Home News VGCC and Piedmont Collaborate to Prepare Regional Workforce for Cybersecurity Careers

VGCC and Piedmont Collaborate to Prepare Regional Workforce for Cybersecurity Careers

Representatives of Piedmont Community College and Vance-Granville Community College gather at the Cybersecurity ISA signing ceremony in December 2023.

From left: Dr. Syed Raza, Instructor of Cybersecurity, PCC; Dr. Barbara Buchanon, Vice President of Instruction, PCC; Chris S. Davis, Dean of Business Studies & Emerging Technologies, PCC; Dr. Pamela G. Senegal, President, PCC; Dr. Kim Sepich, Vice President of Learning, Student Engagement & Success, VGCC; Dr. Rachel Desmarais, President, VGCC; Stephanie Tolbert, Dean of Business & Applied Technologies, VGCC; Spence Bailey, Program Head of Information Technology, VGCC; and Christal Thomas, Department Chair of Business Technologies, VGCC.

With the increase in cyber threats to many companies and organizations, Vance-Granville Community College and Piedmont Community College (PCC) are forging a groundbreaking partnership to educate the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. The two colleges have established a Level-Two Instructional Service Agreement (ISA) for cybersecurity that will begin in January 2024.

The ISA signifies a comprehensive collaboration between the Colleges to share resources, faculty expertise, and instructional support and to develop work-ready talent in the cybersecurity sector.

As part of the agreement, PCC Cybersecurity Instructor Dr. Syed Raza will provide on-campus instruction at VGCC. He was formally the Chair of the Computer Science Graduate Program at Talladega College, holds a Doctorate in Computer Information Systems with an Information Assurance concentration, a Master of Science in computer science from Nova Southeastern University, and a master’s in business administration (MBA) from Strayer University. Raza is also a member of various Cybersecurity and Information Technology organizations.

As a Carolina Cyber Network member, PCC contacted sister school VGCC to gauge their interest in working together and sharing resources to focus on cybercrime and cyber investigation. The Network is a comprehensive, innovative workforce development initiative among select North Carolina Cybersecurity educational institutions. Its 18 members are working together to meet the growing talent needs of North Carolina’s public agencies and private businesses.

“This agreement reflects our commitment to ensuring students are ready to lead the way in Cybersecurity. By aligning with VGCC, we aim to create an educational ecosystem that transcends boundaries and prepares students for success in an increasingly interconnected world,” said Dr. Pamela G. Senegal, PCC President.

Online and hybrid classes offered will include:

  • SEC–110 Security Concepts (3 Credits)
  • CCT–110 Intro to Cyber Crime (3 Credits)
  • CCT–121 Computer Crime Investigation (4 Credits)
  • CTI–120 Network & Security Foundations (3 Credits)

The ISA marks a strategic step towards fostering academic excellence and innovation. Both institutions are excited about the possibilities this collaboration presents and its positive impact on their students’ education and future careers.

“We are proud to partner with Piedmont Community College to provide excellent learning opportunities in information technology for PCC and VGCC students. We can serve our communities better by pooling our resources, cooperating rather than competing,” said Dr. Rachel Desmarais, VGCC President.

A Level-Two ISA is when two or more colleges plan to jointly offer curriculum or continuing education courses by sharing resources. One or more participating colleges must be approved to provide curriculum courses in an approved program of study or the continuing education courses the State Board has approved.

Visit www.piedmontcc.edu/cyber for more information about this new partnership.

To learn more about other offerings in Vance-Granville’s Information Technology program, contact Program Head Spence Bailey at 252-738-3437 or baileys@vgcc.edu .