OC is the first four-year institution to be awarded in the Oklahoma City metroplex.
Oklahoma Christian University (OC) announced today that it has been recognized by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CD) through academic year 2026.
Today’s announcement places OC among a select group of regionally accredited, four-year institutions nationwide to receive this prestigious distinction, and the only four-year institution awarded in the Oklahoma City metroplex.
“OC’s ability to meet the increasing demands of the program criteria will serve the nation well in contributing to the protection of the National Information Infrastructure,” said Karen Leuschner, National CAE Program Director, NSA. “A highly skilled cybersecurity workforce is a strategic national security advantage.”
“The CAE-CD designation is a validation of OC’s commitment to excellence in cybersecurity education. We are home to some of the best cybersecurity professors in the state of Oklahoma, and our program is attracting talent from all over the world to learn and grow as students and professionals,” said Professor Curtis Coleman, director of OC’s Cybersecurity Education Center.
“Oklahoma Christian University is now among several Oklahoma institutions of higher education that are answering the call to train the next generation of experts who will increase cybersecurity in our nation to ensure our information and systems are safe,” said US Senator James Lankford. “We face constant cybersecurity threats domestically and around the world. Our Oklahoma universities can help train the professionals who lead the way for our 21st-century security.”
The CAE-CD designation by the NSA is the result of a thorough investigation into Oklahoma Christian University’s cybersecurity curriculum and program, which included a review of the faculty’s cyber credentials and their competence in teaching computer science and cybersecurity. This thorough review also included assessing students’ involvement in cybersecurity activities, such as the National Cyber League where OC students annually compete against 10,000 students nationwide.
“We are the only four-year institution in the Oklahoma City metroplex to have its program rigorously vetted and approved by NSA experts, and we are the only Oklahoma institution that teaches cybersecurity with the Christian worldview and ethics,” said Coleman. “We expect the Master’s cybersecurity program of study to also be validated soon.”
Through its B.S. Computer Science with Cybersecurity program and the OC Cybersecurity Education Center, the University provides the hands-on skills and knowledge necessary to prepare professionals to effectively investigate, detect, identify, and solve cybersecurity issues and challenges. The University’s offerings leverage its faculty – who are both industry thought leaders and certified practitioners – along with OC’s reputation for excellence in curriculum and course development to create innovative learning experiences that address prevailing security concerns within industries and communities.
“OC is committed to meeting current and future workforce demands with excellence,” said John deSteiguer, President of Oklahoma Christian University. “The NSA’s National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education designation recognizes our commitment, and puts Oklahoma Christian University as the first faith-based institution in Oklahoma training and preparing leaders in this critical, frontline industry. I am thrilled by our talented faculty’s efforts to navigate and perfect the cybersecurity landscape.”
Oklahoma Christian University is also in the process of obtaining an NSA validation of their Master of Science in Computer Science with Cybersecurity program. The Master’s program consists of 12 hours of Computer Science Foundation with 12 hours of Cybersecurity, and additional 6 hours of electives. The program is designed to accommodate working professionals and can be completed in one year.
Oklahoma Christian University Cybersecurity Education Center website: https://www.oc.edu/cyber-center.