Radford University receives $1.2 million in federal funding for professional cyber education program
Radford, VA (06/20/2022) — The U.S. Department of Education announced $1,223,553 in federal funding for Radford University's Professional Accelerated Cyber Education program. Congress allocated additional funds this past spring to the original $9.9 million pool associated with the U.S. Department of Education Rural Postsecondary and Economic Development grant program.
The grant program is specifically aimed at supporting rural students who face unique economic and social barriers to pursuing education beyond high school. The grant also aims to support the development of rural student career pathways aligned with high-skill, high-wage or in-demand occupations. The grant duration for these awards is up to 36 months.
"As our economy continues to recover from the pandemic, it's important that we're providing educational and job training programs for Virginians in every region of the commonwealth. We're excited to see that Radford University is receiving significant federal funding to develop a high-quality cybersecurity program that will prepare students for 21st-century jobs and help us build a strong and safe economy," said Sen. Tim Kaine and Sen. Mark Warner in a joint statement.
"This funding fits strategically for the university, the Vinod Chachra IMPACT Lab and our partners who will be supporting us in this effort," said Angela Joyner, Ph.D., interim chief of staff for Radford University. "This is a great opportunity to align this work with university, state and workforce initiatives and build pipelines in high-demand areas for the future."
Matt Dunleavy, Ph.D., executive director of the IMPACT Lab, is the primary investigator for the grant. "We are excited to bring 100% online, self-paced cybersecurity learning experiences to high school students and their teachers in rural Virginia and to pave the way for more students from rural communities to good-paying jobs and a college education," Dunleavy said.
Joyner added, "We are proud to address rural Virginia's interest in developing and retaining talent in high-demand occupations and particularly to focus on cybersecurity, which the commonwealth has designated as a high-priority workforce need."
U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith said, "Increasing educational opportunities will open up doors for the young people of our region and make it more attractive to employers. Cybersecurity promises to be a critical sector, and this grant will help reach more students who can develop skills in this area. I congratulate Radford on earning this grant, which demonstrates the university's value as an educational institution and economic asset."
The Vinod Chachra IMPACT Lab at Radford University delivers online, self-paced, competency-based education (CBE) in high-demand workforce areas throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond. Its CBE approach focuses on teaching specific job-related skills needed to complete a critical task within the workplace.
The IMPACT lab creates strategic partnerships with companies, organizations, and school systems to meet the training needs of their employees. IMPACT also offers education directly to individuals whose focus is improving their existing skills or changing careers.
IMPACT is built upon Radford University's established and award-winning programs. It employs research-based practices from cognitive science, analytics, scenario-based learning and gamification in its programs to ensure learning that is challenging, highly effective and engaging.
Radford University is a comprehensive public university of 8,998 students that has received national recognition for many of its undergraduate and graduate academic programs, as well as its sustainability initiatives. Well known for its strong faculty/student bonds, innovative use of technology in the learning environment and vibrant student life on a beautiful 211-acre American classical campus, Radford University offers students many opportunities to get involved and succeed in and out of the classroom. With over 300 clubs and organizations, Radford University offers many opportunities for student engagement, leadership development and community service. In addition to robust academic offerings and engaging student experiences on the main campus located in Radford, Virginia, Radford University also offers a clinical-based educational experience for more than 1,100 students living and learning in Roanoke, Virginia as part of Radford University Carilion, a public-private partnership focused on the cutting-edge delivery of health sciences programming, outreach and service.