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Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Pittsburgh Technical Institute
  • Michael W Russell
  • (412) 809-5399
  • John J Scarpino
  • Wilfred C Mutale
Award Date:02/25/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 359,995
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 359,995
  • FY 2021=$359,995
Start Date:03/01/2021
End Date:02/29/2024
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.076
Primary Program Source:040106 NSF Education & Human Resource
Award Title or Description:Preparing High School and Community College Students for the Cybersecurity Workforce
Federal Award ID Number:2000902
DUNS ID:606240398
Program:Advanced Tech Education Prog
Program Officer:
  • R. Hovis
  • (703) 292-4625

Awardee Location

Street:1111 McKee Road
Awardee Cong. District:17

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Pittsburgh Technical Institute
Street:1111 McKee Road
Cong. District:17

Abstract at Time of Award

The growing number and sophistication of cybersecurity threats have created a need for many more workers with the knowledge and skills to protect digital infrastructure. To ensure the security of computers and information systems, all sectors need well-prepared technicians who can prevent, detect, and investigate cybersecurity breaches. Toward meeting this need, the project will launch a project designed to align K-12 curricula with industry needs and to foster proficiency in cybersecurity for students in the Pittsburgh area. Through this project, the College aims to: (1) increase the number of students, especially students from underrepresented groups, in its cybersecurity-focused associate degree program in information technology; (2) improve instruction to better prepare students for the local cybersecurity workforce; and (3) introduce educational activities into secondary schools to prepare students for further education in cybersecurity. The investigators will develop an innovative model for partnerships with high schools by collaborating with the Beaver County Career and Technology Center, which works with more than 17 high schools in the Pittsburgh area to prepare students in technical areas, including cybersecurity. To broaden participation in cybersecurity, the project team will target middle school and Career Tech Center students from underserved communities for participation in summer camps, cybersecurity competitions, conferences, and mentoring. To expand and strengthen cybersecurity instruction, the project team will engage teachers in applied active-learning-and-teaching methods using virtual lab environments and will offer workshops on curriculum development and topics in cybersecurity. To align the college's cybersecurity curriculum with needs of business and industry, the project team will enhance the advisory board's role in shaping the curriculum, providing presentations about the field, mentoring students, and designing internships and other pathways to jobs. The project will add instruction that helps students research the requirements for specific cybersecurity jobs and connect those requirements with the knowledge and skills they are developing in their coursework. The project evaluation will examine the effectiveness of virtual environments in training job-ready cybersecurity students, the effectiveness of industry-led approaches for encouraging high school students to apply to two-year cybersecurity programs, and the effectiveness of practices to engage business/industry partners in designing and developing curricula and recruiting students from underrepresented groups. This project is funded by the Advanced Technological Education program, which focuses on the education of technicians for the advanced-technology fields that drive the nation's economy. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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