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FCC, Mount St. Mary's and Hood College Sign Cybersecurity Agreement

Thursday, June 14, 2018
Cybersecurity Signing
Presidents Burmaster, Trainor and Chapdelaine

FREDERICK, Maryland—In an effort to support the growing need for trained professionals in the cybersecurity field, both regionally and nationally, Frederick Community College, Mount St. Mary’s University and Hood College will collaborate to provide a single, unified degree pathway into this field.

The presidents of the three institutions signed the Memorandum of Understanding this afternoon at the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce. This articulation agreement among these regional cybersecurity powerhouses is the first of its kind in the U.S. and puts the needs of the student first to ensure seamless transition for three degrees on one career path.

“Frederick County residents are fortunate to have three outstanding higher education institutions in our community,” said FCC President Elizabeth Burmaster. “We are thrilled to partner with Hood College and Mount St. Mary’s University to offer students this unified degree pathway that leads to a master’s degree in an in-demand and critical career field.”

The cybersecurity associate degree at FCC will offer courses that transfer to the Mount toward a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity. In turn, the cybersecurity curriculum at the Mount will transfer toward a master’s degree in cybersecurity at Hood College. The provosts and cybersecurity faculty leads at each school developed the agreement to give students a contemporary, rigorous and relevant education in the cybersecurity field that fully aligns with National Security Agency accreditation standards.

“This unique partnership will help ensure our country’s security by providing local, regional and national companies with well-trained cybersecurity professionals,” said Mount St. Mary’s University President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D. “The Mount is excited to welcome students who begin their higher education at FCC and then encourage our graduates in cybersecurity to pursue advanced studies at Hood.”

The three parties will establish a series of collaborative programs, events and activities to recruit and retain students. Faculty exchange opportunities will allow professors to participate as guest lecturers, or as affiliate/adjunct faculty at any of the three institutions, enhancing the student learning experience.

“An important component of this agreement is the strategic advising aspect,” said Andrea Chapdelaine, Ph.D., president of Hood College. “Academic advisers at each school will know the steps needed for the next degree, ensuring timely completion of each degree, ultimately saving students money and time.”

This partnership will foster internships through collaboration with the local business community and the students with varying levels of skills and competencies from the three-institution pipeline. This collaboration is mutually beneficial as businesses gain access to hard-to-find local talent while students get hands-on experience and grow their networks.

“At the epicenter of business relationship-building and networking, the Chamber is a wonderful venue to formalize this agreement between three major academic institutions in Frederick County,” said Elizabeth Cromwell, president and CEO of the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce. “Our business community stands to benefit from the outstanding, seamless programs that this partnership creates right here in Frederick County.”

Cybersecurity is a growing field with an anticipated 6 million jobs globally by 2019, according to the Palo Alto Research Center and Symantec. Further, cyber experts predict a 100 percent cybersecurity employment rate through 2021.

For more information, contact:

Frederick Community College
Caroline Cole
Communications Coordinator

Mount St. Mary’s University
Donna Klinger
Director, Public Relations and Communications

Hood College
Laurie Ward
Executive Director of Marketing and Communications

Frederick Community College (FCC) is a public college that prepares a diverse student body to complete their goals of workforce preparation and credentialing, transfer, career development, and personal enrichment with quality, innovative lifelong learning. FCC recognizes the different learning needs and preferences of students and offers instruction in flexible learning formats that include day, evening, weekend, online, and hybrid options. FCC offers more than 85 degree and certificate programs through credit and Continuing Education and Workforce Development (CEWD).

Mount St. Mary’s University is a private, liberal arts, Catholic university in the Catoctin Mountains near historic Emmitsburg, Maryland, with a satellite campus in Frederick, Maryland’s second largest city. The university offers more than 40 majors, minors, concentrations and special programs for traditional undergraduate students, and more than 20 adult undergraduate and graduate level programs.

Hood College is an independent, liberal arts college, offering 32 undergraduate majors, four pre-professional programs, 17 graduate programs, two doctorates and 11 post-baccalaureate certificates. Located in historic Frederick, near Washington, D.C., Baltimore and the I-270 technology corridor, Hood gives students access to countless internships and research opportunities.