Taking the lead from ajs1976 and his accountability thread, I decided to chronicle some of my journey towards the BS Cybersecurity major at Charter Oak State College. I figured since the program is still new without much info on it I might share what I’ve done so far and my plan for finishing.
I’m not going to address any of the non-major requirements because there is quite a bit of information elsewhere on the forum and wiki addressing it. I will note however that I did use a waiver to get out of the oral communication requirement and you can read about it in my previous post (here). So below are the requirements or courses I am using to finish out the major. It looks like they slightly changed the requirements for the 15-16 year and they are slightly more restrictive on which UL electives you can choose. I chose to pursue the CEH and CHFI exams for two reasons.
1. It looks great for my career field, shows growth on my annual review, company paid for it.
2. They are each courses/test required for WGU’s Masters in Information Security & Assurance. Giving me an early start on their masters program
- ITE 102 Introduction to Computer Science
- CLEP information systems (3cr)
- ITE 220 Networking and Data Communications
- Community College Networking Course (2cr)
- ITE 145 Fundamentals of Information Systems Security
- TEEX Cyber Sec for IT Professional (2cr)
- CSS 146 Legal Issues in Information Security
- Took Fall15 at COSC (3cr)
- CSS 230 Managing Risk in Information Systems
- Took Fall15 at COSC (3cr)
- CSS 245 Security Policies and Implementation Issues
- Will attempt PLA before 2016 (3cr)
- CSS 345 Auditing IT infrastructures for Compliance
- Received PLA scholarship and am going to turn in before 10 Nov (3cr)
- CSS 346 Access Controls, Authentication and PKI
- DSST Cyber Security (3cr)
- CSS 347 Sec Strategies in Windows OS/Applications
- Depending how initial PLAs go I will submit one for this as well or take Spring 16 (3cr)
- CSS 435 Fundamentals of Network Security
- CompTIA Security+ Exam direct transfer (2cr)
- CSS 436 Systems Forensics, Investigation and Response
- Plan on taking the EC-Council Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI) exam late 2015 or early 2016. Haven’t gotten official word it will count, but CEH counted for CSS 437. (3cr)
- CSS 437 Hacker Techniques, Tools and Incident Handling
- EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker Certification had credential evaluated (3cr)
- CSS 490 Cybersecurity Capstone
- Projected to take last half of Spring 2016
So one benefit to transferring courses in is that…you don’t have to retake content again. My issue came that my coursework was completed in a quarter hour system so I started getting 2cr courses in sections that required 3cr. Because the major is so new and they are working very closely with the regional accrediting organization they are very hesitant to allow wiggle room on the posted requirements. I ended up having to write a letter to the provost requesting approval for my courses that only had 2 credit hours on the basis I already had courses in the subject area and more importantly I said I would take an extra 3 cr UL course; she seemed hesitant but eventually agreed.
As far as the courses at COSC go they are a pretty nice format. All content is a part of Jones & Bartlett publishing’s Network & Security book series. Literally every course title is the name of a corresponding book from the publishing company. Most weeks you have 1 or 2 chapters of reading, a pdf lab document to read and work through, a “lab assessment sheet” which is just where you put the answers to the lab and is what is actually turned in, a discussion post on the weeks content, and then some sort of project/writing assignment. It made it easy to pace myself between the two courses I took and tried to knock out reading and labs one day, discussion another, and then start the writing assignments while waiting for people to post their responses.
Of the two courses I took, I absolutely loved one of the instructors and had some issues with the other. Considering they both used the same format what made the one class so frustrating is that the instructor was usually 3 weeks behind on grading and didn’t respond in a timely manner or at all. That made it really difficult when the point of entire course week by week is to draft a large document and you have to use input from your instructor on your previous work to complete the next assignment. Also his course shell seemed really cluttered and links to the documents we needed for the labs were broken on a regular basis. I waited 5 days for a reply (48 hour response time by butt), and all I got was, “looking into it”. I just started posting in the Q&A thread any issues each week and myself and the other 3 students in the course would just agree on what we would turn in and state, “If this is an issue let us know.”
I guess to be clear we didn’t have a mutiny against the teacher, but some weeks the lab assessment sheet wouldn’t be posted so there was no way to show we did the work. We would just agree on submitting a word doc with certain parts of the lab answered out.
I will answer any questions I can based on my experience, and update this thread monthly with my progress.