By Bob Fowler
Roane State staff writer
A new high-tech computer lab to teach the principles of cybersecurity to Roane State dual enrollment students is up and running at Lenoir City High School. Computers and other items for the lab were installed over the summer.
The special class is filling up rapidly, said Dr. George Meghabghab, director of the community college’s Computer Information Technology program, who will be teaching the twice-a-week course at LCHS.
The new class is scheduled to begin later this month, barring unforeseen developments in the coronavirus pandemic.
Roane State’s more than $125,000 investment in the lab is funded by part of a $999,950 state grant from the Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) program, which is also being used to expand the college’s mechatronics program.
In dual enrollment, high school students receive college credit for successfully passing the class taught by Roane State educators. In this instance, students will also receive a certification that’s considered an invaluable asset when they apply for a job.
Meghabghab said Lenoir City High School administrators expressed an interest in having a cybersecurity lab. “I jumped at the chance,” he said. Meghabghab made presentations about the growing field of cybersecurity to those administrators as well as faculty members.
Basic principles in cybersecurity will be taught, including digital forensics, Internet Protocol scanning and data reconnaissance. “We have built a strong culture of cybersecurity at Roane State,” Meghabghab said.
Roane State was recently designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. Student teams competing on the state and national stages have won awards for their expertise in cybersecurity.