NSA aims to boost Black students’ access to security education, paid internships

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Written by Shannon Vavra Oct 15, 2020 | CYBERSCOOP

The National Security Agency and the Department of Defense announced an initiative on Thursday meant to increase access to cybersecurity education, mentoring and paid internships for students at historically Black colleges and universities.
The workforce development program will connect students at eligible educational institutions with internships and mentorship through the Pentagon’s Office of Small Business Programs, officials said Thursday during a call with reporters. Students may also participate in exercises at the Maryland Innovation & Security Institute’s virtual cyber range, to gain hands-on technical training that will help them to later provide technical assistance to small businesses.
Students may receive paid stipends during their internships, according to a Defense Department and NSA release. Exactly how much money the NSA and the Defense Department will reward to students was not immediately clear.
Shannon Jackson, associate director of the Department of Defense’s Office of Small Business Program, said the Cybersecurity Education Diversity Initiative (CEDI), is meant to blend hands-on cybersecurity experiences and curriculum to bolster the federal cybersecurity workforce.
“Having that type of practical experience combined with the educational piece, that’s the person that you want [to hire] — that’s the person that …

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