seal  Purdue News

June 18, 2003

CERIAS announces new information security education program

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A new series of information security classes for educators being offered at Purdue University aims to increase the cooperation of business, government and academia in protecting the nation's data networks.

CERIAS, the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security at Purdue, will bring faculty from other universities and colleges to campus for summer-long training programs that will enable them to develop information security courses and curriculum on their home campuses. The current program runs through Aug. 8, and the series will continue each summer for the next three years.

Melissa Dark, who developed the program, said participants will leave Purdue better prepared to implement courses at their home institutions.

"Participants will leave the program with a set of best practices for teaching information assurance, a common curriculum developed by experts in the field, and high-quality educational materials for use in the classroom," said Dark, assistant dean of Purdue's School of Technology and assistant director of education for CERIAS.

The programs were made possible through a $2.7 million grant, distributed over a three-year period, from the National Security Agency (NSA) to develop a Center of Excellence and Faculty Development for Information Assurance. Additional funding and technology gifts were provided by Microsoft Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc.

The program will bring up to 25 faculty members to Purdue each year through 2005. Faculty from computer science, electrical engineering, computer technology and similar programs in colleges and universities across the nation, were invited to submit applications to the 2003 program. Special attention is given to recruiting efforts that bring faculty from historically underrepresented institutions. Faculty members will attend an intensive summer semester on the Purdue campus and will learn via distance technologies the remainder of the year.

In order to answer the demand for trained faculty to develop and teach information assurance programs at colleges and universities, this certificate program was specifically designed to meet the needs of college and university educators who want to develop information assurance (IA) programs at their institutions.

"This program is uniquely CERIAS and is another example of the way the Purdue security and assurance center partners with industry and academic institutions to create greater awareness and increase the number of programs, faculty and trained personnel in information assurance and security," said Eugene Spafford, director of CERIAS. "Both industry and academics report a chronic shortage of trained security professionals. Programs like this one to 'train-the-trainer' will impact the growing need for both information assurance educators and practitioners."

The information assurance graduate certificate consists of nine credit hours in computer science courses and two credit hours in curriculum and instruction, drawing from Purdue's existing graduate programs. Purdue faculty will modify and upgrade modules and units from existing technical courses offered at Purdue for the program. The graduate certificate also will address the knowledge and skills that faculty need to develop information assurance instructional materials and to implement courses and modules into their academic programs.

Eighteen faculty participants have been accepted to attend the first session from the following universities and colleges: University of Maine Fort Kent, Charleston Southern University, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Texas A&M Commerce, Norwalk Community College, North Georgia College, East Tennessee State University, Felician College, Murray State University, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne and College of Saint Elizabeth.

For more information on attending the program in 2004 or 2005, visit

CERIAS (pronounced serious) is a multidisciplinary academic center in information security and privacy. The center is affiliated with more than 100 faculty and graduate students on the Purdue campus and numerous others at affiliate universities. CERIAS faculty, staff and students interact with business, industry and government to conduct research on privacy, computer and network protection, e-commerce safety, cyber-crime prevention and investigation, forensics, computer-based terrorism and national defense.

Source: Teresa Bennett, (765) 494-7806,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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