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Shaw University Launches Only HBCU-Based Cyber Operations Program In The Nation

RALEIGH, NC – In the fall 2021 semester, Shaw University launched its new Center for Cybersecurity Education and Research (C-CER) focused on increasing minority representation in cybersecurity careers through academic instruction and training. Additionally, the C-CER will establish a direct pipeline for students to transition into cybersecurity-related roles through academic degree offerings, training and professional development activities, and research initiatives. Prof. James Brown, assistant professor and program coordinator for the Shaw University Computer Science program, will serve as C-CER’s first director.

With the goal of offering cybersecurity courses starting Spring 2022 and introducing a Cyber Operations (CyOps) concentration as part of the university’s Computer Science degree program starting Fall 2022, Brown and his faculty colleagues in Computer Science and Computer Information Systems are excited about the opportunities that the innovative C-CER curriculum will provide for Shaw students. Additional details about the program are available on the Shaw University Computer Science website: CLICK HERE.


Brown said, “The Center for Cybersecurity Education and Research was established in response to the increased attention paid toward cyber threats and the current skills gap in the cybersecurity workforce. C-CER plays a critical role in positioning Shaw University as a model for cybersecurity-related education, outreach, and research. C-CER has recently established the B.S. Computer Science – Cyber Operations concentration focused on malware analysis and ethical hacking. This makes Shaw University the only Historically Black College or University and the only intuition of higher learning in the state of North Carolina with such a program.”

The mission of C-CER is to advance minority representation in cybersecurity through academic programs, to transfer hands-on skills to underserved communities through outreach efforts, and to push the bounds of understanding through cutting-edge cybersecurity research. Currently, damage related to cybercrime is projected to hit $6 trillion annually in 2021; and cyber threats have become even more prevalent with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

According to C-CER and other industry reports, cybercrime is up over 600% since the beginning of the pandemic. Moreover, there also has been a significant rise in the number of cyber-attacks using some form of malware. Ransomware, which is a form of malware that encrypts or threatens to delete a target’s data for financial gain, rose over 350% in 2018 alone. A successful data breach can have substantial financial repercussions for companies and organizations, and graduates from Shaw’s C-CER program will be equipped and trained in cyber operations to help minimize and prevent such threats in the future. For more information, call 919-582-4720 or send an email to:


Dr. Paulette Dillard, president of Shaw University, said, “Shaw University is preparing students to work and succeed where demand and opportunities are increasing. Our new Center for Cybersecurity Education and Research is designed to educate and prepare students for Day 1 job readiness – and to close the employment gap while also addressing minority underrepresentation in the technology sector.”

As a Historically Black College or University, Shaw University plays an important role in connecting to underrepresented and under-resourced communities. C-CER seeks to leverage that strategic position and offer various workshops, training, events, and educational videos to increase cybersecurity awareness and general digital literacy for the local and extended community.

Shaw University, located in Raleigh, North Carolina, is the first historically Black institution of higher education founded in North Carolina, in the South, and among the oldest in the nation. The University was founded in 1865 by Henry Martin Tupper. Dr. Paulette Dillard currently serves as the University’s 18th President. For more information, visit:


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