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Curriculum aligned with national standards

Whatcom Community College’s bachelor of applied science (BAS) degree in IT networking - cybersecurity includes courses infused with security topics and embedded certificates of proficiency in cloud computing, industrial control systems (SCADA), mobile technologies, and web development. The curriculum aligns with specific focus areas defined by the National Security Agency / Department of Homeland Security as part of their Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) program. Additionally, curriculum builds off of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education’s (NICE) Cybersecurity Workforce Framework and the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Cybersecurity Competency Model; as such, the program helps meet the national shortage of cybersecurity professionals.

Program outcomes

Upon successful completion of WCC's IT networking - cybersecurity degree, graduates should be able to...

  1. Explain network topologies (e.g., protocols, ports, addressing schemes, routing, and wireless communication standards).
  2. Apply network design principles to meet client needs.
  3. Perform the basics of computer and network security.
  4. Communicate professionally with customers and co-workers.
  5. Install and configure network devices.
  6. Manage information in a variety of ways.
  7. Use scripting or programming languages to automate tasks.

Did you know?

Whatcom is:

  • One of the nation’s top community colleges (Aspen Institute, 2017)
  • Recognized by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance / Cyber Defense 2-year education (CAE2Y)
  • Named a National Cyberdefense Resource Center by the NSA
  • The host institution of two National Science Foundation grants to assist community colleges and universities with cybersecurity education program development and improvement (NCyTE and C5 Colleges)

These designations help our students as they enter the workforce, conveying they graduated from a program nationally recognized for its excellence and alignment to the highest information security standards.

Student activities extend learning beyond the classroom

Students hone their defense tactics through participation in regional and national cyber defense competitions in which network attacks are simulated under increasingly stressful circumstances. The winning team of this annual competition goes on to participate in the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.

The student-run IT Professional’s help desk is a popular service available to anyone on Whatcom’s campus. Under the direction of CIS faculty, students diagnose, troubleshoot and problem-solve a wide variety of desktop and laptop issues, while also developing effective customer service and communication skills.

For students interested in the field of information technology, the IT Professionals of Tomorrow student club meets regularly throughout the quarter.

Students gain access to a variety of technology resources, including:


 NCYTE Cisco Networking AcademyU.S. Department of Homeland SecurityNational Security Agency - United States of AmericaCW - CyberWatchPalo Alto Networks Cybersecurity Academy