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San Antonio Cyber Security Students Win National Competition

San Antonio Cyber Security Students Win National Competition

A team of San Antonio area students from the Information and Technology and Security Academy (ITSA), one of the Alamo Academies, was crowned national champions this spring at the annual CyberPatriot competition held in National Harbour, MD. The ITSA team is led by Alamo Colleges’ professors Michael Matuszek and Troy Touchette from San Antonio College.

The ITSA team was one of 12 finalists in the competition’s Open Division. Six students represented five San Antonio area high schools:  Kenny Bias, Brackenridge High School; Theodore Belitsos, Lee High School; Tommy Roberts, Warren High School; Robert Flores and Brian Carvan, both from Judson High School; and Mario Puente, Brennan High School. The Open Division began with more than 400 teams registered.  

CyberPatriot is a unique competition geared toward teenagers that replicates real life cyber security situations faced by computer administrators. Created in 2008 by the Air Force Association, CyberPatriot provides students hands-on learning about cyber security while exciting, educating, and motivating them to be the nation’s next cyber defenders.

CyberPatriot also benefits from the expertise of its industry sponsors, with the Northrop Grumman Foundation not only serving as presenting sponsor, but providing internships and scholarship money to the winning teams to help groom tomorrow’s workforce. In addition, founding partners Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and the Center for Infrastructure Assurance & Security (CIAS) at the University of Texas-San Antonio continue to be contributors to the competition.

Dr. Bruce Leslie, Alamo Colleges’ chancellor, noted that these students affirm that that the ITSA Program is producing world class IT graduates and a pipeline of future IT professionals for San Antonio’s growing IT Security Assurance industries. The Alamo Academy program is an educational partnership between the Alamo Colleges, San Antonio area cities and school districts, and local businesses and industries.  

For more information about ITSA and the Alamo Academies, <> . For info on CyberPatriot, go to <> .

Alamo Colleges Win National Bellwether Award for Planning, Governance and FinanceAlamo Colleges Win National Bellwether Award for Planning, Governance and Finance

The Alamo Colleges have received the prestigious 2012 Bellwether Award which recognizes outstanding and innovative programs in community college education. The winners were announced recently at the Community College Futures Assembly (CCFA) annual meeting in Orlando.

Alamo Colleges won in the Planning, Governance and Finance category, which recognizes programs or activities that improve efficiency and effectiveness in the community college. The program titled, Collaboration, Communication and Consensus: An Organic Approach to the Budget Crisis tackled fiscal cuts in the midst of unprecedented enrollment increases and rising operating costs. Fifty leaders from throughout the organization, including trustees, met the challenge head on during six days of budget retreats. Twenty-five budget reduction strategies, also focusing on student success, were identified and implemented without the need for layoffs or salary cuts.

“We are grateful for the recognition of the Alamo Colleges employees and trustees collaborative efforts to design and implement strategies to successfully address the budget shortage that we faced last year, said Alamo Colleges Chancellor Dr. Bruce Leslie. "I would like to congratulate all those who worked so hard to meet those challenges as well as those who collaborated on the presentation," he added.

The Community College Futures Assembly issued a call for Bellwether Award nominations in the fall of 2011, and 30 finalist colleges in three categories were competitively chosen from the applicants. Ten finalists were selected in each category: Instructional Programs and Services, co-sponsored by the National Council of Instructional Administrators; Planning, Governance and Finance, co-sponsored by the Council for Resource Development; and Workforce Development, co-sponsored by the National Council for Continuing Education and Training. All finalists presented at the Assembly and one winner was then selected from each category by a panel of national experts within each category.

The Community College Futures Assembly, now in its 18th year, convenes annually as an independent national policy forum for key opinion leaders to work as a think tank in identifying critical issues facing the future of community colleges, and to recognize Bellwether Finalist colleges as trend-setting institutions.


Alamo Colleges Partnership Offers B.A.A.S Degree for Under $10,000Alamo Colleges Partnership Offers B.A.A.S Degree for Under $10,000

At a press conference recently, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, in conjunction with the Alamo Colleges, announced a special "Affordable Degree" that will allow students to earn a university degree for the modest cost of just under $10,000. The first in this initiative for expanding the affordability of higher education will be a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (B.A.A.S.) with an emphasis on Information Technology. It will incorporate dual credit courses at the high school level, classes at the Alamo Colleges and a seamless transfer plan to Texas A&M-San Antonio.

"Cooperation between Texas A&M University-San Antonio and the Alamo Colleges has resulted in a benefit to our students," said Dr. Bruce Leslie, chancellor of the Alamo Colleges. "The total cost of the degree will cost $9,672 “a significant savings to students."

San Antonio College's Information Technology & Security Academy and the Center for Information Technology & Cyber Security at Texas A&M-San Antonio are integral academic components of this B.A.A.S. program.

"This degree plan is an excellent representation of how our education institutions are working together to meet the high demand for skilled graduates in the information technology and security fields," said Dr. Maria Hernandez Ferrier, president of Texas A&M University-San Antonio. "Our students understand the value of a college education, but affordability will always be a critical part of accessibility. This is one of the ways in which Texas A&M-San Antonio is helping our students achieve their goals."

The first students for this degree track can begin as early as fall 2012 in high schools in the San Antonio, Judson and Comal Independent School Districts with college-level coursework. The new Affordable Degree plan is one of only three select programs being launched across The Texas A&M University System resulting from the desire to provide an exceptional educational value in the face of skyrocketing costs.

House Speaker Straus Impressed by Alamo Academies’ StudentsHouse Speaker Straus Impressed by Alamo Academies’ Students

The Speaker of the Texas House, Joe Straus, and Representative Rob Eissler, chairman of the House Public Education committee, visited Port San Antonio on Tuesday, May 1 for a presentation on the Alamo Area Academies. Dr. Bruce Leslie, chancellor of the Alamo Colleges, Klaus Weiswurm, chairman of the Alamo Area Academies Board of Directors, industry leaders from Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Toyota, and six students from the Alamo Area Academies participated in the presentation and answered questions. Alamo Colleges Trustees Joe Alderete and Roberto Zarate also participated in the discussion, as well as Dr. Robert Zeigler, president, San Antonio College and Dr. Adena Loston, president, St. Philip's College.

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