PROPEL, Southern Company Launch HBCU Cybersecurity Consortium With Over 30 Institutions

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In a pioneering move, PROPEL, an innovation hub dedicated to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), has launched the PROPEL HBCU Cybersecurity Consortium (HCC).

This first-of-its-kind initiative aims to develop a future workforce equipped to tackle the ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape. Created in partnership with Southern Company, the HCC unites academia, industry, and government, serving as a central point for HBCUs to align their curricula with industry skills while remaining agile as cybersecurity needs change.

“The dynamic and ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape has generated a myriad of leading career opportunities that have become critical across virtually every business sector—with a mere nine percent of those individuals being Black professionals,” PROPEL President Dr. Lisa Herring said in a press release. “We’re cracking the code in a sector that is grossly underrepresented by diverse talent and an industry in need of a greatly expanded workforce.” 

Founded on the principles of collaboration, leadership, innovation, and foresight, the HCC facilitates connections between industry, students, and faculty, providing access to current trends, emerging technologies, and training. The collaborative consortium consists of a resource hub, professional development, accelerated learning, and a workforce pipeline.

As Southern Company President and CEO, Chris Womack said, “Leveraging the insights, tools, resources and access to real-world opportunities that industry and government entities can bring to the table now will help further develop and enrich the transformative skills our future workforce must have…to protect our critical infrastructure and be better prepared to face the cyber challenges ahead.”

We’re excited to announce the launch of the HBCU Cybersecurity Consortium, created in partnership w/ @SouthernCompany! This experience is designed to empower HBCUs to remain on the cutting-edge of cybersecurity. https://t.co/0qDpgLWVTw pic.twitter.com/L41t9up2c3

— Propel Center (@thepropelcenter) April 24, 2024

The HCC offers real-life opportunities for research, work opportunities and collaborations with industry professionals. It aims to curate a pipeline of qualified cybersecurity professionals, corporate partners and industry experts. The HCC launched two year-long programs: the Faculty Fellows engagement and professional development track, designed to upskill cybersecurity educators, and the Student Accelerator, an immersive experience for advancing skills, knowledge, and career preparedness.

The inaugural consortium institutions include 32 HBCUs, including Howard University and Stillman College, with cybersecurity curricula and degree offerings. The complete list can be found here.

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