Ohio taps community colleges to help prevent cyberattacks during 2018 midterms
- Ohio is spending $4.9 million to hire IT consultants from community colleges and consultancies ahead of the 2018 midterms to help county boards of elections ensure their computer systems are capable of withstanding a cyberattack.
- So far, three community colleges are participating in the Pathfinder program, the Community College Daily reported: Clark State Community College, Southern State Community College and Terra State Community College.
- Community colleges are of interest to state initiatives because of their imperative to educate local residents and their access to additional resources. Clark State, for example, is home to a cyber defense center approved by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency.
The relationship between two-year colleges and local and state governments is critical to ensuring community groups and services can tap into the expertise and wealth of resources afforded to the institution. This includes such programs as Ohio's election cybersecurity effort as well as dual-enrollment classes and apprenticeships.
But because community colleges typically serve adult and other nontraditional learners, civic engagement — a benefit four-year institutions afford their host community — is more difficult to offer. Community colleges also often lack the financial resources for such efforts.
Seminole State College of Florida recently took several steps to increase civic engagement and service learning among its population of largely first-generation and nontraditional students. It added an educational element to its ongoing community service work, raising awareness among students of their impact locally. It also bolstered its civic engagement efforts by promoting voter registration on campus and hosting workshops to discuss social justice issues.
Combining civic engagement projects with skill development may be another avenue to bring forth apprenticeship opportunities for community college students, particularly as state leaders look to bring higher-wage jobs to their states, according to The Council of State Governments.
- Community College Daily Ohio colleges working to ensure a smooth election
- The Highland County Press Husted, Ohio’s community colleges announce partnership to support elections cybersecurity efforts