Oklahoma-based Tulsa Community College (TCC) has opened its new Cybersecurity Lab which includes two computer lab classrooms and a fully functional data center to ensure students have access to advanced, secure network technology.

“The opening of this lab marks a pivotal moment for TCC in preparing students for successful careers in Cybersecurity,” TCC CEO and President Leigh Goodson, Ph.D. said. “As the demand for Cybersecurity professionals continues to surge, TCC remains steadfast in our mission to cultivate talent and meet the evolving needs of our local workforce.”

TCC said that once students become familiar with the lab, the end goal is that they will be able to safely access and defend the data center, which operates independently from TCC data systems.

“The Cybersecurity Lab will be a tool that allows us to effectively impart knowledge to students,” said TCC Assistant Professor Ted Ward, Ph.D. “This is a big step up from learning strictly via theory and textbooks or simple labs that do not reflect a workplace environment.”

The new lab opened shortly after TCC began offering a Cybersecurity Associate of Applied Science in Fall 2023. Students will be able to use the Cybersecurity Lab as they move to more advanced level courses in cybersecurity. Funding for the project was derived from multiple sources including state and Federal dollars as well as grant funds.

“I’m looking forward to working in this new Cybersecurity Lab. I’m a hands-on learner and I’ve always done better in the classroom,” said TCC student Daniel Smith. “Working in a real, production environment, or a ‘sandbox environment’, will really help me and other students in the program understand how to support hardware and software systems and what’s needed to protect them against both internal and external threats.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs