• MHCC Receives Nearly $650,000 for Cyber Security Scholarships

    GRESHAM, Ore. – A National Science Foundation (NSF) grant awarded to Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) will provide qualifying cyber security students with full scholarships starting Fall 2021.

    The Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (S-STEM) grant was awarded to MHCC in late January and will total $647,754 over the next five years. The grant will support cohorts of cyber security students in the form of scholarships, academic support and enrichment activities as they work toward an associate degree.

    The scholarships will go to cyber security students who are full- or part-time and come from underrepresented populations in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, language spoken, first-generation status and socioeconomic status.

    “Making this an area that is accessible and of interest to a more diverse population of students is foundational to the success and future of cyber security,” said Dr. Wayne Machuca, MHCC cyber security professor.

    Prospective cyber security students can apply for an S-STEM scholarship (and many other MHCC Foundation scholarships) by filling out one application now. To use the scholarship beginning Fall Term 2021, the deadline to apply is March 31 and students must declare one of the following as their major to qualify:

    • Computer Information Systems (CIS)
    • Cyber Security: Networking and Security Operations
    • Cyber Security: Penetration Testing

    The grant will go further than just providing full scholarships to cyber security students. Students will be set up for success from the beginning by taking a College Success Strategies course coupled with a foundational Information Technology class.

    Additionally, a faculty adviser will create a personalized academic plan with each student to ensure that they are not only meeting scholarship and program requirements, but also providing individualized support when needed. This will mirror MHCC’s TRIO Student Support Services program.

    Finally, S-STEM students will also be able to participate in extra-curricular activities related to their program of study, such as cyber security competitions, Portland Chapter of Information Systems Security meetings and events, the Portland Virtual Cyber Security Summit and more. The scholarship will cover all base costs, subscriptions, memberships and other expenses tied to these activities.

    “There are clear benefits to the students who will receive these scholarships, but there will also be a broader positive economic impact to our communities driven by better access to high-wage, high-demand career opportunities in cyber security,” said MHCC President Dr. Lisa Skari.

    This is the second grant benefitting MHCC cyber security education to be awarded in 2021. The college and various institutional and workforce partners also recently received a $5 million consortium grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to expand access to cyber security and advanced manufacturing workforce training statewide.

    About Cyber Security at MHCC
    MHCC was the first community college in Oregon to offer an associate of applied science in cyber security. The MHCC Cyber Security and Networking program is acknowledged by the National Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security as a Center for Academic Excellence. The college is also home to the Oregon Center for Cyber Security, which provides access to Information Security and Information Assurance resources.