Update: The state on Tuesday awarded UA Little Rock $1.9 million to support the project.
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has applied for two grants worth $2 million each that would support “secure operation centers” on its campus and six other University of Arkansas System schools that are part of a cybersecurity consortium focused on addressing the talent gap Arkansas Business wrote about last week. (See Arkansas Ahead of Curve in Developing Cybersecurity Talent.)
The centers would double as classrooms and as places where businesses can train employees, said Erin Finzer, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at UA Little Rock.
The grants would mostly fund scholarships for students and high school teachers seeking graduate certificates in cybersecurity education.
Other schools in the consortium are UA Pine Bluff, UA-Pulaski Technical College, UA Cossatot, UA Hope-Texarkana, UA Morrilton and UA Batesville. Centers would also be installed at two yet-to-be-determined central Arkansas high schools.
Finzer expects to hear about one of the grants, from the state Office of Skills Development, any day now. The school will hear about the second grant, from the Economic Development Administration, on July 1.