Miami Dade College Recognized by the National Security Agency, the American Association of Community Colleges and Microsoft for Cybersecurity Program

MDC named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense, as MDC Tech keeps shining!  

Miami, April 26, 2022Miami Dade College (MDC) has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) by the National Security Agency (NSA) for its robust cybersecurity curriculum, the very highest designation of its kind. The College also received validation from the NSA for the Associate of Science in Cybersecurity through 2027. In addition, MDC was recently awarded a Cyber Skills for All grant from the American Association of Community Colleges and Microsoft to increase the participation of underrepresented students in the technology and cybersecurity industry.

All of these developments have taken place as the College has launched and continues expanding MDC Tech, its unified brand and comprehensive strategy that combines all its cutting-edge tech educational offerings with the growing tech community’s needs, while also ensuring this new movement includes and benefits all Miamians.

The NSA designation acknowledges MDC’s rigorous standards for cybersecurity curriculum developed by faculty and the college’s cybersecurity advisory committee. It also validates academic delivery excellence to equip students with expert knowledge and skills to protect and defend against the cyber threat landscape. Moreover, the designation recognizes the leadership role of MDC’s Cybersecurity Center in community outreach and cybersecurity professional development.

“This designation validates our focus and investment in cybersecurity education,” said MDC President Madeline Pumariega. “MDC has the most qualified faculty and latest technology and resources available at our Cybersecurity Center. I am proud of all we have accomplished, including our efforts to close the cybersecurity talent gap.”

The goal of the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity is to promote and support quality academic programs of higher learning that help produce the nation’s cyber workforce. MDC was selected for its ability to meet the increasing demands of the program, ultimately contributing to the protection of the National Information Infrastructure. The NSA’s National Cyber Strategy addresses the critical shortage of professionals with cybersecurity skills and highlights the importance of higher education as a solution to defending America’s cyberspace.

With this designation, students and faculty are eligible to apply for grants, training and scholarships from NSA and federal partners. Additionally, students that complete MDC’s AS in Cybersecurity will receive explicit recognition to add to their personal credentials. CAE institutions receive formal recognition from the U.S. Government as well as opportunities for prestige and publicity for their role supporting Nation’s information systems.

MDC was one of only 14 colleges selected to receive the Cyber Skills for All grant. MDC administrators and faculty will work directly with AACC, Microsoft and other experts to expand cyber programming as part of a locally responsive economic development strategy. In addition, MDC faculty will undergo training in cybersecurity certifications from Microsoft with the goal of developing new courses. MDC’s Cybersecurity Center will also offer an instructor-led training in Microsoft Security, Compliance, and Identity Fundamentals certification at no cost for underrepresented minorities from the local community. More information and to apply at this link.

“Community colleges are critical to expanding the cybersecurity workforce in the United States,” said Naria Santa Lucia, Microsoft General Manager for Digital Inclusion and U.S. Community Engagement. “We’re proud to support the American Association of Community Colleges, the National Cybersecurity Training and Education Center, and these community colleges as they accelerate their cybersecurity programs.”

Learn more about MDC’s Cybersecurity Center and related programs at

About the National Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity

The National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C) program is managed by NSA’s National Cryptologic School. Federal partners include the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)/National Initiative on Cybersecurity Education (NICE), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Defense Office of the Chief Information Officer (DoD-CIO), and U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM). To learn more, visit

About AACC
As the voice of the nation’s community colleges, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), delivers educational and economic opportunity for nearly 12 million diverse students in search of the American Dream. Uniquely dedicated to access and success for all students, AACC’s member colleges provide an on-ramp to degree attainment, skilled careers and family-supporting wages. Located in Washington, D.C., AACC advocates for these not-for-profit, public-serving institutions to ensure they have the resources and support they need to deliver on the mission of increasing economic mobility for all.

About Miami Dade College
Miami Dade College is the most diverse institution in the nation. There are 167 nations and 63 languages represented in its student body. The college’s eight campuses and outreach centers offer more than 300 distinct degree pathways including associate and baccalaureate degrees, career certificates and apprenticeships. Baccalaureate degree offerings include biological sciences, engineering, data analytics, information systems technology, education, public safety, supervision and management, nursing, physician assistant studies, film and others.  MDC is the recipient of many top national awards including the Aspen Prize. As Democracy’s College, MDC changes lives through accessible, high quality-teaching and learning experiences.  It is the home of the Miami Culinary Institute, the Miami Animation & Gaming International Complex, the Miami Fashion Institute, the Eig-Watson School of Aviation, The Idea Center, the Cybersecurity Center of the Americas, the Cloud Computing Center, the Center for Learning, Innovation and Simulation, the School for Advanced Studies, and the New World School of the Arts, to name a few of its most innovative programs.  MDC has been named among the nation’s “Great Colleges to Work For” since the program’s inception.  The College embraces its responsibility to serve as an economic, cultural, and civic leader for the advancement of our diverse global community. Its alumni and employees contribute more than $3 billion annually to the local economy, and MDC graduates occupy top leadership positions in every major industry. MDC is renowned for its rich cultural programming. It is the home of the Miami Book Fair, Miami Film Festival, the National Historic Landmark Miami Freedom Tower, the Tower Theater, Dyer Building, Koubek Center Mansion and Gardens, Live Arts Miami at MDC, the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives, the Museum of Art and Design, a sculpture park and a large campus art gallery and theater system.  MDC has admitted more than 2.5 million students and counting, since it opened its doors in 1960. Approximately 120,000 students are currently enrolled. For more information, visit