California Cybersecurity Institute and Noyce School of Applied Computing partner to campaign for cybersecurity workforce program | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

Cal Poly has received $1 million in foundational funding to launch a fundraising campaign for Cleared for Success (CFS), a cybersecurity workforce program for students interested in cybersecurity careers, according to a news release.

CFS is a partnership with the California Cybersecurity Institute and the Noyce School of Applied Computing in the College of Engineering. CFS aims to bridge the gap between prospective graduates and security clearance requirements and the long process in being cleared for a career in the public or private sector. They are doing this by teaching students the importance of these credentials and uplifting career placement outcomes, the press release reads.

For students who are interested in entering the cybersecurity industry, the CFS will help direct them towards opportunities where they can receive their clearances through internships and apprenticeships, Kayvan Chinichian, Senior Director of Development at CCI, said. 

Chinichian graduated from Cal Poly in 2009 and received interest from students regarding the cybersecurity industry and clearance process.

“It’s a pretty opaque part of our industry, and when I was a student, I wish I had the resource to help guide me in answering these questions and it’s been in demand for a long time,” Chinichian said. “The clearances are only going to get more complex and more complicated.” 

It takes 6 – 18 months to earn cybersecurity clearance. The core of the program is to get students who are interested in becoming cybersecurity professionals into the process of getting that clearance faster, according to Chinichian.

“It’s about student option. We recognize that not every student is going to pursue the program to its natural conclusion but I always think of the name Cleared for Success almost as another way to provide our students with the maximum number of options so that they can be successful in whatever they want to do,” Chinichian said.

With $1 million already given to CFS’s campaign, the workforce development program seeks additional funding for building the initiative, with the next step including hiring professionals and building partnerships with faculty and industry partners who would directly benefit, according to Chinichian.

“We have one million in the gas tank, and we’re hoping we’ll have a lot bigger gifts coming on to announce,” Chinichian said.


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