Miami Dade College’s Cybersecurity Program and Faculty Recognized Among the Top in the Nation by EC-Council

Miami, Feb. 28, 2024 – Miami Dade College’s (MDC) acclaimed Cybersecurity program and Padron Campus Professor Dr. Diego Tibaquirá were recently recognized by the EC-Council Academia for making a lasting impact on cybersecurity education and student success. MDC was among only five colleges and universities chosen for the 2023 Academia Circle of Excellence Award from nearly 2,000 higher education institutions across North America.   

The EC-Council Academia division supports K-12, community college and university programs by providing state-of-the-art cybersecurity technologies and opportunities to obtain globally respected industry certifications. Students graduate from these programs with the necessary skills to protect digital assets, helping to address the workforce gap, estimated to be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions in 2025.

Dr. Tibaquirá, who has been instrumental in building the cybersecurity and cloud computing curriculum at MDC, is one of four recipients of the Academia Instructor Circle of Excellence Award. He was selected from approximately 1,000 EC-Council-partnered institutions in North America. Award recipients are selected based on their impact on teaching, assessment of their instruction, student experiences, leadership and engagement with the cybersecurity community.

MDC’s comprehensive cybersecurity curriculum includes an Associate in Science, a Bachelor of Science and certifications. MDC has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) by the National Security Agency (NSA) for Academic Years 2022-2027. These programs are offered through MDC’s School of Engineering and Technology (EnTec). Learn more at

 About EC-Council Academia

EC-Council, the inventor of Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification course and exam, has a mission to provide Cybersecurity education and certifications to students across the world to prepare them for their future careers. Established in 2001, EC-Council offers over 200 training programs and certifications – ranging from End-User Security to highly technical Penetration Testing to Information Security Management and many other tactical courses. Recognized under the US Department of Defense 8140/8570 and an ISO/IEC 17024 Accredited Organization, EC-Council holds these and many other distinctions and accreditations by prestigious agencies worldwide – making EC-Council’s certification programs highly desirable and valued within the cybersecurity global communities. The EC-Council Academia partner program offers free partnership opportunities to academic institutions globally. These partnerships establish cybersecurity ecosystems through education that support student alumni, faculty, employees, and the local communities at large. Through established partnerships, academic institutions can access extensive discounts on learning resources, technologies, and certifications, offering students opportunities to obtain stackable credentials to become more competitive as they enter the workforce. The program also focuses on initiating faculty development, scholarships, and cyber competitions. To date, the EC-Council supports upwards of 2,000 education networks and institutions globally. EC-Council Academia works with academic institutions at all levels, including over 175 National Centers of Academic Excellences (N-CAEs) as designated by the National Security Agency, contributing to certify tens of thousands of students annually with industry-leading credentials. For more information on EC-Council Academia, please visit

About Miami Dade College

Miami Dade College (MDC) is the most diverse institution in the nation, with 167 nations and 63 languages represented in its student body. The college’s eight campuses and outreach centers offer over 300 distinct degree pathways, including associate and baccalaureate degrees, certifications and apprenticeships.  MDC is the recipient of many top national awards, including the prestigious Aspen Prize. The College changes lives through accessible, high-quality teaching and learning experiences. It is home to the Miami Culinary Institute, the Miami Animation & Gaming International Complex, the Miami Fashion Institute, The Idea Center, the Cybersecurity Center of the Americas, two AI Centers, the Center for Learning, Innovation and Simulation at the Medical Campus, the Business Innovation & Technology Center, the School for Advanced Studies and New World School of the Arts, among others. MDC has been recognized among the nation’s “Great Colleges to Work For” since the program’s inceptionThe College serves as an economic, cultural and civic leader for the advancement of our diverse global community. MDC alumni and employees contribute more than $3 billion annually to the local economy, and graduates occupy top leadership positions in every major industry. MDC’s renowned rich cultural programming includes the Miami Book Fair, Miami Film Festival, the National Historic Landmark Miami Freedom Tower, Koubek Center Mansion and Gardens, Live Arts Miami at MDC, the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives, and the Museum of Art and Design.  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