The Cyber Innovation Center, in conjunction with Louisiana Tech University’s Science and Technology Education Center (SciTEC) in the College of Education, has launched an online Cyber Education program for K-12 educators that has seen unprecedented demand among teachers across the country. In order to meet the growing need for computer science teachers in K-12, this program is offered 100% online and provides rich content and unique networking opportunities. Twenty-seven teachers from Louisiana, Arkansas, and South Carolina have enrolled in the first course offering this spring. A waiting list for future classes has already been created and includes teachers from across the nation.
Cyber Education courses, aligned with Computer Science Certification requirements, target K-12 educators who desire the following: to become leaders at their schools in the fields of cyber, computer science, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); to enhance or develop their schools’ programs; to engage students in new and innovative learning strategies, curricula, and programs; and to connect students with the cyber jobs of today and tomorrow. In addition, participants in the program will gain continuing education units as well as graduate course credit that will count toward a master of education degree, a Cyber Education Certificate, or a master plus 30.
Further, state departments of education and school districts across the country are emphasizing computer science and are beginning to require it be taught within many grade levels. “Computer science education is becoming more prevalent in K-12 and an increasingly integral component of a student’s educational career,” says G.B. Cazes, Vice President of the Cyber Innovation Center. Cazes adds, “This course sequence provides teachers with the foundational knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to become certified computer science teachers in K-12 classrooms.”
Today, our nation faces a shortage of cybersecurity workers. In fact, one recent report states there will be a global shortage of two million cyber security professionals by 2019. This lack of cyber professionals poses a tremendous opportunity for today’s youth. “Educators are the key to systemic and sustainable change in education,” says Cazes. “Our nation’s teachers must be empowered to engage their students in entirely new ways and provide them with the 21st century hard and soft skills necessary to solve the nation’s ever-changing workforce needs.”
“The College of Education at Louisiana Tech University is home to many unique professional development experiences for educators,” says Dr. Don Schillinger, Dean of the College of Education at Louisiana Tech University. “The addition of the Cyber Education course sequence furthers our commitment to providing educators the knowledge, skills, and understanding needed to educate the next generation learner and leader.”
Registration for the summer 2016 classes is now open, and scholarships are available. For more information about the program, please visit www.nicerc.org/cert or contact the Cyber Innovation Center at 318-759-1600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.