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Southern Company, PROPEL Initiate Groundbreaking Cybersecurity Education At HBCUs

PROPEL HBCU

PROPEL, an innovation hub specifically designed for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), in collaboration with Southern Company, announced the launch of the PROPEL HBCU Cybersecurity Consortium (HCC). This groundbreaking initiative aims to revolutionize cybersecurity education and workforce development across HBCUs.


The consortium brings together academia, industry and government in a unique partnership to enhance the cybersecurity curriculum at HBCUs, making it more dynamic and aligned with the rapidly changing demands of the industry. The HCC will serve as a central resource for HBCUs to access the latest in industry trends, technologies and training, facilitating a direct pipeline into the cybersecurity workforce.


“PROPEL’s consortium will set a benchmark for developing a future workforce that is well equipped to address and solve the cybersecurity needs of today and tomorrow," Chris Womack, chairman, president, and CEO of Southern Company, emphasized the consortium's strategic importance. "This initiative not only enriches educational programs but also prepares students to protect critical infrastructures and meet forthcoming cyber challenges.”


The HCC is structured around four key elements: a resource hub, professional development programs, accelerated learning opportunities, and a direct pipeline to the cybersecurity workforce. It will provide real-life, challenge-based projects, cutting-edge research, and collaborations with industry leaders, enhancing both educational and employment outcomes for students.


“The dynamic and ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape has generated a myriad of leading career opportunities that have become critical across virtually every business sector," Dr. Lisa Herring, President of PROPEL, said about the critical need for diversity in cybersecurity. "With only nine percent of Black professionals in this field, our consortium is set to bridge this diversity gap and expand the workforce with highly skilled professionals.”


The HCC has launched its first two programs: Faculty Fellows and Student Accelerator. The Faculty Fellows program is a year-long engagement track designed to upskill cybersecurity educators, including financial support for gaining industry certifications. The Student Accelerator program offers a comprehensive, year-long immersive experience for 3rd and 4th-year students to advance their skills and career preparedness, providing access to industry leaders, tools, and training.


Currently, the consortium includes 32 HBCUs with established cybersecurity curriculum and degree offerings, such as Alabama A&M University, Howard University, and Florida A&M University, among others.


This initiative promises to significantly impact the cybersecurity field by developing highly competent professionals equipped to tackle modern challenges and by enhancing the representation of Black professionals in a sector critical to national and global security.


Photo Credit: DepositPhotos.com

2 Comments


This groundbreaking effort incorporates EDR cyber security solutions, essential for equipping students with advanced skills in detecting and responding to cyber threats. By fostering education and practical training in EDR cybersecurity, Southern Company and PROPEL aim to cultivate a diverse and skilled workforce, enhancing cybersecurity resilience and innovation across industries.

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among us
among us
Jun 20

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