Davenport U gets $4M federal grant for cybersecurity scholarships

GRAND RAPIDS–Davenport University has received a five-year, $4M grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to train and educate the nation’s next generation of cybersecurity experts as part of their CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service program.

Led by Lonnie Decker and Mark McKinnon of Davenport University, and Andrew Rozema of Grand Rapids Community College, the program will provide 28 students with scholarships that cover their full-tuition, any education-related fees and living costs. In return, graduates are guaranteed a full-time cybersecurity role at a government entity.

Anyone interested in this scholarship is welcome to apply. The scholarship covers the costs of a student’s junior or senior year at Davenport University. It also extends coverage to sophomores at GRCC, a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Two-Year Education (CAE2Y).

An estimated 300,000 cybersecurity jobs will remain unfilled across the country according to cyberseek.org. In the last year, the United States has seen an 11 percent increase in security breaches according to the 2019 Cybercrime Study conducted by Accenture.

“With a large number of open positions and growing security attacks, the need to strengthen and address the cybersecurity talent pipeline is more important than ever,” said Davenport President Richard Pappas. “This grant validates the quality education Davenport University provides and the confidence the federal government has in our ability to deliver the talent needed to address one of our nation’s most pressing issues in cybersecurity.”

Added GRCC president Bill Pink: “Collaborating with community partners creates more opportunities for our students to gain in-demand skills in growing and evolving fields, including cybersecurity. We’re proud to be a partner with the National Science Foundation and Davenport University – and also our local high schools to inspire the students of the future.”

As part of the program, participating students mentor local high school students looking to pursue a career in cybersecurity. Additionally, students will travel to a national cybersecurity conference and complete a paid summer internship with a federal, state, local or tribal government organization to further their learning in the cybersecurity field.

Since 2011, Davenport University has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), one of only nine schools in Michigan. In addition, Davenport University is one of only 16 institutions nationally to be recognized as a Center of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence (CDFAE) by the Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3).

Davenport University is accepting applications now. Those interested in learning more about the scholarship may visit davenport.edu/cybersecurity.

Founded in 1866, Davenport is a private, non-profit university serving about 7,500 students at campuses across Michigan and online. To learn more visit www.davenport.edu.

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