SANS Institute Pilots New, Virtual Cybersecurity Training Academy in Partnership with the University of Virgin Islands

Three students will be selected to attend the first of its kind scholarship academy in 2021

Bethesda, Md. – SANS Institute, the largest provider of cybersecurity training and certification in the world, is pleased to announce the first-ever SANS+HBCU Cyber Academy, a scholarship academy that will level the playing field and provide Historically Black College and University students direct access to industry-leading certifications for free. SANS is in a unique position to assist in the challenge to diversify the field of cybersecurity and believes that to fill the employment gap in cybersecurity we must start at HBCUs.

According to United Negro College Fund (UNCF), HBCUs are responsible for 25% of all African American students with bachelor's degrees in STEM fields despite making up only 3% of our nation's Universities and Colleges. Establishing cybersecurity programs within HBCUs gives SANS the opportunity to work with large groups of innovative Black talent that are already on a path towards higher education, paving the road to a more diverse cybersecurity industry faster.

The partnership between SANS Institute and University of Virgin Islands, cemented on March 31, 2021, establishes a virtual pilot academy program to launch in June 2021 that includes offering free access to:

  • Pre-determined Courseware
  • Certification Attempts
  • Current and Future SANS Summits
  • Adjunct Support

"This agreement between the University of the Virgin Islands and SANS Institute is an exceptional opportunity for students enrolled at UVI to complement their education with world-class experts through hands-on training which will lead to industry-grade certification in cybersecurity. The scholarships that will be awarded to three UVI students reaffirms SANS's trust in the pool of talented youngsters in the U.S. Territory. SANS's commitment will certainly strengthen the cybersecurity program at UVI and will encourage more talented Virgin Islanders to enter this exciting and competitive field. The Computer and Computational Science Department is honored to be part of this new innovative partnership and to contribute in preparing young people for regional and global cyber challenges." – Dr. Marc Boumedine, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Department Chair, University of Virgin Islands

"This is the moment for which we created SANS+HBCU. Our intention to engage and develop meaningful relationships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities is a goal not only to help diversify cyber security but to also shine a spotlight on institutions that have catapulted Black students into opportunities to thrive. We are appreciative of UVI for trusting in our mission and allowing us to bring this life-changing opportunity to the Virgin Islands community. I am excited to witness talented UVI students gain industry leading training through SANS Institute and look forward to witnessing many more." – Delisha Hodo, SANS+HBCU Co-Chair

The SANS+HBCU committee focuses the deep resources of SANS on creating a bridge to diversify cybersecurity with innovative black talent from Historically Black Colleges and Universities through partnership, training, certification, resources, advocacy, and mentorship.

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About SANS Institute

The SANS Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization. Today, SANS is the most trusted and, by far, the largest provider of cyber security training and certification to professionals in government and commercial institutions world-wide. Renowned SANS instructors teach more than 60 courses at in-person and virtual cyber security training events and on demand. GIAC, an affiliate of the SANS Institute, validates practitioner skills through more than 35 hands-on, technical certifications in cyber security. The SANS Technology Institute, a regionally accredited independent subsidiary, offers a master's degree, graduate certificates, and an undergraduate certificate in cyber security. SANS Security Awareness, a division of SANS, provides organizations with a complete and comprehensive security awareness solution, enabling them to easily and effectively manage their "human" cybersecurity risk. SANS also delivers a wide variety of free resources to the InfoSec community, including consensus projects, research reports, webcasts, podcasts, and newsletters; it also operates the internet's early warning system—the Internet Storm Center. At the heart of SANS are the many security practitioners, representing varied global organizations from corporations to universities, working together to support and educate the global information security community. (