Grand Canyon University and ACTRA Announce Education Partnership

Feb 02, 2016, 12:49 ET from Grand Canyon University

PHOENIX, Feb. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Grand Canyon University has teamed up with the Arizona Cyber Threat Response Alliance (ACTRA) in a partnership that further enhances the development of its growing IT degree programs.

The university's curriculum has expanded into areas of engineering, computer science and information technology, including a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a Cybersecurity Emphasis. The partnership with ACTRA amplifies GCU's efforts to develop courses that provide students hands-on experience and strategic industry knowledge, giving them a competitive edge as they enter the workforce as cybersecurity professionals.

"The need for well-prepared information technology and cybersecurity experts is growing exponentially," said Brian Mueller, president of GCU. "This partnership exemplifies GCU's vision to provide a premier educational experience and exceptional career preparation in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)."

Cybersecurity job postings grew 91 percent from 2010-2014 with a 9 percent salary premium over other IT jobs, according a recent study by Burning Glass Technologies.

"ACTRA carefully considered the criteria required for an education partnership, and we chose GCU because they shared our beliefs about the need for cybersecurity workforce development and demonstrated the ability to think outside the box to get things done deliberately when it matters most," said Frank Grimmelmann, ACTRA's president and CEO. "We are looking forward to working with GCU to develop our member organizations' workforce capability and attract cybersecurity opportunities to Arizona."

GCU will provide instructional support for ACTRA's curriculum in its Cybersecurity Academy, which was developed by ACTRA member organizations representing private, public, education and government sectors to answer the emerging need for enterprise-level cybersecurity professionals. The Academy builds on ACTRA's Cybersecurity Boot Camp, which provides opportunities to experience hands-on, real-world security events, threats and cyber warfare activities.

ACTRA is an independent, non-profit entity developed in collaboration with the FBI, the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the FBI's Arizona InfraGard Program under private sector oversight. It serves as a self-governed hub for collaborative cyber information sharing where stakeholders from industry, academia, law enforcement and intelligence leverage resources and tools to more effectively use real-time intelligence to respond to emerging cyber threats. ACTRA empowers its public/private member organizations to protect essential services and national security interests, providing a common framework for collaboration. The FBI, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the State of Arizona all recognize ACTRA's approach as a leading national model for Information Analysis & Sharing Organizations, called for under the Presidential Executive Order addressing cybersecurity.

About Grand Canyon University:  Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is Arizona's premier private Christian university. GCU is regionally accredited and offers more than 160 academic programs for both traditional undergraduate students and working professionals. The University's curriculum emphasizes interaction with classmates, both in-person and online, and individual attention from instructors while fusing academic rigor with Christian values to help students find their purpose and become skilled, caring professionals. For more information, visit

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SOURCE Grand Canyon University