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Ripley County Information Security Pathway
The Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) is showcasing five implementation grant plans that emerged from a six-month planning experience in 2016. We've previously highlighted the Perry Central Education Workforce Partnership and the Lebanon EWIN Partnership and their visions to increase the number of students prepared to enter the high-wage, high-demand field of advanced manufacturing.  

This month we will feature the implementation plan of the Ripley County EWIN Partnership. The partnership was facilitated by Genesis: Pathways to Success, an initiative of the Ripley County Community Foundation. The core team consists of
  • K-12 Education: Jac-Cen-Del Community School Corporation, Batesville Community School Corporation, South Ripley Community School Corporation, Milan Community Schools, Southeastern Career Center, Oldenburg Academy, St. Louis School, Indiana Virtual Academy
  • Postsecondary Education: Ivy Tech Community College, Northern Kentucky University
  • Lead Business & Industry Experts (19 total businesses involved): Hillenbrand, Hill-Rom, Enhanced Telecommunications, & Eagle3 Resource Group LLC 
Many other partners are engaged as well with the lead team that truly has taken a collaborative approach to this planning process.  
Further details of the plan are below, and we invite you to participate in a webinar that will highlight the partnership as its members share their planning process and implementation plan. 
Genesis: Pathways to Success, an initiative of the Ripley County Community Foundation, presents:
EWIN Implementation Plan Webinar
Thursday, March 30, 2017 at 2 p.m. EDT
Figure 1. During the planning process the lead team documented existing programs and opportunities (seen in green) before identifying strategies to fill the gaps (seen in blue) in the K-16 pathway. See the full pathway here.

Cybersecurity in a Rural County

Emphasizing the importance of cybersecurity for the state of Indiana and the nation, Governor Mike Pence formed the Indiana State Executive Council on Cybersecurity in April 2016. This Executive Council “is charged with enhancing Indiana’s ability to prevent, respond to and recover from all types of cybersecurity issues, including attacks.”

Employers in Ripley County have begun to take another look at these requirements, especially after the local hospital experienced a data breach in July 2015. However, a challenge of the rural location is an inability to find and retain the needed individuals for these jobs. Being located within an hour’s drive of major metropolitan areas, a common misperception is that the only “good, well-paying” jobs are located in those metropolitan areas.  

Employers in southeastern Indiana are trying to correct this misconception by offering opportunities for individuals with appropriate industry certifications and associate degrees to enter into entry-level jobs. These have the potential to fast-track individuals into higher positions with higher pay, tuition reimbursement and great benefits. "Growing our own" talent is one local solution to workforce needs. However, with statewide and national demand for these skills, a person in this pathway will have access to a variety of jobs not bound by geographic locations.

After a trip to Huntsville, Alabama's cybersecurity academies we realized information security is vital for every economic and government sector, business and community partner engagement is critical, and building awareness of the pathway is important - camps, mentorships, internships, etc.

Planning Process

1. Identify gaps through curriculum and skills mapping.
A curriculum map was developed of existing opportunities (see Figure 1 above), and employers were surveyed to identify knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for specific jobs.  

2. Learn from sites of promising practice.
The team visited Hunstville Schools Cybersecurity Pathways to benchmark best practices and spark innovative thinking.
3. Establish collaborative partnerships to develop information security resources to develop talent pipeline. 
Ripley County will continue to build and sustain meaningful relationships among business partners and educators through the development of information security educational programs including job shadowing opportunities, internships, and training for incumbent and dislocated workers. 

Implementing a County-Wide Information Security Pathway

Element 1a. Create a variety of programs to inspire interest and provide training in information security careers. Opportunities will be developed to increase awareness of information security for K-16 teachers, including accessing Nextech's teacher training programs. Widespread awareness of information security will be built through career awareness campaigns, summer camps, internships, mentorships, dual credit, and college/career visits.

Element 2. Pilot a dual credit/dual enrollment model for high school students in cybersecurity. Ivy Tech Community College, in collaboration with Batesville High School, will pilot a dual credit/dual enrollment pathway in computer and information technology in the 2017-2018 school year.

Element 3. Develop transfer agreements between Ivy Tech Community College and Northern Kentucky University and other postsecondary partners. As an outcome of this planning grant, Ivy Tech Community College and Northern Kentucky University refined a transfer agreement for graduates from Ivy Tech Community College’s cybersecurity degree program to continue their education in Northern Kentucky University’s computer information technology bachelor’s degree program.

Element 4. Measure the success of the pathway. A variety of metrics have been identified to gauge the success of this initiative, including but not limited to
  • # of educators receiving training through NexTech and other organizations
  • # of students engaged in cooperative education or internship opportunities with local businesses and/or enrolled in Batesville High School/Ivy Tech pilot program
  • # of students exposed to focused information security career awareness events, including participation in summer cyber camp
  • # of business partners participating in summer cyber camp through curriculum development, speaking to students, organizing/hosting summer camp activities, hosting student visits, engaging in WBL, or hosting teacher externships
  • # of students taking advantage of organized opportunities to visit college campus Computer Information Technology departments and/or local business Information Technology departments
  • # of Cyber, GoogleFirst, or related student teams established in our schools
Future Planning Grants & Other Events
These partnerships were fueled by CELL's Education Workforce Partnership Planning Grants. We will be sending out information on 2017 planning grants later this week.  Please contact Directors of Education Workforce Alisa Deck and Shannon Doody for more information.

Join CELL & Partnerships for the 2017 Pathways Summit!  Register here.

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