Penn College to host cybersecurity training camp for teachers | Education | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

Williamsport, Pa. — Penn College will be offering a free training camp to secondary school teachers this June using federal grant funds.

The GenCyber program, a federal initiative focused on spreading cybersecurity education, has granted $140,792 to Penn College for the program.

The College will host a week-long camp from June 24 through 28, 2024 on the main campus for 25 Pennsylvania teachers of grades five through 12. The program’s goal is to build a strong cybersecurity workforce by sparking interest in the field at the secondary level.

Middle and high school teachers are considered key in introducing cybersecurity and its career options to students. The camp will be open to teachers from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds.

“Cybersecurity has become a critical aspect of both our personal and professional lives. We hope to help teachers overcome barriers relating to teaching cybersecurity content and seek to aid teachers in discovering opportunities to embed cybersecurity concepts across curriculums,” said Alicia L. McNett, assistant professor of computer information technology and the program’s project director.

In addition to focusing on cybersecurity concepts, ethics, and career possibilities, the camp will offer hands-on activities and interaction with professionals working in the field. Teachers will have the opportunity to prepare three cybersecurity lesson plans for their students. Free on-campus housing will be available.

Participants will be required to attend virtual pre-camp activities. After completing the program, they will receive a $1,500 stipend and can obtain Act 48 continuing education credits. Next fall, there will be a one-day cyber challenge event on campus featuring the camp’s teachers and their students.

Sandra Gorka, professor of computer science and department head, will be the camp’s lead instructor. She’ll be assisted by R. Scott Alexander, a computer systems networking instructor at Jersey Shore Area Senior High School, and Jacob R. Miller, a part-time Penn College faculty member.

“This grant ultimately provides an opportunity to expose students in grades five through 12 to cybersecurity concepts that will help produce a better cybersecurity-aware society,” Gorka said.

According to a Ponemon Institute report, the average cost of a data breach in the United States last year was $9.44 million.

Applications for the camp will become available later this year. In the meantime, questions can be directed to McNett at [email protected].

The GenCyber program is supported by the National Security Agency and National Science Foundation.

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National Cyber Security