The U.S. Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations this summer named Ferris State University as the first university in the United States to be designated a Center of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence.
Ferris’ Information Security and Intelligence program courseware was certified as a “Center of Excellence” two years ago by the National Information Assurance Education and Training Program of the National Security Agency. Greg Gogolin, an ISI professor in Ferris’ College of Business and the 2010-11 recipient of the university’s Distinguished Teacher Award, is excited about what this newest and historic certification will mean for the program.
“Ferris has become the first university in the country to be designated a Center of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence by the Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations,” Gogolin said. “This, in addition to the NSA Center of Excellence previously obtained and National Science Foundation research funding, places the undergraduate and graduate Information Security and Intelligence programs as one of the foremost leaders in the United States in cyber security.”
This certification is part of the DC3’s stated mission to “encourage the study of cyber and digital forensics science at all education levels in the United States.” This educational partnership agreement, and others like it, is part of the DC3’s efforts to accomplish the mission. This agreement is designed to “assist in the effort of bringing scientific, mathematical and technological experience to educational institutions,” the pact further states.
These collaborations establish standards and best practices for digital forensics students, practitioners, educators and researchers to advance the discipline of digital forensics, and to increase the number of qualified professionals to meet the needs of law enforcement, counterintelligence, national security and legal communities, the agreement states. Faculty and students could further benefit from potential involvement in defense laboratory research projects and learning firsthand from DC3 personnel.
The 60-month agreement was signed this summer by Gogolin and Joshua Black, acting director of the Defense Cyber Investigations Training Academy. Gogolin will serve as Ferris’ program manager. In this capacity, Gogolin will work with Black, DC3 program manager, to identify, select and prioritize activities, and ensure that the program meets the statutory and regulatory requirements of Ferris.
Undergraduate students who major in ISI at Ferris take classes in Digital Forensics, Competitive Theory, Risk Analysis, Fraud and Data Mining, as well as general COB classes such as Accounting and Project Management. ISI majors specialize in one of three areas: Digital Forensics, Mobile Application Development and Penetration Testing, or Network Security. Graduate students in the ISI program take courses in Secure Communication Strategies, Intelligence Vulnerabilities, Database and Secure Information systems, and choose a specialization in Business Intelligence, Incident Response or Project Management.
Classes for Ferris’ undergraduate ISI program are offered at locations in Big Rapids, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Traverse City and the Saginaw area through partnerships with institutions including Grand Rapids Community College, Lansing Community College, Northwestern Michigan College and Delta Community College. The graduate ISI program is based in Big Rapids. Both ISI programs offer opportunities for students to take advantage of international partnerships in multiple locations throughout the world.