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Wor-Wic hacks out $800K for cyber-tech

(Oct. 10, 2014) You’ve got your malware, spyware, bloatware, DDoS attacks, worms, spam, rootkits, cookies, glitches, bugs, features and the professionals trained to prevent, avoid or remove them – and now some of those code warriors are going to be trained at Wor-Wic.

As part of a nearly $15 million federal grant program servicing a consortium of 14 community colleges in Maryland called Cyber-technology Pathways Across Maryland (CPAM) Wor-Wic Community College will be taking nearly $800,000 in funds to revamp equipment and hire a staff person to shepherd the augmented educational program.

The purpose of the CPAM initiative is to help the un- and under-employed, veterans and other low-skilled adults obtain the required education and skills they need to fill good-paying cyber security and information technology job openings across the state.

“It goes really well with the certificate program we launched last fall, but the emphasis is on a two-year program,” Sandra Pierson, director of media and community relations for the college, said.

According to Pierson, the college’s existing computer lab will be upgraded with the latest technology to become a security and networking lab.

“With increasing attacks, companies need someone trained to take care of these issues,” she said, and Wor-Wic will be slated to begin training these potential employees beginning next summer.

The program will follow a “flipped classroom” model. Lectures will be recorded and assigned as homework, while time spent in the classroom will be dedicated to hands-on experience and experimentation, Pierson said. This model should make it easier for students to manage their time and will facilitate distance learning, she said.

The school will hire a “college and career navigator,” someone trained to advise potential students, act as an intermediary during studies, and advocate for graduates to work with the One Stop Job Center to identify potential candidates.

Class sizes and schedules have not been determined, but as each classroom can only hold about 30 students at one time, Pierson said the admission rates could be extrapolated from there.

Wor-Wic President Dr. Ray Hoy and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Stephen Capelli accepted the award at the White House last week.

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