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Cyber Florida to Work with Polk County to Help Prepare Future Cyber Professionals

Cyber Florida at University of South Florida and the Florida Center for Instructional Technology at USF are pleased to announce that Polk County has joined the partnership to prepare Florida's high school students to pursue careers in the high-paying, in-demand field of cybersecurity. Beginning in fall 2020, the course "Cybersecurity Essentials" will be available to high school students across Polk County.

This effort is part of a statewide initiative that will serve as a model for school districts across the nation.

Designed by Cyber Florida and the Florida Center for Instructional Technology, Cybersecurity Essentials helps prepare students to earn several widely recognized industry certifications often required for entry-level cybersecurity positions. The curriculum aligns with the Florida Department of Education Curriculum Framework for the Applied Cybersecurity Career Preparatory Program and is recognized by the Career and Professional Education (CAPE) program, which allows school districts to increase the number of students holding CAPE certifications. Cyber Florida and the Florida Center for Instructional Technology are working to provide this program to all Florida school districts.

"Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing and high-paying field that is critical to our nation, and we are dealing with a critical shortage of talent at both the state and national levels," said Mike McConnell, the former director of U.S. National Intelligence and the National Security Agency, who now serves as the executive director of Cyber Florida. "We must engage students as early as we can to introduce and encourage their interest in cybersecurity; that is the only way that we will be able to build a larger talent pool to protect our country's national and economic interests."

Cyber Florida will also provide teacher training to support the new course, and both instructors and students will have free access to the Florida CyberHub, a cloud-based resource that provides state-of-the-art cybersecurity software tools as well as training scenarios based on real-world incidents.

About Cyber Florida

The Florida Center for Cyber Security (also known as Cyber Florida) was established by the State of Florida in 2014 to make the Sunshine State one of the most cyber-secure in the nation by promoting cybersecurity education, research, and outreach in partnership with the 12 State University System of Florida (SUS) institutions. Hosted by the University of South Florida, the Center is committed to increasing the number of K-12 students interested in and prepared for careers in cybersecurity and related STEM disciplines.

About FCIT

Housed in the University of South Florida College of Education, the Florida Center for Instructional Technology provides professional learning, digital content, and technology integration evaluation services to schools and districts worldwide. The Center's free resource websites average over two million hits per school day from nearly 200 countries and territories. FCIT hosts a variety of resources such as iTeach Professional Learning courses, the TIM Tools suite of technology integration evaluation tools and the College of Education's iTeach Lounge.


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