The N.S.A. - National Security Agency - Honors Christian University

Wednesday, November 17 2021 by Richard D. Hunt/Halle Johnson

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Dr. Seth Hamman and students from Cedarville University's cyber security program
Cedarville University
Dr. Seth Hamman and students from Cedarville University's cyber security program

After a thorough vetting process, the National Security Agency (NSA) has named Cedarville University a National Center of Academic Excellence (NCAE) in Cyber Defense. The designation is for 2021-2026 and is in addition to Cedarville’s previously awarded designation as a NCAE in Cyber Operations in 2018.

The designation process has two components: the program of study validation and the center of academic excellence designation. The program of study validation ensures academic rigor and requires evidence of faculty-student mentorship, cybersecurity extracurricular activities, course material and syllabi examples and student work. The CAE component focuses on larger program outcomes including core values and principles, outreach and professional development.

“Our students are taught much more than simply a code of ethics,” said Dr. Seth Hamman, director of the Center for the Advancement of Cybersecurity and associate professor of cyber operations and computer science. “At Cedarville we put a compelling vision in front of our students that’s worth sacrificing for, which is vital because character requires sacrifice.”

Gaining this designation is an important step for Cedarville’s growing cyber program.

“This designation is an external vetting coming from the National Security Agency, the world’s premier cybersecurity organization,” said Hamman. “This not only serves as promotion for our cyber program, but it opens doors for scholarships and other grants that will help strengthen the education of our students.”

The cyber program, comprised of both the Bachelor of Science in cyber operations and the Bachelor of Science in computer science with a specialization in cyber operations, is one of Cedarville’s fastest growing programs.

“The growth of our department has allowed us to add a specific cyber operations major within the last two years,” said Hamman. “Cedarville is helping to shape cybersecurity education in academia as the discipline continues to come of age.”

This designation not only validates Cedarville’s cyber programs but allows for increased collaboration with other institutions nationwide.

During the application process, universities are assigned mentors from designated institutions, and after being designated universities join the NCAE Community. Hamman, who serves as a mentor for the CAE in Cyber Operations designation, enjoys collaborating with faculty members across the country who are passionate about cybersecurity.

“Cybersecurity education is the solution behind the solutions to the cybersecurity crisis facing our country,” explained Hamman. “There are annual conferences and meetings for the cyber community, and we enjoy working together toward the goal of strengthening cybersecurity education nationwide.”

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[Photo Credit: Cedarville University] 

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,715 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including the bachelor of science in cyber operations and the bachelor of science in computer science, strong graduation, and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit

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