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Information Security Center for Academic Excellence

Western Colorado University is in the process of receiving designation as a National Center for Academic Excellence for Cyber Defense by the US National Security Agency.

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About the Information Security Emphasis at Western

The Information Security emphasis, an NSA-designated Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense program of study, will help you build a strong foundation in general computer science principles and apply it to cybersecurity, ethical hacking, network security and protection, and more. Western’s curriculum combines theoretical knowledge with hands-on practice to ensure you’ll not only understand core information security concepts, but also be able to apply them to practical projects. Western’s dedicated faculty will work one-on-one with you throughout the course of your studies, as well as help you create networking connections and prepare for a role in which you’ll assist in the important work of protecting data.

External Advisory Board

Western Colorado University’s Computer Science Major: Information Security Emphasis relies on an external advisory board to periodically vet and provide feedback on the program’s rigorous curriculum.  The external advisory board meets at least once per semester and consists of members from industry, academia, and government. The external advisory board currently includes: Christopher Ellis, PhD (freelance cybersecurity consultant), Mr. Owen Giddings (Oracle), Mr. Nick Gonzales (Raytheon), Mr. J.D. Nau (Regis University), and Mr. Claude Torres (ICR).  The most recent board meeting (Fall, 2023) reinforced the program’s commitment to balancing theory and practice; students should gain experience in current tools and technologies yet must have the theoretical foundation to adapt to an ever-changing threat landscape.

Institutional Cybersecurity Policies

To read Western’s institutional data protection and security policies, refer to section 3.12 of Western’s Employee Handbook for Professional Employees.

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Learning Resources

Enhance your understanding and practice your skills with the following resources:

Online CTFs (Capture the Flags)


  • 09/03/2023: REU panel discussion
  • 09/19/2023: Internship panel
  • 10/03/2023: Resume workshop
  • 10/10/2023: LinkedIn workshop
  • 10/19/2023: Career Fair
  • 10/31/2023: Git workshop
  • 11/14/2023: How to Apply for Jobs


Opportunities for applied learning

Take your cybersecurity skills beyond the classroom to bolster your resume and your understanding of key concepts before graduation.

Information Security News

Stay up to date with cybersecurity news at Western and beyond!

Internal News

  • Dr. Rubin finished his MS in Cybersecurity from Georgia Institute of Technology in August, 2023
  • Mallory Weber finished her MS in Information Systems from Colorado State in Dec. 2023
  • Dr. Rubin is working with MWCC programs to lobby CO legislature regarding cyber funding
  • Western’s InfoSec program had two student teams participate in Deloitte’s “Hackazon” competition on December 2nd, 2023. One of Western’s teams placed sixth (out of 30+) overall.

Are you an Information Security student or faculty member with news to share? Let us know.

External News

Contact Information

Marc Rubin, Ph.D., is the Point of Contact for the NSA CAE-CD program at Western. If you have questions about the Information Security program at Western or the Cybersecurity Center for Academic Excellence, contact Marc.

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