PNW gets $5.9 million NSA grant to produce tech curriculum

PNW’s College of Technology has been awarded a $5.9 million National Security Agency grant to create a special online cybersecurity curriculum.

For a two year period, PNW will lead a team of educators from Ivy Tech Northwest, University of North Carolina at Charlotte and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to develop a 12-course cybersecurity curriculum leading to artificial intelligence and cybersecurity certifications.

Niaz Latiff, dean of the College of Technology, says the grant is a point of pride for the university.

“This grant recognizes our faculty expertise and endorses PNW’s proven track record in the area of cybersecurity by the National Security Agency,” said Latiff. “This grant puts Northwest Indiana on the map for education,  a good thing for our students, our staff, our university and the Region.”

Administrators believe the NSA grant will enhance PNW’s reputation.

“From a marketing perspective, the perceived quality of a university is measured by the quality of faculty, students and the number of grant dollars captured by the university,” said Chancellor Thomas L. Keon. “We will be viewed by our peers and the public positively every time we are awarded large grants.”

The university typically receives $5 million to $6 million in grants each year. Many of  those grants are attracted by the College of Technology.

The training program is designed to help fill the nation’s shortage of AI and cybersecurity expertise. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that the need for IT and cybersecurity professionals is projected to grow 12% by 2028, representing millions of jobs.

Since 2014, PNW has been a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education designated by the NSA and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.