Computer Science Program Designated as Center of Excellence

May 10, 2016

Saint Leo University’s Bachelor of Science in computer science has met the standards needed for Saint Leo to be considered a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. The degree can be earned through classroom instruction or online through the university’s Donald R. Tapia School of Business.

The new recognition is jointly sponsored and approved by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and has been awarded to Saint Leo through the year 2021.

Nsa -logo DHS_Seal

To qualify, Saint Leo had to satisfy the agencies with proof that the curriculum in computer science and cybersecurity covers required material, and that the university also meets a number of ongoing standards for student development, community involvement, interdisciplinary efforts, faculty, and institutional practices.

Dr. Derek Mohammed, chair of the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, said the designation has two practical effects for students and alumni. “First, it opens up opportunities that students can apply for from the federal agencies: internships, grants, scholarships, and employment.”

Second, students applying for employment in the private sector will likely benefit because hiring managers at corporations should look favorably on candidates from the National Center of Academic Excellence. “Right now, the NSA and DHS are setting the baseline standards for this field,” Dr. Mohammed said.

In other recent attention, Saint Leo’s computer science and cybersecurity efforts were featured in a television news segment on WTVT (Fox 13 Tampa Bay). View it here: