Information Communication Technologies & Digital Media Sector Team

Earlier this summer, Ohlone College in Fremont became the fourth California community college — and the first in northern California — to receive the National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) designation from the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Ohlone’s Computer, Networks, and Emerging Technology (CNET) program was rigorously vetted and approved by NSA experts following a lengthy year-long process. Ohlone joins Coastline and Cypress colleges in receiving the designation, which runs through academic year 2024.

“Ohlone’s ability to meet the increasing demands of the program criteria will serve the nation well in contributing to the protection of the National Information Infrastructure,” said Karen Leuschner, National CAE Program Manager at NSA.

The Computer Science and CNET departments at Ohlone College will now have the privilege of providing students NSA and DHS-approved certificates in qualifying Cyber Defense programs.

“Ohlone is excited to offer students a program that meets national cybersecurity criteria and which will open career opportunities not otherwise available to them,” said Dr. Gari Browning, President and Superintendent of the Ohlone Community College District.

Richard Grotegut, ICT-DM Regional Director in the Bay Region, praised the work of Ron Sha, head of the college’s cybersecurity program and CNET department.

“It is with great admiration for my predecessor at Ohlone College, Ron Sha, that I share this news,” Grotegut said. “After Ron’s work with NSA for the past year, Ohlone College has been approved as an NSA National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Education.”

A formal recognition ceremony will be held November 20 in Phoenix. Additionally, official letters of notice from DHS/NSA have been sent to California Governor Gavin Newsom, Congressman Ro Khanna, and other members of Congress.

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