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UHMC Earns National Designation Cyber Defense Education

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ABIT students are trained to have essential cyber savvy skills that can be applied in a multitude of industries. PC: UH Maui College

The University of Hawai‘i Maui College has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in cyber defense education through academic year 2024 for its 4-year Applied Business and Information Technology (ABIT) bachelor’s degree program.

The designation is given by the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to promote higher education and research in cyber defense, and produce professionals with cyber defense expertise. Nationwide, only about 200 universities have been admitted to the CAE program, and UH Maui College is one of them.

UH Maui College was approved after meeting a rigorous criteria, which includes multiple assessments, comments and mentorship. The approval validates the courses offered in the university to be closely aligned with national standards in cybersecurity by experts in the field. The designation opens up more opportunities for scholarships, grants and other avenues to develop the curriculum, such as hosting conferences.


Corporations and government agencies, such as military branches who are seeking for cybersecurity education contracts look to only universities within the CAE program. UH Maui College now meets this requirement.

The initiative was led by ABIT Program Coordinator Debasis Bhattacharya, who also oversees activities under UH Maui College’s Center for Cybersecurity Education and Research, which was established in 2015. The center has engaged the local community with cybersecurity education and workforce training throughout the years.

“Current and future students of our cybersecurity programs can be more confident about the training they receive at UH Maui College,” Bhattacharya said. “Not only it is an impressive thing to have on a resume, but the center is committed to providing a competitive and resilient workforce to help address vulnerabilities in our community’s security.”


For those interested to apply and learn more about ABIT, go to You may also get your questions answered in person at the UH Maui College Spring Open House on Wednesday, April 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Student Lounge in Pilina Building.

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