DHS Announces Cyber Student Initiative

Press Release

By:  Janet Napolitano
Date: April 18, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced the creation of the Secretary's Honors Program (SHP) Cyber Student Initiative -- a new DHS program to engage exceptional community college students, including student veterans, in cybersecurity work at DHS. Local U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations field offices will serve as training centers for selected cyber students to gain hands-on experience within the DHS cybersecurity professional community.

"DHS is committed to providing opportunities for the next generation of cyber professionals," said Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. "The Secretary's Honors Program Cyber Student Initiative will offer current students the opportunity to learn more about the critical skills and experience needed to succeed and protect our nation from evolving cyber threats."

The SHP Cyber Student Initiative was created upon recommendation from the Homeland Security Advisory Council's Task Force on CyberSkills that DHS strengthen its outreach to students at community colleges and among veterans. The new program is part of the Department's overall efforts to address the Task Force's set of eleven recommendations, released last October and aimed at improving DHS' ability to build a world-class cybersecurity team.

The Cyber Student Initiative will be incorporated into the SHP -- announced by Secretary Napolitano in October 2012 -- and is specifically designed as an unpaid student volunteer program for current community college students and student veterans pursuing a program of study in a cybersecurity-related field. These student volunteers will gain in-depth knowledge and practical experience as they work directly with DHS cybersecurity professionals at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement computer forensics labs in 36 cities nationwide.

DHS will work with community colleges to encourage students to apply and will coordinate with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the American Association of Community Colleges to promote the opportunity. Learn more about and apply for the SHP Cyber Student Initiative here. The application period will close on May 3, with student volunteer positions beginning in June.

For more information, visit www.dhs.gov.