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MHCC recently helped to win a federal grant of $5 million (Mt. Hood receiving nearly $600,000) to expand cybersecurity programs and advanced manufacturing workforce training at nine community colleges in Oregon.

This U.S. Department of Labor grant is split between Mt. Hood, which led the collaborative effort, and eight partnering community colleges. They include Central Oregon, Clackamas, Chemeketa, Klamath, Lane, Portland, Rogue, and Southwestern Oregon community colleges.

The grant, from the Labor Department’s Strengthening Community College Training Grant program, is intended to expand cybersecurity education options for current workers looking to gain new skills or change career paths in light of the COVID pandemic. It opens alternative paths in the cybersecurity and advanced manufacturing programs and resources that weren’t previously available.

“It’s my hope that through this grant we’ll be able to transform cybersecurity training in the state of Oregon,” said Wayne Machuca, an instructor working in the Info Systems department in the Business Division at MHCC.

Machuca and others have led Mt. Hood to the forefront, as the college was the first community college in Oregon to establish an Associate of Applied Science degree in cybersecurity and networking.

“We have an excellent team on cybersecurity,” he said.

Machuca said he hopes that instructors, students, and the nine partner schools can collaborate and work together in advancing this program and all cybersecurity courses and info systems.

In addition, MHCC has earned a separate National Science Foundation (NSF) grant of nearly $650,000 over the next five years for cybersecurity scholarships, aimed specifically at students from historically underrepresented populations.

Students can apply for an S-STEM scholarship (and other MHCC Foundation scholarships) to access the new funding. (The deadline for Fall Term 2021 closed on March 31.)

Student applicants were/are required to declare their major as either Computer Information Systems (CIS); Cyber Security: Networking and Security Operations; or Cyber Security: Penetration Testing.

While providing full scholarships to cybersecurity students, this grant will also help targeted students succeed by offering them a College Success Strategies Course, a foundational Information Technology class, personalized academic plans, and the enhanced opportunity to participate in extra-curricular activities related to their program of study.


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