DOD preps security scholarships

The Defense Department is close to announcing details on its Information Security Scholarship Program, which is designed to recruit and retain computer and network security professionals.

DOD is expected to release a solicitation Friday for its scholarship program, which was mandated in the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2001. The program is similar to the civilian Scholarship for Service program managed by the National Science Foundation but is specific to DOD.

The department expects to have about $2 million this year for the program, which consists of:

* Scholarships that will be awarded to individuals studying information assurance in exchange for a two-year commitment to work for the department.

* Grants that will be awarded to institutions to expand information assurance courses.

The program targets students enrolled in or applying to Centers of Excellence for Information Assurance Education as designated by the National Security Agency, which is running the scholarship program for DOD.

DOD and non-DOD students are eligible to apply, and scholarships will be awarded for undergraduate and graduate degrees.

The department will test the program on a limited basis during Phase 1, which will last one to two years, and then will increase its depth and breadth during the following years, according to an NSA representative speaking this week at the National Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education held at George Mason University, Fairfax, Va.

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