Beginner's Guide to Developing a High School Cybersecurity Program

Beginner's Guide to Developing a High School Cybersecurity Program

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Developing a Cybersecurity Program for High School Students

For High School Teachers, Counselors, Principals, Homeschool Families, Parents and Cybersecurity Education Advocates

By: Heather Monthie, PhD

As our lives become increasingly digital, we are open to cybersecurity vulnerabilities in almost everything we touch. Whether it’s social media, smart phones, the latest app to connect to our smart home, or medical devices designed to save lives, we need a well-educated society who knows how to protect themselves, their families, and their businesses from life-altering cyber attacks. 

Not only do we need a well-educated workforce who can identify potential cyber threats in all the devices, gadgets, and electronics we use everyday, we also need to develop the talent pipeline of the next generation of cyber warriors. 
Cybersecurity education is a lot like law enforcement education. We have a responsibility as a society to help children learn the rules, how to protect themselves from danger, how to identify potentially harmful situations, and what to when there is an emergency. This is knowledge that all children must have.

There’s also a group of children who will consider cybersecurity as a career. Much like law enforcement education, these are men and women who want to dedicate their careers to protecting, defending, and serving their communities. In this case, these young men and women want to protect, defend, and serve their communities in the digital world. They want to use their knowledge of human behavior and technology skills for a higher purpose become a part of the next generation of cyber warriors. Those who will work tirelessly to protect our bank accounts, intellectual property, sensitive customer information, and our grandparents identities. 

In the Beginner’s Guide to Developing a High School Cybersecurity Program, Dr. Heather Monthie shares with cybersecurity education advocates how to get started with developing a high school cybersecurity program. The book is written for anyone who wants to help their local high school start up a cybersecurity education program, whether it’s to help students learn more about protecting themselves, or it’s to learn more about the skills needed to start a career in cybersecurity. 

Section I of the book sets the foundation for cybersecurity education. You’ll learn more about STEM education, some of the Federal initiatives around supporting STEM education and developing the cybersecurity workforce, as well as opportunities for funding your program.

Section II of the book describes the best practices for teaching cybersecurity in a high school setting. Drawing from published research and Dr. Monthie’s experience, this section of the book helps you determine outcomes for your program, the competencies students should have when they've completed your program, providing hands-on labs, as well as getting involved in cybersecurity competitions. 

Section III of the book provides the cybersecurity education websites and resources that are available for you to use in your program. Laws and regulations that you need to consider are identified. Websites, books, YouTube channels, podcasts and a laundry list of other resources are curated into one spot for you to examine and determine which are best for use in your program.