Central Illinois Center of Excellence for Secure Software (CICESS)
ISHPI has an industry-led approach to training and skills formation for secure software development in Central Illinois, home of ISHPI’s AIS Software Development group.
The CICESS-IL initiative combines academic theory and work experience to train a globally competitive workforce in developing software that is secure from cyber-attacks by:
- Using industry-defined competencies and requirements as well as a standardized curriculum to create highly-skilled, capable, and readily employable graduates.
- Creating an accredited program, in which students receive competency-based certifications along with an associate degree and other certifications.
- Offering an economically feasible pathway to education in which employers provide tuition reimbursement and an increasing hourly wage for the duration of the training and apprenticeship.
- Allowing companies to “grow their own” employees and ensure their own professional competency standards by being directly involved in the training and skills formation process.
CICESS Basic Structures
- First cohort started in the Fall of 2015 with 7 students at Illinois Central College (ICC)
- Block-style training, alternating between multi-week blocks at the company and community college (progressively more training time at the company as training progresses)
- Classroom and lab training provided by community college
- Standardized curriculum developed by Carnegie Mellon University with funding from the Department of Homeland Security and adopted to meet industry requirements for secure software development
- Contribution from participating companies to cover basic program costs (marketing of program, career fair participation, program administration, translation of program materials, etc.)
- Better match between secure software development jobs and skills
- High success rate in sourcing qualified candidates with the proven capabilities and competencies required for secure software development
- High retention rates of skilled workers
- Proven successful work-based learning model tailored to augment existing skills formation models to meet requirements defined by the industry
Job Seeker Benefits
- Income earned while achieving competencies and certifications
- Significantly improved chances of employment within the training firm upon program completion