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Sierra College’s Nevada County Campus to host AFA CyberCamp

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Sierra College is one of the distinguished organizations across the United States selected to participate in the second season of the Air Force Association’s (AFA) CyberCamp Program this summer.

More than 30 students in grades 7 through 12 have signed up for Sierra College’s Nevada County Campus AFA CyberCamp, which will be held July 13, 2016 to July 15, 2016 and taught by Adjunct Professor Steve Hurley, an IT instructor at the college.  Cyber security is a fast growing, well-paying occupational area. Signups are now closed but it is anticipated that another camp will be held next summer.

As an AFA CyberCamp host, Sierra College will receive software and a hands-on curriculum kit designed to teach students cyber safety, cyber ethics, and critical network security skills and tools. Each AFA CyberCamp will culminate in an exciting team-based competition that puts the campers in the role of IT administrators tasked with finding and addressing cybersecurity vulnerabilities in simulated network environments. The local AFA CyberCamp competitions will closely mimic AFA’s annual CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, which will enter its ninth season in October.

Professor Steve Linthicum, a cybersecurity instructor at the College and the Region’s Deputy Sector Navigator, is leading the efforts of the Information and Communications Technology Sector, in conjunction with the California Community College Chancellor’s Office initiative known as “Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy.” The Chancellor’s Office has identified the importance of these student training opportunities, believing they justify funding so the training can be provided to middle school and high school students at no cost. “To meet the workforce shortfall for cybersecurity professionals over the next decade, we must begin training at the middle school and high school levels, with camps designed to introduce students to this high wage / high demand field,” said Linthicum in a recent presentation at the WASTC Conference.

In addition to hosting one of the first AFA CyberCamps, Sierra College will continue to support local middle and high school teams in the CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Defense Competition for the 3rd consecutive year this fall.

The CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Education Program was created by the Air Force Association in 2009 to attract students to c​ybersecurity and other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation's future.  In addition to the annual National Youth Cyber Defense Competition and the new AFA CyberCamp program, CyberPatriot has launched an Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative designed to introduce young students to online safety. To learn more about CyberPatriot, visit www.usycyberpatriot.org.

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