Computer Information Systems




Program news

Attn.: All second year AAS-T cybersecurity students

Apply now if you plan to start Western Washington University's (WWU) Computer and Information Systems Security (CISS) program in fall 2015.

Important steps and deadlines:

  1. To apply for financial aid, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. February 15, 2015 is the priority deadline.
  2. Apply to WWU online. March 1, 2015 is the priority submission deadline.
  3. Apply to the CISS program. March 1, 2015 is the priority submission deadline.

See the CISS application process instructions for details. Also visit

For assistance and/or to receive future updates about Western's CISS program contact Jenny Hebert, WWU Special Projects Manager, (360) 650-7780 or

WCC is National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense

Confirming its stature as a national leader in cybersecurity education, Whatcom Community College has been designated by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense. Whatcom is among the first community colleges in the in United States to earn this distinction, which recognizes colleges that are models of education and training in the information assurance field with curriculum mapped to the NSA’s latest requirements.

For the full press release, click here [PDF]

New opportunity for high school students!

Whatcom Community College (WCC) held the last of its three cybersecurity camps for high school students in winter 2014. Although WCC is no longer offering the cybersecurity camps, beginning in fall 2015, a new partnership with the Northwest Career & Technical Academy (NCTA) will allow local high school students to earn both high school and college credit in the field of Computer Security and Support; this program includes participation in the CyberPatriot competition!

Contact NCTA for more information about this exciting new opportunity for high school students: (360) 848-0706 or

Baker Hall remodel completed

The remodel of the CIS/Cybersecurity program’s labs and classrooms in Baker Hall was completed over summer 2014, more than doubling the dedicated space to 5,378 sq. ft. The upgraded facilities include two lecture spaces, three enlarged labs, a new networking/server room and a new instructional support/testing area. The new lab layouts allow for increased and improved interaction among instructors and students, and the expanded lab space is equipped with additional computers, a Cisco router package and network infrastructure equipment.

New options for cybersecurity degree classes

Starting Spring 2014, Cybersecurity students have the option of taking two of these four classes:

  • Business Law (BUS& 201)
  • Ethics (PHIL 130)
  • Engineering Physics (PHYS& 221)
  • American Government (POLS& 202)

Prior to Spring, students were required to take PHYS& 221 and PHIL 130 at Whatcom. Now, students pick two of the four classes to take at Whatcom, and take the remaining two classes at Western Washington University, after transferring in to the Computer Information System Security degree. Meet with your Advisor at WCC to talk about which options are best for your.

WCC offers degree pathway in cybersecurity!

WCC received a three-year, $500,000 Capacity Building CyberSecurity grant from the Scholarship for Service program at the National Science Foundation. The grant funded development of a new cybersecurity two-year degree [PDF] in collaboration with WWU and UW, which in parallel will develop new four-year degrees. WCC will also work with area colleges and regional high schools to articulate courses and to introduce younger students to this exciting high-demand, high-wage field.

Click here [PDF] for more information.

WCC awarded NSF grant to support CyberWatch Center

WCC, as part of a consortium of west coast institutions, will share a $3 million grant awarded by the National Science Foundation to establish a west coast cybersecurity region. WCC's role, under the direction of CIS Program Coordinator Corrinne Sande, will be to support the establishment and operation of the CyberWatch West Center to address challenges and concerns in education and the regional business industry, specifically the shortage of information security professionals. The Center will also work to enhance business and team-work skills among information technology professionals and enhance cybersecurity curriculum at many higher education institutions.

For a full press release, click here [PDF].

CIS Program and Student Activities

CIS students take advantage of several experiences to enhance training and improve professional development.

  • Students in the CIS program participate annually in the Pacific Rim Cyberdefense Competition. Click here to view a short film of the first competition held in 2008.

  • Students also participate in the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.
  • The student-run IT Professional's help desk is a free service provided by CIS students, under the direction of CIS faculty, to anyone on Whatcom's campus. CIS students diagnose, troubleshoot and problem solve a wide variety of desktop and laptop issues.
  • IT Professionals of Tomorrow is the student club for anyone interested in the field of information technology. The club meets regularly throughout the quarter.

  • Once students begin the CIS program, they gain access to a variety of technology resources, including:


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