CYBER.ORG, a cybersecurity workforce development organization supported by the Department of Homeland Security, announced the kickoff of the development of the K-12 cybersecurity learning standards that can be used in schools nationwide.

When complete, the standards will help ensure that students not only have a foundational understanding of cybersecurity, but the skills and knowledge they need to pursue cybersecurity careers in greater numbers,” CYBER.ORG said in today’s announcement.

For the standards, CYBER.ORG is working with stakeholders in education, the government, and the private sector to “collect input that will increase the relevance and value of the standards.” The organization anticipates releasing the final standards at the start of the 2021-2022 school year, with voluntary adoption likely to begin in time for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Currently, there are no national standards for cybersecurity education and only a few models of state-developed standards.

“These standards will provide educators with a roadmap that will not only introduce fundamental concepts of cybersecurity to all students, but will also increase the availability of more advanced cybersecurity education opportunities for students that will prepare them to enter the workforce or to expand their study in college,” said Kevin Nolten, director of academic outreach for CYBER.ORG.

In a statement, CYBER.ORG said the development process will be facilitated by the nonpartisan education nonprofit McREL International. Additionally, the organization will secure feedback from education, industry, and government partners, including EduTech, Maricopa County Regional School District, Grambling State University, Louisiana Tech University, Palo Alto Networks, Southwest Airlines, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, and the National Security Agency.

“We’ve seen success in adopting standards for similar fields, like computer and cybersecurity science,” said Kirsten Baesler, North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction. “Our number one priority is to prepare students in our state for the high-demand jobs of the future. We’re eager for this resource to help us scaffold our cybersecurity education offerings.”

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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