Rose State College in Midwest City expands cyber security program

Rose State College's cyber security program started with 75 students. Now the program in Midwest City has more than 600.
BY SCOTT SHARP Published: January 18, 2012

“Our better students will have a chance at working for the National Security Agency, the CIA, FBI and Homeland Security,” Dewey said. “What happened to the Iran nuclear reactor is a great recent example of how viruses are being used. What better way to shut down their program than to disrupt the reactor computer systems.”

Cyber security experts are trained to not only defend against cyber attacks but also about how to be the attacker. During their time in the Rose State program, students learn such things as how to break passwords, capture network traffic and probe systems for security concerns. One of the program's bigger projects involves one student developing a secure network while another tries to penetrate it.

“Before our students start taking our upper-level courses, they have to pass an OSBI background check,” Dewey said. “These aren't the kinds of things we want to be teaching to the bad guys.”

Dewey said students who graduate from the Rose State program are “job-ready.” The top students will go on to Tulsa. Those who do well will be sought by the most prestigious government agencies in the country.

“We had a student named Chad Johnson that started at the vo-tech in Midwest City,” Dewey said. “He came to our program and did well and went on to Tulsa where he finished first in his class. He went on to work for the Department of Defense. He had somewhere near 17 different job offers.”