHCC) was recently selected as one of 14 community colleges across the nation to participate in the Cyber Skills for All initiative, made possible by a partnership between the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and Microsoft. In addition to receiving a grant of $20,000, NHCC will be part of a community of practice consisting of community college workforce and economic development executives across the nation aimed at skilling people for participation in the digital economy.

“This grant will allow us to further develop our Computer Science A.S. degree, and fulfill both student and workforce demand, with Information Security employment growth projected at 35 percent from 2021-2031,” said Dr. Rolando García, NHCC’s president. “Computer Science is consistently one of the top five declared degrees at North Hennepin, and for good reason, due to our high-quality instruction and workforce partnerships.”

“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, 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.”

“As technology evolves so do the skills needed to protect the nation’s technology infrastructure,” said Dr. Walter G. Bumphus, AACC’s president and CEO. “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.

Other institutions part of the second cohort include: Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College; Hostos Community College; University of Arkansas Cossatot; North Hennepin Community College; Wichita State University Campus of Applied Sciences and Technology (WSU Tech); Community College of Philadelphia; Central Community College; Bellevue College; Southwest Tennessee Community College; Blue Ridge Community and Technical College; College of Western Idaho; Tulsa Community College; City Colleges of Chicago; and College of Southern Nevada.

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