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Louisiana Tech University Graduates First Class of K-12 Cyber Education Certificate Recipients

Updated 11:44 AM on August 28, 2017

Summer 2017 marks the graduation of the first 20 Cyber Education Certificate recipients. K-12 educators and administrators from Caddo and Bossier Parishes in Louisiana, as well as Arkansas and South Carolina, have completed the four-course certificate sequence enabling them to add the cyber education teacher credential to their repository of enrichments and certificate enhancements.

Approved by the Board of Regents in January 2017, the Cyber Education Certificate is offered through a collaboration between Louisiana Tech University’s College of Education (COE) and the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC), the academic division of the Cyber Innovation Center (CIC), located in Bossier City, Louisiana. Courses within the Cyber Education Certificate program prepare educators to confidently teach cyber and computer science content in their classrooms.

“This Cyber Education Certificate affirms Louisiana Tech’s commitment to providing unique and meaningful learning experiences for our educators and, in turn, our students,” said Louisiana Tech University Provost Dr. Terry McConathy.

Louisiana Tech University and the Cyber Innovation Center also invested in scholarships to assist the initial cohort in gaining this prestigious recognition, and certification teachers who complete the program will not only be ideal candidates to become science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and cyber leaders at their schools, but also they will be able to connect students with the cyber careers of tomorrow through innovative learning techniques.

“The Cyber Education Certificate Program courses helped me successfully advance and integrate my STEM and cyber skills,” said Charlene Cooper, Lead Middle School STEM Instructor for Bossier Parish Schools.
“Having this in-depth knowledge has increased my confidence in preparing cyber lessons that will appropriately challenge and engage students. The teachers enrolled in the courses became members of a highly collaborative learning community and, through meaningful discourse with them, I feel prepared to implement cyber education effectively in grades K-12.”

“Cyber education is becoming more prevalent in K-12 and an increasingly integral component of a student’s educational career,” said Kevin Nolten, Director of Academic Outreach for the Cyber Innovation Center. “Our nation’s teachers must be empowered to engage their students in entirely new ways and provide them with the 21st century skills necessary to solve our region’s and nation’s ever-changing workforce.”

Louisiana Tech University President Dr. Les Guice also expressed his excitement about the cyber education program.

“I am thrilled that our College of Education continues to take a state and national leadership role in advancing STEM and cyber education programs that will provide teachers with the tools they need to prepare high school graduates for being competitive in the 21st century economy,” said Louisiana Tech president Les Guice.

This fall a new cohort of Cyber Education Certificate candidates will begin the rigorous curricula offered through the Office of Professional Education Outreach (OPEO) located in the Science and Technology Education Center (SciTEC) in the College of Education at Louisiana Tech University. Limited scholarships are available for qualified educators. Inquiries can be sent to Debbie Lee at dlee@latech.edu or to Erika Jones at emj007@latech.edu in the College of Education.

“The SciTEC team is overjoyed to celebrate the first of what we hope are many Cyber Education Certificate graduates,” said Lindsey Keith Vincent, SciTEC Director. “It is incredibly important that educators are equipped with necessary knowledge and pedagogical skills to adequately prepare the future leaders of our increasingly technological society and cyber-infused industries. We at SciTEC and OPEO are humbled by the opportunity to be a part of this effort that could have meaningful global implications.”

Louisiana’s Board of Regents is also excited about the program.

“Louisiana Tech has provided outstanding professional development leadership in North Louisiana through LaSIP for over three decades,” said Bryan Jones, Enhancement/LaSIP Program Manager for the Louisiana Board of Regents. “It has been the cornerstone institution in our program since its inception. Through partnerships with K-12 schools and districts, they have afforded invaluable content development for local teachers across the spectrum of disciplines, from literacy to mathematics to science. It is fitting that in the 2017-18 cycle, the closing phase of the LaSIP program, that Tech should be heading up three of our final nine projects. The history of this program would not have been the same without them.”