The University of Maryland has been designated an Intelligence Community "Center of Academic Excellence" by the U.S. government - the first higher education institution in the state to be selected for the program, and one of only 14 universities participating nationwide.
The program provides funding to enhance Maryland's ability to prepare students for government service and leadership positions in the Intelligence Community: $300,000 dollars annually for up to five years.
The designation further aligns Maryland's flagship research university with the state's cyber security strategic plan announced recently by Governor Martin O'Malley designed to make Maryland the national epicenter for cyber security.
As a Center of Academic Excellence, the University of Maryland will fortify instruction and create new educational opportunities and internships in a broad range of areas, from information and cyber security to foreign language acquisition, cross-cultural studies, mathematics, physical sciences and engineering.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence coordinates the Centers of Academic Excellence program, and particularly seeks to encourage minority students to pursue careers in national security professions.
The program will be based in the School of Public Policy, but will include participation across campus and from other parts of the University System of Maryland. Its funding will:
Expand course offerings in fields of national security-related interest across most major disciplines;
Develop seminars, visits and other activities to help students learn more about national security professions;
Support additional study abroad opportunities;
Develop a high school outreach program to encourage students to explore careers in the national security professions.
The program will leverage a number of University strengths - the proximity of various federal agencies, existing research partnerships with these agencies, and strong existing educational and research programs related to national security. A particular area of strength is in Information and Cyber Security. The University of Maryland is currently engaged in extensive research in engineering, as well as business management of cyber security resources and public policy issues. Maryland was recently designated by the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research.
January 20, 2010