Back to Top
Utility Nav Top Nav Content News Nav Site Search
Close Main Menu

Upward Bound participants to study cyber security

2019-07-01-UpwardBound-1
Students from Johnson and Gilmer high schools are taking computer science and cybersecurity courses during the Upward Bound residential summer experience, which is an annual six-week summer residential experience at the University of North Georgia's Dahlonega Campus. Upward Bound is a federally funded program designed to help promising low-income, first-generation high school students prepare for and be successful in college.

Hands-on science experiments, algebraic equations and foreign languages were just a few of the featured subjects high school students learned during the Upward Bound residential summer experience last year at the University of North Georgia (UNG). This year, computer science and cybersecurity courses are on the schedule for the annual six-week summer experience.

The new courses stem from two $40,000 U.S. Department of Education (DOE) supplemental grants awarded to UNG's Upward Bound programs with Johnson High School in Gainesville, Georgia, and Gilmer High School in Ellijay, Georgia. Upward Bound is a federally funded program designed to help promising low-income, first-generation high school students prepare for and be successful in college.

Dr. N.  Latrice Richardson, program director of Upward Bound at UNG, said the grants focused on programs that incorporated two DOE priorities. First is to support student mastery of key prerequisites such as algebra to ensure success in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) or to develop proficiency in computer applications. Second is to increase access to STEM coursework and hands-on learning. The DOE also looked favorably on sustainable applications, she said.

Richardson found a comparable program at UNG with the GenCyber Warrior Academy, a summer camp that introduces 40 high school students to cybersecurity. Both summer programs occur at the same time on UNG's Dahlonega Campus, creating a beneficial partnership and forming the Summer Cyber Institute (SCI). UNG is the ideal place for this program since it is a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.

Dr. Bryson Payne, professor of computer science at UNG, explained the grant money allowed the GenCyber Warrior Academy to expose more students to the evolving technological industry with varied employment opportunities. As the director of the Center for Cyber Operations Education, he said more than 350,000 cybersecurity positions were unfilled in 2017 because of a lack of qualified candidates.

"In the mostly rural areas, we need students to see what cybersecurity is and to know they can do it," Payne said. "Plus, it is a fun college career and excellent way to make a living."

2019-07-01-UpwardBound-2

Students from Johnson and Gilmer high schools are taking computer science and cybersecurity courses during the Upward Bound residential summer experience. Dr. N.  Latrice Richardson, program director of Upward Bound at UNG, said the summer program will expose more female students to the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields since 70 percent of Upward Bound participants are high school girls from diverse backgrounds.

Richardson said the collaboration also will expose more female students to the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields since 70 percent of Upward Bound participants are high school girls from diverse backgrounds.

"Fewer women are pursuing those degrees," she said. "This joint effort will get more girls interested."

Richardson hopes when all of the students return to their respective high schools in the fall, then word will spread about their summer experience and Upward Bound.

The programs at Johnson and Gilmer have had a successful year. In May 2019, 21 participants graduated from high school and 100 percent were accepted into colleges. Four have committed to UNG in fall 2019.

"This postsecondary enrollment rate says that #TRIOworks," Richardson said, adding Upward Bound is among the federal TRIO programs.

Upward Bound supplies high school students with weekly tutoring sessions, ACT and college preparation sessions, career exploration, cultural experiences, and college visits during the school year. In the summer, they are immersed in college life.

"When they are on campus, they are reminded of the program’s main objective, which is the pursuit of a postsecondary degree," she said. "The Upward Bound Summer Institute reaffirms their potential as first-generation college students."

UNG follows Section 508 Standards and WCAG 2.0 for web accessibility. If you require the content on this web page in another format, please contact the ADA Coordinator.

Back to Top