QUANTICO, Va. — The U.S. Naval Community College selected Western Governors University as one of the Pilot II cybersecurity associate degree programs Feb. 11, 2022.
This new opportunity provides active duty enlisted Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen the ability to earn cybersecurity certificates or associate degrees that will directly contribute to the naval services and set them on a path of lifelong learning.
“This is the first opportunity we have of providing a self-paced, competency-based education program,” said Randi Cosentino, Ed.D., president of the USNCC. “For this program, we selected an institution that has developed the gold standard of competency-based education.”
Competency-based education is the opportunity for students to demonstrate mastery of a subject based on the measure of skills and learning. Instead of the traditional time-based semester model, the competency-based education model moves students along at the pace that works best for their educational abilities. This also means that enlisted naval service members can pursue their education in a way that best fits their operational environment.
“We are delighted to partner with the U.S. Naval Community College to serve our military personnel and enable the warfighting capabilities of our nation,” said WGU President Scott Pulsipher. “With our student centeredness and competency-based education model, we will demonstrate our unwavering commitment to maritime student access and success.”
This agreement provides active duty enlisted Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen an opportunity to earn naval-relevant certificates and an associate degree in cybersecurity that will directly contribute to the readiness of the naval services and set them on a path of life-long learning.
Naval professionals who pursue the Associate of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance degree through the USNCC will have an opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of cybersecurity policy, software assurance, programming including scripting, and network defense as well as receive four Computing Technology Industry Association certifications as part of the curriculum. The degree will also have an established transfer path to four-year degree programs in cybersecurity and information assurance.
The degree pathway also includes a certificate in Naval Studies taught by the USNCC’s faculty and a Professional Cybersecurity Certificate in Network and Cyber Defense Foundations earned through WGU.
WGU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense school by the National Security Agency. While the USNCC is pursuing accreditation, WGU will be the primary degree grantor for this associate degree program, ensuring the service members who graduate from this program receive a transferable degree from an accredited institution.
Active duty enlisted Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen can fill out an application on the USNCC website, www.usncc.edu. The first courses will start in the fall of 2022.
The United States Naval Community College is the community college for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. To get more information about the USNCC, go to www.usncc.edu. Click on the student interest form link to learn how to be a part of the USNCC Pilot II program.