New Hampshire is developing the next generation of healthcare cybersecurity experts

Student working with Professor Bob Morris on Computers
Cybersecurity and Healthcare IT Associate Degree at River Valley Community College helping lead the charge
 
Claremont, New Hampshire – River Valley Community College (RVCC) is one of the few colleges in the country to offer a healthcare-focused cybersecurity degree. Developed in partnership with a score of community partners, the Cybersecurity and Healthcare IT Associate degree  illustrates the coordination and innovation that is possible when public and private entities work together for a common goal: training more people to excel in the jobs of tomorrow. 
 
Funded initially by a National Science Foundation grant, RVCC’s Cybersecurity and Healthcare IT Associate degree and certificate programs are the evolution of a healthcare-specific IT program the college had created in response to federal mandates for electronic health records and securing private patient healthcare data. After collaborating with IT specialists at hospitals across New Hampshire, compliance professionals, and others involved in the information security community, it was clear that the need to make health records electronic was eclipsed only by the need to make those same health records highly secure.  
 
“As the healthcare industry continues to rely on digital tools and software solutions to care for patients, the need to build electronic and data transfer systems to support and protect the information has dramatically increased,” said Robert S. Morris, RVCC’s program director for the college’s Computer Technology/Cybersecurity and Healthcare IT programs. “By involving national and local partners in developing our program’s curriculum, our students get a holistic view of both healthcare and cybersecurity, and are poised to respond to the security challenges of today and tomorrow.”
 
RVCC’s Cybersecurity and Healthcare IT curriculum was crafted in partnership with Dartmouth College, a member of the Institute for Information Infrastructure (I3P). I3P is a consortium of leading universities, laboratories and non-profit institutions dedicated to improving cybersecurity infrastructure. 
 
RVCC is able to keep the program current, relevant, and on the pulse of future workforce needs by maintaining partnerships with local industry. Red River, a New Hampshire-based IT company that works with government agencies, is the current site for RVCC’s Cybersecurity and Healthcare IT student internships. There, students learn how to solve issues around data center security and network infrastructure in healthcare, as well as across commercial, civilian, defense, and intelligence markets. The program prepares students to pass industry standard certifications for cybersecurity and information technology through in-class and real world instruction. 
 
“The hands-on portion of this program and its unique focus on healthcare cybersecurity sets our students up for success in this industry,” Morris said. 
 
And for those who wish for more training on the topic, RVCC has created several unique ways for students to learn, including a cybersecurity bootcamp where students attend Dartmouth’s Secure Information Systems Mentoring and Training (SISMAT) institute, which approaches cybersecurity defense from a hacker’s perspective. Morris, who is pursuing a master’s degree in digital forensics and is a RVCC graduate, also leads programs that teach students to build PCs and boost their technical literacy.
 
To learn more about RVCC’s unique healthcare cybersecurity IT program and how to enroll, contact Morris at rmorris@cccnsh.edu, 603.542.7744 x5507, or visit rivervalley.edu.
 
About River Valley Community College
River Valley Community College is one of seven colleges in the Community College System of New Hampshire, offering thirty-nine associate degree and certificate programs in Claremont, Keene, Lebanon, and Online. Financial Aid and Scholarships are available. The seven community colleges in the system are committed to working with businesses throughout the state to train and retain employees to develop a robust workforce across all sectors and embraces the "65 by 25 Initiative," which calls for 65% of NH citizens to have some form of post-secondary education by 2025 to meet future workforce demands.
 
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