The National Cybersecurity Center’s Cyber Force Initiative prepares students for a career in cybersecurity by offering training courses that lead to industry-level CompTIA Certifications. The courses offered are: IT Fundamentals and Security+. All courses are instructor led and can be completed through in-person instruction or online streaming.
The mission of the National Cybersecurity Center Student Alliance is to provide cybersecurity leadership, and one of our main pillars is K-12 education. As our nation addresses the critical gap in skilled cybersecurity talent, we address the importance of cyber education through programs and partnerships that invite students to participate in an ecosystem which encourages them to learn, explore, and build their skills. This initiative offers opportunities for middle and high school students to improve technical literacy through fun, interactive, and challenging camps, field trips, workshops, and events.
The National Cybersecurity Center is designated a Center of Excellence for CyberPatriot, the world’s largest cybersecurity competition for middle and high school students. CyberPatriot is the Air Force Association’s National Youth Cyber Education Program, created to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation’s future.
In late 2023, the National Cybersecurity Center will be hosting The SEMtech School. SEMtech (Student Engagement and Mentoring in Technology) is a project-based program designed by our Education Department to increase students’ interest in and desire to pursue computer science.
The National Cyber Security Center, in partnership with CyberPatriot, announced the launch of the CyberPatriot Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative (ESCEI). ESCEI is a great way to increase cyber safety awareness among our nation’s youth.
Meet Your Cyber Education Team
Thomas Russell is the Director of Cyber Education for the National Cybersecurity Center. He is an army veteran who worked in the signal corps. His background also includes a master’s degree in education for Applied Technology from the College of Saint Rose and a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Management, and an Associate degree in Network Security from Colorado Technical University.
As a teacher at Falcon High School, Thomas taught many classes such as Cybersecurity, Computer Applications, Networking, Technology Literacy, Health and Information Technology, Information Security, and Computer Forensics.
Thomas is a certified teacher for Career and Technical Education, Instructional Technology, and STEM, and has won the Boettcher Foundation Teacher Recognition Award, the Falcon Educational Foundation’s Outstanding Teacher Award, the District 49 Teacher of the Year Award, and has been nominated for Colorado Teacher of the Year.
As the Cyber Education Program Manager for the Student Alliance, his responsibilities include:
- Running cybersecurity summer camps.
- Providing education and certification training for K-12 and adults.
- Organizing cyber events such as capture the flag competitions.
- Training teachers to teach cybersecurity.
- Forging relationships between businesses and educational institutions.
- Providing training and curriculum to teachers for K-12.
In 2020, Thomas was awarded the Cyber Education Administrator of the Year by the EdCenter. He was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate for Cyber Education by the Denver Institute for Urban Studies. In 2021, Thomas won the National Center for Women in Computing (NCWIT) Educator Award and ten of Thomas’s girl students have won the Aspirations In Computing Award. His most recent book is Binary Society, a book of essays on the effects of technology on society.