Article by Iris Gonzalez for the Rivard Report on Feb. 18, 2016

Photo by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone for the Rivard Report

The group of high school students were surprisingly animated at 7:30 a.m. on a chilly Friday morning. But the students were excited to be on the Alamo Colleges campus, talking about their individual CyberPatriot teams– and they just happened to be among the top ranking teams in Texas.

The Air Force Association created CyberPatriot in 2009, a national youth cyber defense competition designed to inspire high school students into entering careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The 2016 CyberPatriot competition included nearly 200 teams from the San Antonio region, more than any other region in the nation.  Seven of those teams are part of the Information Technology & Security Academy (ITSA), a program offered by Alamo Academies. A national award winning STEM-based program, the nonprofit program works in partnership with industry, the Alamo Colleges, area high schools and local cities to provide high school juniors and seniors with two years of tuition-free curriculum that will lead to in-demand STEM skills and critical job fields.

Bussed daily from their respective high schools to the Alamo Colleges campus for 2 ½ hours of instruction early in the school day, ITSA provides high school juniors and seniors with 30 college credit hours that specializes in information technology, which includes networking, security and programming courses. While enrolled in ITSA, students also have the option to participate in the annual CyberPatriot competition.


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