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Austin Peay State University ranked First in Tennessee in Cyber FastTrack program, Ninth in Country

 

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University (APSU) computer science students currently rank ninth nationally and No. 1 in the state in a nationwide cybersecurity program for college students and graduates.

Austin Peay State University computer science students currently rank ninth nationally and No. 1 in the state in a nationwide cybersecurity program for college students and graduates. (APSU)

Austin Peay State University computer science students currently rank ninth nationally and No. 1 in the state in a nationwide cybersecurity program for college students and graduates. (APSU)

Hundreds of colleges from across the country (and nearly 40 from Tennessee) are participating in the Cyber FastTrack program, which launched on April 5th and continues through September 16th.

More than 13,000 students across the country started the program, and only 2,400 qualified for the next stage.

Thirty-three of those were Austin Peay students, ranking APSU higher than Tennessee Tech, which qualified 19 students, and Memphis, which qualified 11 students. Austin Peay State University started with 161 students in the program.

Dr. Karen Meisch, interim dean of the APSU College of STEM, credited Dr. Leong Lee, Dr. Joseph Elarde and Barry Bruster “for their hard work in establishing Austin Peay State University as first in Tennessee and ninth in the nation.” Lee is chair of the APSU Department of Computer Science and Information Technology. Elarde and Bruster teach security classes.

The students are playing for $2.5 million in scholarships and for direct introductions to employers.

Twenty-five state governors and the SANS Institute launched Cyber FastTrack as the first step in a national initiative to close the U.S. cybersecurity skills gap, according to its website.

“Cyber FastTrack gives every college student in each of the governors’ states a way to ‘play a game’ to discover their aptitude to excel in the field.”

Cyber FastTrack has three stages: Assess (April 5th-May 10th), Game (May 20th-June 28th) and Essentials (July 10th-September 16th). The Assess stage scored students as they navigated cybersecurity threats.

The 33 APSU students who qualified were invited to the Game stage, where they’ll focus on self-learning and how to identify security flaws and a cyber criminal’s trail. Students who qualify for the last stage will take on advanced cybersecurity topics.

Here are the schools currently ranked in the Top 10 nationally:

  1. Western Governors University
  2. Southern Arkansas University
  3. Central Connecticut State University
    (tie) Fairleigh Dickinson University
    (tie) George Mason University
  4. Michigan State University
  5. University of New Haven
    (tie) University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  6. Austin Peay State University
  7. University of North Georgia

Only 10 of Tennessee’s 38 participating schools qualified for the next stage (APSU, Tennessee Tech, Memphis, UT Chattanooga, UT Martin, Carson-Newman, UT Knoxville, East Tennessee, Belmont and Bethel).

 

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