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HBCU CyberChat

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HBCU CyberChat Overview

The HBCU CyberChat is a virtual speaker series designed to enhance the cybersecurity knowledge and awareness of students, faculty, and industry professionals within PROPEL’s HBCU Cybersecurity Consortium. This initiative aims to close the cybersecurity skills gap, foster a diverse pipeline of cybersecurity professionals, and create a forum to discuss current cybersecurity trends, skills, resources, and career paths.
PROPEL’s HBCU CyberChat in partnership with Southern Company will consist of:
  • 1 – 1.5-hour sessions featuring a prominent authority in the cybersecurity sector
  • Bi-monthly programming for both students and faculty  
  • The initial iteration of the CyberChat series will all be virtual meetings
  • Discussions will be guided by presentation and supporting visual materials
  • CyberChat meeting dates will align with the academic calendar to maximize engagement

HBCU CyberChat Series

CyberChat: Launching Summer 2024

June 3rd, 2024

Data Privacy & Security in the Age of AI

Deepen understanding of the impacts AI has on data privacy and security for individuals and organizations, and to explore strategies for safeguarding information.

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July 1st, 2024

Ethical Hacking

Provide insights into security vulnerabilities and to teach ethical hacking methods that can protect against cyber threats.

August 5, 2024

Incident Response and Recovery

Prepare IT professionals with actionable strategies for managing and recovering from security incidents effectively.

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August 19, 2024

Designing a Personalized Professional Learning Plan

Guide participants in creating a customized professional development plan that aligns with their career aspirations and educational requirements.

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September 9, 2024

Cloud & Mobile Computing

Explore the significance of cloud and mobile computing within today's digital ecosystems and their impact on technology strategies.
September 23, 2024

Evidence of Learning: Authentic Assessment

Provide insights into security vulnerabilities and to teach ethical hacking methods that can protect against cyber threats.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the PROPEL HBCU Cybersecurity Consortium and what do we do?

The HBCU Cybersecurity Consortium (HCC) is a collaborative initiative designed to address the cybersecurity skills gap and develop a diverse pipeline of skilled cybersecurity professionals. Partnering with Southern Company, the Consortium offers comprehensive programs, workshops, and real-world projects. Its mission is to accelerate cybersecurity education and workforce readiness among HBCU students and faculty, fostering collaboration between academia, industry, and government.


What are the primary goals of the HCC?

The HCC aims to equip cybersecurity faculty and students with advanced training, accelerated learning, and workforce readiness opportunities. HCC fosters collaboration between academia, industry, and government, and develops a diverse pipeline of graduates qualified to address tomorrow's cybersecurity challenges.


What programs are offered by the HCC?

The HCC offers several key programs, including:

  • The HBCU Cybersecurity Accelerator for students.
  • The HBCU Cybersecurity Fellows Program (HCFP) for faculty.
  • The HBCU CyberChat Monthly sessions for both students and faculty.

How can students and faculty participate in these programs?

Participants can apply through specified application processes for each program.

What are the eligibility criteria for the Cybersecurity Accelerator Program?

Eligible students must be in good academic standing at an HBCU, have completed 90 credits(junior or senior) of computer science coursework, and be interested in cybersecurity. They must commit to participating in both online and in-person activities.

What does the Cybersecurity Fellows Program offer to faculty?

The program requires an application and offers over 60 hours of professional development, certification support, and opportunities to engage in innovative teaching and learning methodologies. It aims to elevate faculty expertise and facilitate collaboration with industry and government. However, all the programs for faculty isn't application-based. Faculty who are not in the Cybersecurity Fellows Program will still be able to actively participate in PROPEL Learn, Consortium meetings, CyberChats, and take advantage of other research opportunities. 

How do the programs enhance the knowledge and skill sets of students and faculty, and how does it benefit other stakeholders?

The Consortium's programs enhance student and faculty knowledge and skills by combining theoretical learning with practical experiences. In the Cybersecurity Accelerator Program, students benefit from challenge-based learning and mentoring, gaining both technical and social skills. Faculty development is promoted through the Fellows Program, which offers advanced training and certifications. Other HBCU stakeholders gain access to enriched curriculums and resources, improving their students' educational experience.

Is the Consortium exclusive to certain schools?

The Consortium will offer priority access to programs for the select HBCUs that participated in its development. However, it is open to all HBCUs, with schools that join over time and are officially represented gaining increasing access to programming and resources. This inclusivity ensures broad engagement across the HBCU community.

How are students educated with the industry-required skill sets?

The Cybersecurity Consortium’s accelerated learning opportunities educate students on industry-required skills through challenge-based learning and other expedited experiential learning opportunities. The consortium’s flagship accelerated learning program is the Cybersecurity Accelerator. The program also includes a significant mentoring component, allowing students to apply their knowledge practically, understand industry dynamics, and develop essential technical and social skills.

Do faculty members have access to certifications as part of the Fellows Program, and do they have to wait the entire year?

Faculty members receive funding for certifications upon acceptance into the Fellows Program. While the program is sequential and time-bound, faculty can choose when to pursue certifications based on the curriculum and their schedule. This flexibility is complemented by mentorship and coaching from cybersecurity professionals, enhancing faculty teaching capabilities.

More questions

Visit the PROPEL help center

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