Northern Virginia Community College students and members of the community with a shared interest in cybersecurity and information technology (IT), are gaining more than just technical skills to become highly-trained professionals in the workforce. Through a partnership with Year Up and AllCyber, representatives from Freddie Mac held a training seminar on money management and responsible homeownership for members of both organizations on Sept. 16 at NOVA’s Woodbridge Campus.
Freddie Mac Community Crew volunteers discussed ways to better understand the importance of creating a spending plan and avoiding financial mishaps. They also offered tips on ways to save money and highlighted key factors in building and maintaining good credit. AllCyber and Year Up members completed several financial literacy exercises and openly asked questions related to building a sound financial future.
AllCyber, formerly referred to as 6CA, is an organization that assists in promoting and offering professional development in the cybersecurity and information technology fields. NOVA-Woodbridge Associate Professor of Information Technology and Cybersecurity William McLaughlin founded the organization in September 2012-after he observed a need to offer additional resources for NOVA students and local residents with an interest in technology and cybersecurity-related programs.
“Our main focus is to provide year-round professional development, member networking, member employment advocacy, community outreach and student competition training as related to cybersecurity,” McLaughlin said.
Michael Hancock, executive director of AllCyber, said one of his major goals for the organization is to further enhance NOVA’s position for being recognized as a premier institution in the region for cybersecurity and information technology. As a graduate of NOVA’s cybersecurity program, Hancock said AllCyber’s partnership with Year Up and Prince William County Public Schools has also afforded high school students the ability to participate in AllCyber events and learn from trained-industry professionals.
In addition to providing opportunities for members to learn real-world skills, every Saturday - excluding holiday weekends and when the College is closed, McLaughlin, Hancock and several highly-trained cyber professionals volunteer as coaches to host practice sessions for NOVA student AllCyber members training to compete in regional and national competitions. For the past five years, practice sessions have been held at the Woodbridge Campus to prepare students for the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC), the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (MACCDC), National Cyber League (NCL), Black T-Shirt Forensics Challenge and inNOVAtion Hackathon.
“The practice sessions AllCyber offers supplement classroom instruction in addition to preparing NOVA students to compete in various cybersecurity related competitions within the region and nationally,” Hancock said. “Our core of professional coaches are experts in technology, NOVA instructors, former NOVA students and community leaders who volunteer their time to attend sessions.”
Those interested in becoming a member of AllCyber are encouraged to attend their Saturday practice sessions, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at NOVA-Woodbridge Arts and Science building (WAS) room 362. For additional information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.