MCCC Joins Statewide Consortium for Cybersecurity and STEM Education

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Montgomery County Community College is part of a consortium of community colleges across Pa. that will be working with Indiana University of Pennsylvania to enhance cybersecurity and STEM education. The program is funded by a $4.98 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).

A press release from the DOD said that the consortium will receive an initial award of nearly $5 million over three years, with the possibility of up to a total of $11 million over six years.

MCCC will receive roughly $919,00 over the next three years.

The college will focus on increasing certificate completion rates, transfer rates to four-year institutions, and student interest in employment in the DOD and Defense Industrial Base science, technology and manufacturing workforce.

“We are very excited to begin working with the consortium. Partnering with the other schools in the consortium will give MCCC, our students and faculty access to cutting-edge resources and training,” said Dr. James Bretz, MCCC Dean of STEM and Principal Investigator for the grant and consortium.

“The grant also will allow us to increase professional development for our faculty and to grow our faculty ranks by training new faculty. Overall, the consortium grant is a great opportunity that will allow us to enhance MCCC’s already robust computer science and STEM programming and resources,” Bretz said.

“We are looking forward to the great things that this grant will help us do for our students and the MCCC community, said Dr. Rebecca Hays, Assistant Dean of STEM.

“Earning industry-recognized certificates will help students in their job search and potentially lead to higher-paying jobs.”

MCCC currently offers associate degree programs in:

Its certificate programs cover:

  • Computer networking and cybersecurity
  • Cloud computing
  • Web development and design
  • Software engineering 

The objective of the consortium is to increase the number of students who earn industry-recognized certifications. MCCC courses are already aligned with these certifications, but many students do not realize the importance of completing the exams or face other barriers to completing them.

MCCC will enhance advising for Computer Information Science and STEM students to increase retention. The college will also provide career coaches to assist students entering the workforce.

MCCC is planning to explore partnerships with local high schools and four-year colleges to strengthen pipelines of potential students entering the field and to provide additional educational opportunities for MCCC students.

In addition, MCCC will provide Prior Learning Assessment credits to veterans who learned technology and other skills in the military service.  

Dr. Waleed Farag, IUP professor of computer science and director of IUP’s Institute for Cybersecurity, will lead the Collaborative Pennsylvania-wide Community College Consortium.

For more information about MCCC’s STEM associate degree and certificate programs, visit its website.  



Montgomery County Community College, the sponsor of MONTCO.Today’s Career Corner offers more than 100 associate’s degree and certificate programs at the college’s Blue Bell, Pottstown, The Culinary Arts Institute in Lansdale campuses, and online.

Funded by Montgomery County, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and student tuition, Montgomery County Community college offers a high-quality, affordable, accessible education that leads to relevant, rewarding transfer and career opportunities.

Take advantage of all the college has to offer — from challenging educational and professional development opportunities to stimulating activities and cultural programs. Their doors are always open.

Learn more about the college’s degrees and programs or plan an in-person visit to get a firsthand look at the college’s state-of-the-art facilities and friendly campus life. 

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