Welcome to the Center for Excellence for Assurance, Security, and Software Usability, Research, and Education (ASSURE)
The ASSURE Center at UALR serves as an organizing body to centralize the education and research efforts of faculty pursuing research and education in information assurance, security, and software usability. By improving existing curriculum and developing new curriculum, and by supporting reasearch activities, the members of the ASSURE Center will increase the number and skills of information assurance professionals.
Specific Goals are:
- to apply for and receive designation as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAEIAE).
- to assist students to obtain scholarships and grants to support Information Assurance activities. In particular, following designation as a CAEIAE, students will be “eligible to apply for scholarships and grants through the Department of Defense Information Assurance Scholarship Program and the Federal Cyber Service Scholarship for Service Program (SFS)” -National Security Agency Central Security Service
- to serve as a coordinating organization to improve and expand curriculum
- to expand research by bringing together faculty to identify research topics and to secure funding
- to provide public visibility to the IA educational and research efforts underway at UALR
Designation as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAEIAE)
The National Security Agency/Central Security Service, Americaâ€™s crypto logic organization that coordinates highly specialized activities to protect U. S. government information systems, has designated UALR as a National Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAEIAE).
UALR is recognized due to the efforts and activities of the Center for Excellence for Assurance, Security, and Software Usability, Research, and Education (ASSURE), a university-wide effort which is centered within the College of Engineering and Information Technology (EIT). Each applicant must pass a rigorous review demonstrating its commitment to academic excellence in Information Assurance (IA) education. UALR is the first and only institution in Arkansas to have the prestigious designation.
UALR joins other national IT training centers â€“ including Florida State, West Point, Purdue University, Stanford University, Syracuse University, Georgia Tech, Carnegie Mellon, North Carolina State University, Northeastern University and others. As a Center of Excellence, UALR information assurance students will be eligible for scholarship programs and research grants.
â€śThe NSA designation makes UALR a regional, if not national, center for securing the nationâ€™s information infrastructure,â€ť said Dr. Mary Good, dean of UALRâ€™s EIT College. â€śThis designation of NSA Center of Excellence will attract federal and other research funding that can make Arkansas computer networks and other telecommunications systems more secure from terrorism â€“ both domestic and foreign.â€ť
UALR initiated its information assurance programs in 2004 offering a minor and post-graduate certificate melding instruction in computer science and criminal justice to train students in the growing international field of computer security and protection. The programs also add marketability to majors in business, information science, criminal justice, and systems engineering.
The designation as a CAEIAE will make UALRâ€™s students and researchers eligible for scholarships and grants through the Department of Defense Information Assurance Scholarship Program and the Federal Cyber Service Scholarship for Service Program.
The investigators also stated that receiving this designation following the first application is unusual. UALRâ€™s successful completion of this effort in the first application is due to the high-quality activities in the ASSURE Center.
CAEIAEs serve as regional centers of IA expertise and have begun to provide more programs aimed at retooling and retaining current federal and state information technology personnel.
National Security Agency Certification
On June 5, 2007, the Information Assurance Courseware Evaluation (IACE) Program presented UALR with certification that courses at UALR map to the national standards established by the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS). UALR met the mapping requirements for Information Systems Security Professionals (NSTISSI 4011) and System Administrators (CNSSI 4013E). The goal of IACE is to increase the application of national standards in the assessment of information assurance education programs throughout the nation. Successfully completing this systematic mapping process certifies that all the elements of the national standards are included in the courses at UALR. The certification is valid through June 2012.
Completion of the IACE mapping is required to achieve the longer term goal of designation as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAEIAE). Schools with this designation receive formal recognition from the U.S. government and students attending these schools are eligible to apply for scholarships and grants through the Department of Defense Information Assurance Scholarship Program and the Federal Cyber Service Scholarship for Service Program (SFS).
UALR is the first university in Arkansas to successfully complete the course mappings; an important step toward the goal of designation as a CAEIAE.