Laurel Ridge offering cybersecurity engineering associate degree

For Immediate Release:
April 14, 2021

Primary Media Contact:
Sally Voth
Public Relations Specialist
[email protected]
Phone: 540-868-7134

An innovative, lucrative career pathway is now available for Laurel Ridge students with their eyes on the future and a knack for math.

The cybersecurity engineering degree is designed to transfer into a bachelor’s degree program, with some students going for more advanced degrees.

“It’s really unique to be able to offer an associate degree in cybersecurity engineering,” said IT Professor Henry Coffman. Dr. Coffman is the manager of Laurel Ridge’s cybersecurity program, which is a National Security Agency/Department of Homeland Security-designated Center of Academic Excellence.

He cited the Mars Rover project as a development that relied heavily on cybersecurity engineering through every phase of the process.

“The careers in this field are futurist-type jobs,” said Dr. Coffman.

Another unique aspect of Laurel Ridge’s cybersecurity engineering program is if the student maintains an A or B grade in the required calculus classes, they can co-enroll in cybersecurity engineering classes taught by faculty at George Mason University. They will still be paying Laurel Ridge tuition rates.

Not only will this save students money, it also means they won’t have to re-apply to the program, according to Dr. Coffman.

The degree is designed to seamlessly transfer into GMU’s cybersecurity engineering bachelor degree program, although graduates can transfer to other universities. GMU has an accelerated master’s degree for the field, as well.

Because this new degree is highly-specialized, Dr. Coffman and his counterpart at GMU will serve as advisors to students in the program.

“They’re going into a degree pathway that will serve as a good career move for the job market,” Dr. Coffman said. “I think they will have a great opportunity to be hired by a major employer possibly even before they graduate with their bachelor’s degree.”

The threat cyber-terrorism poses to industrial and municipal financial networks, utility systems and communication networks make this field especially relevant.

Learn more about the program at laurelridge.edu/cyberengineering.

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Founded in 1970, Laurel Ridge Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With four locations — Middletown, Warrenton, Luray-Page County and most recently, Vint Hill— the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. Laurel Ridge offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. Laurel Ridge also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. Laurel Ridge serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.

Laurel Ridge Community College (Laurel Ridge) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Laurel Ridge Community College. Laurel Ridge Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors. Laurel Ridge also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment.

Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.

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