ODU School of Cybersecurity receives $3.9 million grant to help students prepare for federal jobs

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Old Dominion University’s School of Cybersecurity and Center for High Impact Practices recently received a $3.9 million grant to help prepare cybersecurity professionals for the federal workforce.

The funds were from the National Science Foundation towards the ODU project, “Preparing Future Cybersecurity LeADERS through Applied Learning Experiences.”

Working with Tidewater Community College (TCC) and Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC), the project will prepare 24 cybersecurity scholarship students for careers with the federal government.

The TCC and TNCC cybersecurity students planning to transfer to ODU’s cybersecurity program as well as juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in ODU’s cybersecurity programs are eligible.

Students will receive a full in-state tuition scholarship, an annual stipend ranging from $25,000 (for undergraduate students) to $34,000 (for graduate students), and a professional development allowance.

In addition, the school says a case management model will be used that will bring together representatives from Career Development Services, the Office of Financial Aid, the Center for Advising Administration and Academic Partnerships, and the Coastal Virginia Center for Cyber Innovation to provide the Cyber LeADERS scholars coordinated support.

“The Cyber LeADERS grant epitomizes ODU’s strengths in promoting student success through cross-institutional efforts and building programs that address the needs of the community,” ODU President John R. Broderick said. “This grant shows that others have recognized the potential of our School of Cybersecurity and the value of our LeADERS program.”

The scholars will also be required to complete summer internships with government agencies and participate in activities offered by the School of Cybersecurity, the Coastal Virginia Center for Cyber Innovation, and the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative.

Once students graduate, program participants will be required to work for the federal government for a specified amount of time, which is typically equivalent to the number of years the students were funded for.

The School of Cybersecurity, created in October 2020, houses ODU’s cybersecurity degree programs. The university began offering a cybersecurity major in 2015. At the time, 11 students enrolled in the program. In Fall 2020, more than 800 students were enrolled in ODU’s programs.