Richland College recently met the requirements for designation as a National Center of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence (CDFAE), the only institution in Texas and one of only 10 institutions in the nation to earn this distinction.
The CDFAE program develops partnerships between institutions of higher education and the government to establish standards and best practices for digital forensics students, educators, researchers and practitioners, and in doing so creates advancements in digital forensics and increases the number of qualified professionals in the fields of law enforcement, counterintelligence, national defense and legal.
“At Richland College, digital forensics is a science, technology, engineering and mathematics field, meaning we have developed a unique STEM approach with applied research,” said Zoltan Szabo, Richland College computer science faculty. “Our goal is to teach the scientific method to students in this field as it is required by the legal system for evidence production.”
By focusing on the STEM aspect of digital forensics, Richland College’s digital forensics program provides a non-traditional, research-oriented education to its students in this emerging field.
With its CDFAE designation, Richland College is recognized as a school that establishes a common core curriculum, and the designation requires in-course peer reviews of curriculum and practicum within a three-year period. Richland College also provides the opportunity for students to demonstrate their skills and knowledge in digital forensics, thus giving employers the ability to confirm a candidate’s capability to apply his or her knowledge as suitable in the workplace. In addition, this Richland College program has a certifiable path to meet Department of Defense workforce requirements and national cyber education needs with respect to digital forensics, strengthening the bond among academia, government, professional organizations and the industry.
“The field of digital forensics is very rewarding for those who complete the program, as cyber security fields cannot be outsourced, offering great job security to graduates,” Szabo said.