Institute of Cybersecurity & Innovation

“This is the coolest place I’ve ever been in my life,” said freshman Abiel Rodriguez. “It’s absolutely amazing.”
 
The Institute of CyberSecurity & Innovation (iCSI), North East ISD’s newest magnet program, opened its doors to students for the first time Tuesday, Aug. 17. Rodriguez attends Madison High School and is one of 170 students in the program’s inaugural freshman class. His first impression of the new CyberSecurity Center was one of awe and amazement. While it was his first day in class, he can’t wait to get to work.
“I see this place as very professional and highly advanced in terms of cybersecurity,” said Rodriguez. “I’m going to get a better education here than compared to anywhere else.”
Cybersecurity is the practice of defending computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks, and data from malicious attacks. It’s an industry that lead instructor Josh Beck is passionate about. He believes the Networking Lab and Security Operations Center classrooms are going to give students an edge when it’s time to enter the workforce or continue their education in college.
“By the time our students are seniors, they’ll have hands-on experience and industry certifications,” said Beck. “We’re going to graduate college-ready students who major in computer science or IT and cybersecurity. And we’ll have students who want to go directly into the workforce. The certifications we offer here are very valuable.”
 
Seyma Kilic attends the Engineering & Technologies Academy (ETA) at Roosevelt High School. She’s a former student of Beck’s who couldn’t pass up the chance to learn from him at a cutting-edge facility.
 
“I wasn’t interested in cyber at all before I met Mr. Beck,” said Kilic. “I think it was the perfect idea to open a cybersecurity academy here and NEISD is a role model for this. I’m really glad that you guys invested so much time and budget on this. It’s going to be an amazing learning and working environment for students and teachers.”
 
iCSI will add sophomores, juniors and seniors over the next three years. Every student will have the opportunity to graduate with at least six industry certifications at no cost to them.
To learn more about iCSI, visit neisd.net/cyber

Original content: NEISD Facebook page 

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