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It’s HBCU Week (Sept. 20-23). Time for one of the biggest events in the Black college circuit calendar.  Convened by the Department of Education and the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), the forum provides a space to exchange information and share innovations among and between more than 100 institutions.

For 2022 HBCU Week, IBM  announced its latest collaboration with HBCUs to help establish cutting-edge Cybersecurity Leadership Centers.

“Collaborations between academia and the private sector can help students prepare for success. That’s especially true for HBCUs because their mission is so vital,” said Justina Nixon-Saintil, vice president, IBM Corporate Social Responsibility and ESG. “The Cybersecurity Leadership Centers we’re co-creating with Historically Black College and Universities epitomize our commitment to the Black community and STEM education; it also builds on our pledge to train 150,000 people in cybersecurity over three years.”

According to the global tech leader, through IBM’s collaboration, faculty and students at participating schools will have access to coursework, lectures, immersive training experiences, certifications, IBM Cloud-hosted software, and professional development resources, all at no cost. This includes access to:

Cybersecurity curricula: IBM will develop for each participating HBCU, a customized IBM Security Learning Academy portal – an IBM client offering – including courses designed to help the university enhance its cybersecurity education portfolio. In addition, IBM will continue to give access to IBM SkillsBuild.

Immersive learning: Faculty and students of participating HBCUs will have an opportunity to benefit from IBM Security’s Command Center, through which they can experience a highly realistic, simulated cyberattack, designed to prepare them and train them on response techniques. Moreover, HBCUs’ faculty will have access to consultation sessions with IBM technical personnel on cybersecurity.

Software: Multiple IBM Security premier enterprise security products hosted in the IBM Cloud

Professional development: Forums to exchange best practices, learn from IBM experts, and discover IBM internships and job openings

IBM will collaborate with HBCUs across 11 states to co-create Cybersecurity Leadership Centers, helping to create talent for employers and opportunities for students. Six of these collaborations were announced earlier this year.

  • Alabama A&M University
  • Albany State University
  • Alcorn State University
  • Bowie State University
  • Clark Atlanta University
  • Edward Waters University
  • Florida A&M University
  • Grambling State University
  • Morgan State University
  • Norfolk State University
  • North Carolina A&T State University
  • North Carolina Central University
  • South Carolina State University
  • Southern University System
  • Talladega College
  • Texas Southern University
  • Tuskegee University
  • Voorhees University
  • West Virginia State University
  • Xavier University of LA

A recent IBM Security study found that insufficiently staffed organizations average $550,000 more in breach costs than those that state they are sufficiently staffed. With 500,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the U.S., the need for expertise is critical.

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