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Board 251: Developing Micro-Credentials to Infuse Cybersecurity into Technician Education

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2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Baltimore , Maryland

Publication Date

June 25, 2023

Start Date

June 25, 2023

End Date

June 28, 2023

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Evelyn C. Brown North Carolina State University, Raleigh

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Dr. Brown is Director of Extension Research and Development at North Carolina State University. She works for Industry Expansion Solutions, the industrial extension arm of the NC State College of Engineering. She has expertise in the area of grant evaluation, serving as external evaluator for numerous federally-funded grants. She currently serves as PI on an NSF ATE grant titled "The Robotics/Automation and Cybersecurity Knowledge Sharing Coordination Network", or TRACKS-CN.

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Zackary Tyler Hubbard

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With manufacturing facilities across the country becoming more connected, it is critical that safeguards are in place to protect against threats to facilities’ cyber-physical systems. Technicians with training in robotics/automation/mechatronics are well positioned to help provide a first line of defense to such threats. This work, funded via a National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) grant, seeks to enhance technician awareness and education in cybersecurity. The paper provides details on the process our project team utilized to develop an initial micro-credential in the area of cybersecurity for robotics/automation/mechatronics. The Cyber4RAM badge was developed by community college faculty with expertise in the area of cybersecurity. The badge leverages the work of other NSF ATE projects and Centers, providing a no-cost avenue for automation technicians to expand their background and earn a digital badge that enhances their resume.

The paper focuses on the badge creation process and outlines how the badge modules created via this project can be shared to help raise cyber awareness in other fields, such as semiconductors, solar power, and electric vehicles. The badge offers an alternative to additional coursework, as often there is not room in the curriculum to require automation technicians to complete separate cybersecurity courses. The Cyber4RAM badge utilizes competencies from the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) framework. The paper discusses how appropriate competencies for the badge were selected from the 54 NICE competencies, and provides information on how industry and academia collaborated to develop scenarios for the badge educational modules.

Brown, E. C., & Hubbard, Z. T. (2023, June), Board 251: Developing Micro-Credentials to Infuse Cybersecurity into Technician Education Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. 10.18260/1-2--42696

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