An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : Article View
NEWS | April 7, 2023

NSWCDD enters into MOU with University of the District of Columbia

By Taft Coghill Jr., NSWCDD Corporate Communications

Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) and the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaboratively establish an online master’s program in cybersecurity.

The partnership is also exploring the establishment of a cybersecurity certificate program.

The MOU comes on the heels of an Education Partnership Agreement (EPA) established between NSWCDD and UDC in August 2022. The EPA enables UDC to contribute to and benefit from innovative research and development at Dahlgren. It helps the warfare center division enhance STEM education, outreach and grow its recruiting pipeline.

UDC, a historic Black university, was founded in 1851 and is the only public university in the nation’s capital. It offers a variety of educational disciplines, including its School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

“Partnering with UDC is a tremendous opportunity,” said NSWCDD’s Chief Technology Officer Jennifer Clift. “We are very excited to work with UDC and offer this academic program to our workforce. Since we began working with Dr. Victor McCrary, UDC Vice President of Research, just over a year ago, our partnership with the university took off. In addition to the EPA, we are also collaborating on K-12 STEM initiatives and opportunities that allow us to reach students that we haven’t been able to reach before.”

An MOU is a document that provides a broad outline of an agreement between two or more parties. The agreement between NSWCDD and UDC is effective immediately and will remain active for five years. It states that all courses are expected to advance professional education in cybersecurity for the NSWCDD workforce and that all credits earned in the potential certificate courses will count toward the master’s program.

It will take one full year and 18 credits to earn the certificate through that program and two years and six months to earn the master’s degree.

As part of the MOU, UDC will use instructors consistent with the National Center of Academic Excellence in cybersecurity. The UDC curriculum committee will perform an annual review of the master’s program in coordination with NSWCDD to ensure courses are meeting the needs of NSWCDD and desired outcomes are achieved. “We welcome the opportunity to partner with NSWCDD to build the STEM and Skilled Technical Workforce for the Greater Washington Metropolitan Region. UDC is committed to increasing our nation’s national security posture through our science and engineering educational offerings (certificates for skilled trades to graduate degrees) and the fruits of our innovative research ecosystem powered by the creativity of our students, staff and faculty,” McCrary said.

NSWCDD and UDC faculty will also work together to ensure that course designs address topics relevant to the Navy’s needs in cybersecurity.

Frank Dixon, head of the Strategic and Computing Systems Department at NSWCDD, is looking forward to closely working with UDC faculty to design a program specific to the Navy’s cybersecurity needs.

“This program will be a great benefit to the development of our workforce and in the advancement of our cyber engineering capabilities,” Dixon said.

Clift will serve as the point of contact representing NSWCDD.

McCrary, Computer Science and Cybersecurity Associate Professor Anteneh Girma and Computer Science and Information Technology Associate Professor Briana Wellman are points of contact for the university.

“Cybersecurity is critical to naval operations and the protection of our systems,” said NSWCDD Technical Director Dale Sisson, Jr., SES. “This program will advance the professional education and capabilities of our workforce in cybersecurity. We value our partnership with UDC and look forward to continued collaboration.”