FCC, Mount St. Mary’s, and Hood College Sign Cybersecurity Articulation Agreement


In an effort to support the growing need for trained professionals in the cybersecurity field, both regionally and nationally, Frederick Community College, Mount St. Mary’s University, and Hood College will collaborate to provide a single, unified degree pathway into this field.

The presidents of the three institutions signed the Memorandum of Understanding on June 14 at the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce. This articulation agreement among these regional cybersecurity powerhouses is the first of its kind in the U.S. and puts the needs of the student first to ensure seamless transition for three degrees on one career path.

“Frederick County residents are fortunate to have three outstanding higher education institutions in our community,” said FCC President Elizabeth Burmaster. “We are thrilled to partner with Hood College and Mount St. Mary’s University to offer students this unified degree pathway that leads to a master’s degree in an in-demand and critical career field.”

The cybersecurity associate degree at FCC will offer courses that transfer to the Mount toward a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity. In turn, the cybersecurity curriculum at the Mount will transfer toward a master’s degree in cybersecurity at Hood College. The provosts and cybersecurity faculty leads at each school developed the agreement to give students a contemporary, rigorous and relevant education in the cybersecurity field that fully aligns with National Security Agency accreditation standards.

“This unique partnership will help ensure our country’s security by providing local, regional and national companies with well-trained cybersecurity professionals,” said Mount St. Mary’s University President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D. “The Mount is excited to welcome students who begin their higher education at FCC and then encourage our graduates in cybersecurity to pursue advanced studies at Hood.”

The three parties will establish a series of collaborative programs, events, and activities to recruit and retain students. Faculty exchange opportunities will allow professors to participate as guest lecturers, or as affiliate/adjunct faculty at any of the three institutions, enhancing the student learning experience.

“An important component of this agreement is the strategic advising aspect,” said Andrea Chapdelaine, Ph.D., president of Hood College. “Academic advisers at each school will know the steps needed for the next degree, ensuring timely completion of each degree, ultimately saving students money and time.”

This partnership will foster internships through collaboration with the local business community and the students with varying levels of skills and competencies from the three-institution pipeline. This collaboration is mutually beneficial as businesses gain access to hard-to-find local talent while students get hands-on experience and grow their networks.   

“At the epicenter of business relationship-building and networking, the Chamber is a wonderful venue to formalize this agreement between three major academic institutions in Frederick County,” said Elizabeth Cromwell, president and CEO of the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce. “Our business community stands to benefit from the outstanding, seamless programs that this partnership creates right here in Frederick County.”

Cybersecurity is a growing field with an anticipated 6 million jobs globally by 2019, according to the Palo Alto Research Center and Symantec. Further, cyber experts predict a 100 percent cybersecurity employment rate through 2021.

For more information about the cybersecurity program at FCC, click here.