1 Start 2 Program Information 3 Questionnaire 4 Course List 5 Preview 6 Complete
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The CAE-CDE Program is open to current regionally accredited four-year colleges and graduate-level universities. All institutions must hold current regional accreditation as outlined by the Department of Education (http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation).

  • Applicants must identify a specific curriculum path and demonstrate that individual students will receive a minor, degree, concentration or other recognized program completion. Curriculum in this path must map to the seventeen core Knowledge Units plus five optional required for the CAE-CDE designation.
  • Applicants must demonstrate compliance with program criteria, including demonstration of program outreach and collaboration, center for CD education, a robust and active CD academic program, CD multidisciplinary efforts, practice of CD at the institution level, and student and faculty CD efforts.

Qualifying applicants will be designated as CAE-CDE for a period of five academic years, after which they must successfully re-apply in order to retain the designation. Designation as a CAE-CDE does not carry a commitment of funding from NSA or DHS. CAE institutions with designations that will expire in 2018 must submit no later than 15 January 2018 and are not required to submit this checklist.

  • Applicants that already have a CAE application account and have been actively gathering information may continue with their submission and submit by 15 January 2018 for possible designation in June or by 15 April 2018 for possible designation at the NICE Annual Conference in November 2018.
  • Applicants that are new to the CAE process or those who wish to receive assistance should complete an Applicant Checklist to ascertain readiness to apply. Applicants have the opportunity to receive mentorship. Application Assistance with a mentor is being offered as a benefit to the institution and is designed to help applicants understand the depth of program and designation requirements.
  • Applicants that opt to receive support will have their checklists reviewed and will be referred to one of two assistance paths:
    • Program Development: Institutions needing further development of programs and/or curriculum, or those with programs that have not reached maturity, will be referred to a CAE Regional Resource Center for assistance. In this phase, the applicant will have access to workshops, seminars and an advisor to help in their preparation for designation. Schools in this phase will also be invited to programs and events hosted by the CAE Community (www.caecommunity.org) and have access to other resources offered by the Program Office only for the CAE audience.
    • Application Assistance: Institutions assessed to be within 12 – 18 months of meeting curriculum and programmatic criteria will be referred to the Application Assistance path for mentorship. The CAE Program Office requires the endorsement of the mentor to process applicants that have chosen this path. Submissions must be received no later than 15 April 2018 or a subsequent designation cycle.
  • Applicants that choose to opt out of Application Assistance must acknowledge the last page of this New Applicant Checklist.

Contact the Program Office at askcaeiae@nsa.gov for further information.

Point of Contact
Mailing Address
Do you opt to receive support via the CAE Application Assistance Program?
Application Assistance Opt Out

I acknowledge that I have been given the opportunity to receive application assistance and work with a mentor to complete my application for possible designation as a NSA/DHS National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. I understand that this process is an opportunity to receive program development and application assistance prior to submitting an application. I acknowledge that if my application does not meet requirements, the assistance of a mentor is a requirement to submit an application in a future cycle. If at any time I require Application Assistance I may complete the new applicant checklist and request assistance with the understanding that it may move my submission to a subsequent cycle.

By Submitting, you agree to the terms above. Your IP address and a timestamp will be recorded.

Head of the Department that houses the Curriculum Path