Cypress College Cybersecurity Program Designated by NSA as a National Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense

For Immediate Release

November 14, 2023

Contact: Marc Posner

(714) 484-7006

CYPRESS, Calif. – The National Security Agency (NSA) has designated Cypress College as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CD) for the second time in our history. This selective five-year designation, effective through 2028, renews the college’s previous distinction established in 2018.

The CAE-CD designation is awarded to regionally accredited academic institutions that offer cybersecurity-related degrees, including majors, minors, and certificates at the associate, bachelor, and graduate levels.

“This re-designation affirms our commitment as an institution to be a leader in providing excellence in cybersecurity education for our students,” said Cypress College President Dr. JoAnna Schilling. “I thank our dedicated instructors who, without them, this recognition would not be possible.”

Cypress College is among over 400 colleges and universities nationwide that have earned this designation. The institution offers a two-year associate in science (A.S.) degree in cyber defense as part of its Cybersecurity program. This degree provides students with the knowledge and hands-on skills to identify cybersecurity threats, and implement procedures to protect cyber assets.

Completing this degree enhances students’ chances to pursue a professional career in cybersecurity and prepares them for industry-recognized certificates such as Security+, Certified Ethical Hacking (CEH), International Safety Management Code Certification (ISM), and Cisco Certified Network Associate Security (CCNA Security).

Cypress College is also invested in developing a pathway to a degree in cyber security, as part of the nationally recognize Cyber Patriot Program, helping students to develop an interest in the cyber security pathway from elementary to middle and high school, culminating in our Superintendents Cup award, given to the K-12 District that earns the most points throughout the year as part of this competition.

More than 300 students graduated from Cypress College’s Pathway to Advancement in Cybersecurity Education (PACE) since 2018. As a result of funding from various sources such as Perkins, the National Science Foundation, and the Strong Workforce Project, PACE is developing and implementing a pathway that allows students to advance their cybersecurity education from high school to a four-year college while offering multiple courses to employment.

“Cypress College is redefining the community college, providing highly relevant career and workforce education and pathways to our students,” Schilling said. “Cybersecurity is an industry that is here to stay, and this institution is consistently providing top-tier, cutting-edge curricula, and demonstrated by designations like these.”

For more information about Cypress College and its cybersecurity programs, visit

About Cypress College:

Cypress College offers students a pathway to their future in an environment in which employees commit to joining students on their educational journey. The college’s half-million-plus alumni include actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses, and teachers. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice, and for others, it provides essential training for a prosperous career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting-edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College provides a pathway for each of our students, offering 56 university-transfer majors, 174 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 98 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Eligible first-time students qualify for free tuition through Cypress College’s Charger Experience promise program. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 116-campus California Community College system. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22, and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Cypress College’s instruction and services are offered primarily in a remote format. Students can access support services online at


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