Center for Cyber Education at Mississippi State University

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The mission of the Center for Cyber Education (CCE) is to ensure all students in Mississippi have access to quality cyber education instruction from elementary through high school. Ultimately, this encompasses topics across the technology spectrum—including programming, cybersecurity, robotics, data science, and artificial intelligence—as well as the quantitative, technological, and sociological implications of each. The CCE also promotes teaching foundational concepts, including computational thinking, effective and appropriate uses of technology, digital forensics, and digital ethics across the K-12 curriculum. Mississippi has aggressive goals of creating a computer science curriculum framework in K-12 and placing qualified computer science teachers in all Mississippi schools by 2023-2024. The CCE, in partnership with the Mississippi Department of Education and Mississippi State University’s Research and Curriculum Unit, works to support these goals, as well as the Computer Science for Mississippi initiative—also known as CS4MS—with the input of an advisory board made up of representatives from the eight colleges at Mississippi State University and industries throughout the state. This diverse advisory board will help the CCE to understand the pervasive impact of cyber skills and information technology across society, and provide valuable insight into the courses and training that are needed for effective and relevant K-12 cyber education. The major goals of the CCE include: • Becoming a nationally recognized leader in broadening participation in K-12 computer science education through securing federal funding, collaborating nationally, and publishing annually. • Broadening participation in computer science through access, exposure, and education for all populations in the state, with an emphasis on attracting women and minorities to the field. • Being the hub of in-state collaboration, professional development, and quality resources for K-12 cyber education. • Establishing a strong network of industry partnerships to support K-12 cyber education through job shadowing and internships for students and teachers, teacher mentoring, and funding support, and maintaining dialog with industry leaders to meet their computer science workforce needs. • Helping build smooth articulation pathways from high school to community college, university, and the workforce, with national certifications built-in and multiple exit points. • Regularly convening K-12 teachers, postsecondary educators, and computer science industry professionals to evaluate existing K-12 computer science standards and curricula to ensure the content and courses remain relevant. • Constantly monitoring national and global trends, advancements, and innovations in cyber technology and education to inform the development of relevant new courses and pathways.