Trocaire College awarded $336,000 Advanced Technological Education grant through National Science Foundation

NSF ATE Grant photo

To address the growing demand for entry-level cybersecurity technicians, Trocaire College today announced it is the recipient of a $336,458 Advanced Technological Education grant through the National Science Foundation.

With this funding, Trocaire will establish the Cybersecurity Preparation Academy (C-Prep), a high school dual enrollment cybersecurity program where students will earn industry-recognized professional certifications and college credits upon high school graduation. Participating students will also receive the benefit of early assurance admission to Trocaire and advanced standing in its cybersecurity AAS degree program.

“To keep pace with the rapidly growing demand for cybersecurity technicians here in Western New York, the goal of this project is to create an educational pathway to a full-time IT career, especially among diverse students who are currently underrepresented in the technology sector,” said Dr. Jennifer Blickwedehl, associate vice president for academic affairs, Trocaire College. “Through education and awareness, we also hope to dispel common misconceptions about needing a math or technology background to be successful in an IT career and instead focus on the necessary skills and personality attributes.”

The National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education program focuses on the education of technicians for the advanced-technology fields that drive the country’s economy.

Trocaire will partner with two local high schools to offer the program beginning this fall through May 2025. In addition to the courses, Trocaire will also provide professional development and IT instructor training for high school teachers, assist students with individualized support and mentoring, and strengthen students’ connections to the workforce through work-based learning opportunities.

Congressman Brian Higgins said, “This federal grant supports partnerships that prepare young people for jobs in high-demand fields. We commend Trocaire for leading this initiative, training the next generation of Western New York’s workforce, and giving students a jump-start on a promising career.”