AT&T Awards ASU Cybersecurity Grant for Students

News Date
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ASU Receives $25-K Grant from AT&T/Foundation to Promote Cybersecurity & Establish a University Student Bootcamp for 'Security-Plus' Student Certification
By: Kenneth Mullinax/ASU
A grant of $25,000 has been awarded to Alabama State University's Foundation from AT&T and the AT&T Foundation to fund, support and promote high-quality education in the field of cybersecurity at the University. 
The grant will support the demand for cybersecurity professionals, as well as fund a six-week-long Bootcamp for 20 pre-selected ASU students to help them study for, take and obtain the much-coveted "CompTIA Security+" certification (Security-Plus), which is among the most important cybersecurity certifications available.
"We would like to acknowledge AT&T and the AT&T Foundation for working with the University in promoting our shared goal of investing in Alabama State University's students through the awarding of this important grant, which supports cybersecurity in our community and nation," said Dr. Tanjula Petty, ASU's assistant provost for Student Success and Special Initiatives, Office of Academic Affairs.
The newly funded "Security-Plus" certification Bootcamp will start on campus Oct. 8 with undergraduate and graduate-level students from both the Dr. Percy J. Vaughn, Jr. College of Business Administration (COBA) and ASU's Computer Science program.
"The goal at the end of the Bootcamp is to take and pass the Security-Plus certification test," explained Dr. Kamal Hingorani, COBA's dean. 
He stated that the AT&T grant will cover the examination fee, textbooks, and the administrative cost for teaching the class for the 20 students who will be enrolled. Additionally,  a pass-award of $350 per student will be given through the grant for all students who pass the exam. One of the grant's goals is that 70 percent of the ASU students pass the certification test.
COBA's dean explained that the Security-Plus certification is one of the most highly valued and important professional certificates that one may achieve in the field of cybersecurity.
"Our newly funded AT&T sponsored bootcamp will aid our students in passing the Security-Plus test and obtaining this coveted certification that will more easily help open the doors of gainful employment for our students at the world's most important corporations, and at important governmental entities, such as the U.S. Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency and similar institutions. Obtaining this professional designation demonstrates to a potential employer that the recipient of it possesses the acumen and expertise to execute and promote cybersecurity at the highest levels of competency," said Hingorani.
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Petty (pictured on the left) explained that ASU wants to both provide a world-class education for its students and present them opportunities to be among the most employable candidates available for the careers that they have chosen to pursue, which is what this AT&T grant provides for them.
"It is always good to have additional resources to provide for our students since employers are always looking for candidates who have professional certifications, which places the candidates at the front of the line for future employment," Petty said.
She added: "This AT&T grant is yet another fine example of ASU President Quinton Ross's ideal of CommUniversity, which shows that the University is willing to reach out and partner with community members to further our mission of providing a world-class education for our students while  enhancing the success of the community at large."
News media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104.