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Thomas College receives grant to grow cybersecurity programs | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware


Thomas College has finalized a grant with the U.S. Department of Education to launch Project Sentinel, which will help grow its cybersecurity programs and focus on increasing the state’s trained cybersecurity workforce. 

The Waterville-based college will receive $974,000 over three years to support students pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees in cybersecurity and related fields. 

Funding for the program will be used to provide scholarships, support student internship opportunities, offset the cost of certification and licensure, strengthen home and business cybersecurity measures through community outreach, and add critical technology infrastructure. 

Scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students will be available beginning in fall 2023. 

“Project Sentinel is aligned with Thomas College’s longstanding commitment to first-generation and low-income students as well as those from rural Maine as it increases access to specialized degree programs for traditionally underrepresented students,” said Thomas College President Laurie Lachance.

Project Sentinel will enhance qualified undergraduate and graduate students studying cybersecurity, computer science and computer information systems. It will also develop and deploy web-based resources and virtual consulting to enhance digital security measures and practices for individuals and businesses.

U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, I-Maine, advocated for the program. 

“Cyberattacks pose a grave risk to our national security, intellectual property, personal data and public safety. Recent high-profile attacks have demonstrated how vulnerable U.S. networks are to cyberattacks and should serve as a wake-up call about the need to address our vulnerabilities,” Collins and King said in a joint statement.

“By helping to train and expand the next generation of cybersecurity professionals in Maine, Thomas College’s Project Sentinel will directly support a broad spectrum of security and greatly improve business protection through cybersecurity of our networks, all while creating career paths to good-paying jobs for Mainers,” King and Collins continued.

Project partners include Bangor Savings Bank, Kennebec Savings Bank, Tyler Technologies, JAI Software, Jobs for Maine Graduates, Central Maine Growth Council and the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce. The partners will support the project by recruiting students and hosting internships, professional development and networking opportunities. 
 

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