Missoula College IT Apprenticeship Signing Day

Three Missoula College students were signed up to work for IT companies in Missoula on Tuesday, as part of the college’s new information technologies apprenticeship program that “will turn heads across the country.”

“This is groundbreaking. There have been very few states that have been able to create a scalable apprenticeship model for the IT sector,” Missoula College apprenticeship liaison Dylan Rogness said.

The apprenticeship signing included four different local companies, including Allegiance Benefit Plan Management, First Call Computer Solutions, Univision Computers, and Blackfoot. Access the complete article in the Missoula Current ...

National Cyber League Competition

IT students studying the emphasis of Network Administration & Security competed in the April cybersecurity competition hosted by the National Cyber League  Eight students from the course: ITS 271 Securing Desktop and Mobile Devices competed in the competition. Students benefit from cybersecurity competitions as many feel they are closer to workplace experience over that of formal education by stressing application over theory.

Congratulations to these cyber patriots at Missoula College!

Work-based Learning through Internships

Student studying Information Technology (IT) have the benefit of leveraging the knowledge, skills, and abilities developed in the classroom into work-based learning experiences through internships. During Spring Semester 2018, nine students experienced internships in a variety of IT job roles. A BIG thanks go to Alter Enterprises, Missoula County Public Schools, HIKER Research Group, UM-Central IT, Missoula Urban Indian Health Center, and University Bookstore for providing work-based internship experiences for Missoula College Students.

Programming & App Development Student Final Projects

Information Technology students graduating with the Programming & App Development emphasis completed capstone projects in fulfilling program requirements.

In the course CSCI 221 Systems Design and Analysis, the Agile software development model was used as a framework for teams of student developers in designing an Android App. Software developer and ACET faculty member Daniel Lande led this group of students through the development and design process as a final project for the course.

Students from the course CSCI 113 C++ programming used breadboards, sensors, and the GPIO interface of the Raspberry PI in designing and developing a hardware-based project. These student groups developed a software library which reads temperature and electrical sensors and provide output through LED lighting. The software library used a C or C++ driver program which called upon a C++ class or C structure.

A web-based User Interface (UI) was developed using server-side scripting and php or client-side scripting and javascript. These UIs called upon C/C++ programs compiled as scripts and executed through the CGI-BIN folder of the Raspberry PIs Apache2 web server. Professor Tom Gallagher guided these groups of student software developers.

Screenshot examples of the UI for these projects are illustrated below:


Missoula College Offers Revised Cybersecurity Certificate

The curriculum for the Cybersecurity Professional Certificate has recently undergone some significant revisions. These revisions are based upon the core knowledge units developed by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Certificate consists of six domain areas: (1) programming; (2) basic data analysis; (3) policy, legal, ethics and compliance; (4) networking and IT systems components; (5) system administration; and (6) fundamental security design principles, cyber threats, cyber defense, and cryptography.

The credential is responsive to industry and societal needs for more have citizens with skills and knowledge in cybersecurity. The coursework arms individuals to recognize and respond to cybersecurity threats. The 18 credit program is aimed at attracting individuals in all industries and across curricular domains at UM.  

Courses leading to the credentials are offered at both Missoula College and the College of Business.

Missoula College Partners with CompTIA

Missoula College partners with the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) to help students obtain internationally recognized workforce credentials to validate Information Technology knowledge, skills, and abilities. Through the Missoula College CompTIA Academy, IT students complete courses leading to A+, Network+, and Security+ credentials. All students are required to complete the CompTIA A+ Computer Support credential as a requirement for the AAS degree. The following video provides more information about CompTIA and validating IT KSAs through industry certification.

IT Students Visit LumenAd

Local Missoula high tech startup company, LumenAd, hosted IT students from Missoula College. Thanks to Anthony Krolczyk for hosting a great field trip. All IT students are required to complete an internship. LumenAd is a site of interested to several students. LumenAd is a technology company rooted in digital advertising. Their data-driven programmatic solutions deliver the most sophisticated and efficient advertising campaigns in the mid-level market.

Anthony Krolczyk discuses LumenAd with students

Cybersecurity First Responder Training

LMG Security will be offering First Responder Training in Missoula on March 8.

Cybersecurity first responders need to react quickly to identify data breaches and minimize potential losses. Make sure evidence is properly preserved in those first critical minutes after detection. This intensive 1-day seminar will teach you the fundamentals of incident response and digital forensic acquisition, including incident planning, detection, and communications; chain-of-custody and evidence preservation fundamentals; volatile memory acquisition, hard drive imaging, and network-based evidence acquisition.

>Further information is available at https://lmgtraining.com/collections/digital-first-responder-dfr-class/products/cyber-first-responders-1-day-class-missoula-mt

Cyber First Responders 1-Day Class (Missoula, MT)

Cybersecurity Trends and Opportunities

Experts continue to predict the need for more cybersecurity expertise in the workforce. Inc. Magazine's Joseph Steinberg has published a cybersecurity almanac analyzing trends, damages, expenses and jobs related to cybersecurity and based on data obtained by research firm, Cybersecurity Ventures. Inc. The almanac is found https://www.inc.com/joseph-steinberg/here-is-2018-cybersecurity-almanac.html Inc. is a magazine aimed at small businesses and startup companies.

IT Students Perform Security Diagnostics.

Information Technology students conducted security diagnostic checks on notebook, tablets, and smartphones for the Missoula community during the week of  October 23rd. General recommendations for all users was to keep operating system and applications files up to date, make use of a firewall, and always use up-to-date anti-malware software. All participants were exposed to a social engineering exercise as a part of the community security diagnostic activity. Social engineering remains the leading cause of cybersecurity-related attacks.

"This is an actual issue that people used to be more aware of and what we do here is check out people's computers and ask questions about their security settings on their computers," said IT student Sam Bartsch.

See complete details at the KPAX news website:

Cybersecurity Awareness Week

Cybersecurity Awareness Week will take place October 23 - 27, 2017 on Missoula College's River Campus. Security Diagnostic Checks for notebook, tablet, and smartphones will take place Monday-Thursday from 11am-2pm in the building's foyer. This event is open to the public and all are welcome to bring their personal electronics

Friday events include a presentation for students involving Blockchain Technologies from expert Lou Person. A Friday reception is slated from 4-5:30 at the Blackfoot Cafe.

Students work with MonTEC Partner AE

High Tech Company, Alter Enterprises (AE), recently partnered with students from Missoula College's Information Technology program of study in completing a research and development (R&D) project. Ryan Alter began by providing students with a short introduction to AE business operations. Next, Ryan gave a tour of the AE-R&D Lab located in MonTEC, UMs business incubator. Following instruction and tour,  students participated in an R&D activity involving new server equipment for one of AE's data centers. Pictured below are Ryan Alter providing a slide show, Ryan directing students in an R&D activity, and students working with equipment in the Alter Enterprises R&D Laboratory.

Missoula College Selected as Cybersecurity Center of Academic Excellence

Missoula College has been selected as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Two-Year Education (CAE2Y). The CAE2Y program is jointly sponsored by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The CAE2Y program has been established to proactively increase our nation's understanding of cyber defense technology, policy, and practices to prevent and respond to catastrophic cyber events. This prestigious designation is awarded to recognize accredited two-year colleges with Cyber Defense Centers. CAE2Y institutions demonstrate NSA/DHS curriculum paths, faculty expertise, and community outreach in cybersecurity.

See the related news feature and story from KECI-NBC Montana 

Findings of Study indicate more IT Professionals needed

eCampus News article IT #1: STEM crisis quickly becoming an IT problem stated that  a massive problem is looming for society as new information technology systems come online, while not enough individuals are choosing careers in IT to support the enhanced demand. The article is based upon a recent Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) report describing Generation Zs fascination with technology use does not equate to more individuals pursuing education in IT. According to the report students who said they were interested in an IT career cited technology classes in high school or junior high as top influences, but 38 percent of all younger-aged students said that their school does not provide IT-focused career information.

ACET Faculty Complete Cybersecurity Training Workshop

Adjunct Assistant Professor and Cybersecurity Consultant Dianne Burke led an August Cybersecurity boot camp for ACET faculty members. Content for the boot camp was based upon the Computer Technology Industry Association Security+ curriculum. The CompTIA Security+ is a training program which meets requirements as a Department of Defense Directive 8570.1 for Information Assurance. It serves as both a Level II Information Assurance Technician (IAT) program and a Level I Information Assurance Management (IAM) program.

Following the three day boot camp, faculty members will become certified as CompTIA Security+ Professionals. Participating in the boot camp were adjunct faculty members Wally Higgins, Zach Rossmiller, and Daniel Lande along with Assistant Professor Steve Stiff and Professor Tom Gallagher.

What If We Merge Human and Machine ?

See Elon Musk's vision of what we might see in the future for the human-computer interface (HCI) and how technology and humans can merge.

Cummings Selected as Outstanding IT Student

Jack Cummings was selected as the 2017 Outstanding Student Award for the Department of Applied Computing & Engineering Technology at Missoula College. Outstanding Student is an annual award sponsored by the Mortar Board. It celebrates academic excellence and outstanding service of a graduating student. Jack will be receiving the AAS degree in IT - Programming & App Development. In addition to being an excellent student, Jack has demonstrated outstanding service as a trustworthy tutor for students on the Missoula College campus. Congratulations to Jack and the entire graduating class of 2017! Picture below are: Professor Tom Gallagher, Jack Cummings, Lucas Ogala, and Professor Steve Shen (Left to Right). Lucas is the First Call Computer Solutions Intern and scholarship recipient.

Sustainability Award Goes to Missoula College Professor

The Sustainable Campus Committee recognized Missoula College Associate Professor Brad Layton as winner of the 2017 UM Sustainability Faculty Award. Dr. Layton has been with the College since 2010. He has been an constant advocate for sustainable energy on the UM campus and across the State of Montana. Countless students have benefited under Brad's tutelage in honing their passion and expertise for developing practical solutions in sustainable energy technologies.

Brad will be leading a group of students from Blackfeet Community College in an Energy Technology Practicum taking place in Browning during the month of June. These students will be completing a series of sustainable energy education activities.

Image result for layton site:umt.edu

Students Participate in National Cybersecurity Competition

Missoula College students participated in a month-long, nationwide series of cybersecurity activities. “These students are graduating with an A.A.S. in Information Technology – Network Administration & Security, and this is a chance for them to test their skills and knowledge against their peers,” said Adjunct Professor Dianne Burke, who leads the ITS 222 and ITS 271 courses that participated.

The first several days of the competition gives students the opportunity to refresh their skills or learn new information through online labs and review activities. The materials include topics such as Password Cracking, Log Analysis, Cryptography, Network Traffic Analysis, and Web and Wireless Vulnerabilities. “Students tend to like his part of the competition since there’s no pressure, and they can select exercises that sound interesting,” stated Burke. “The Preseason and Regular Season competitions that follow kick up the intensity.”

The Preseason phase assess student knowledge in four domains: general cybersecurity knowledge, cryptography, network traffic analysis, and log file analysis. Students are ranked based on their accuracy – how quickly they found the correct answer – and completion – how many questions were answered correctly. “Overall, everyone scored in the top 40% or higher. Almost 1900 students competed, so Missoula College did really well,” explained Burke.

When asked which areas were problematic for students, Burke laughed and said “They did really well in general cybersecurity knowledge and cryptography. Next year I’m going to spend more time on network traffic and log analysis before we start competing.”

Congrats to Cisco Networking Students

Students completing the AAS degree in IT - Network Administration and Security pose for a picture following completion of a skills-based final assessment. These students will be graduating from Missoula College to assume positions in the workforce as system administrators, network engineers, computer support professionals, and cybersecurity experts.

Missoula College offers a four-course sequence in IP networking based upon the Cisco CCNA curriculum. Lecturer Wally Higgins leads the Cisco Regional Academy for the Department of Applied Computing & Engineering Technology at the University of Montana.

Cybersecurity Consultant Presents to IT Students

Karen Sprenger from Lake Missoula Group (LMG) Security presented to Missoula College IT students on September 30th. Karen led discussion on careers in cybersecurity, what employers are looking for in applicants, and "Tales from the Trenches". Included in the "Tales from the Trenches" was a demonstration on the impact of Ransomware on enterprise data and how LMG assists organizations to prevent and recover from a data breech.

Missoula College hosts Information Technology Advisory Meeting

The Advisory Committee for Missoula College's Information Technology Degree and Certificate programs met on Friday April 21, 2017. Advisory committees serve an important role in connecting education with business and industry. Advisory committee input is essential in guiding Career Technical Education (CTE) programs of study and enhancing their relevance. The committee reviewed the academic program's curriculum, student enrollment, and graduate data. Internships with local businesses were highlighted and new initiative such as the work-based learning models were discussed. The meeting was held at the new Missoula College River Campus. Following the meeting members of the committee were give a tour of the new Missoula College campus. Beginning Autumn Term 2017, all classes for IT students will be on the new campus.

Gallagher Presents EHR Synthetic Records Research at IEEE Conference

Information Technology Program Director and Professor Tom Gallagher presented the paper Using the CareMap with Health Incidents Statistics for Generating the Realistic Synthetic Electronic Healthcare Record at the 2016 IEEE International Conference on Healthcare Informatics in Chicago. The paper further develops the privacy enhancing technology of the Realistic Synthetic Electronic Health Record (RS-EHR) for protecting personal health information (PHI). The RS-EHR was originally developed by Gallagher and Dube (Massey University, NZ) in 2013 in an effort to preserve patient privacy and security. It seeks to limit secondary use of patient PHI through the generation of synthetic EHR data.

Burke Delivers Privacy Presentation at Security Conference

Adjunct Professor and Cybersecurity Consultant Dianne Burke delivered the presentation Digital Fingerprints and Footprints – Privacy in the Digital Age at the 2017 Big Sky Information Security Conference held at the University of Montana on April 19. Her presentation discussed how digital information is generated and collected in our daily lives both intentionally and unintentionally. Professor Burke described how data collection takes place through common technologies such as cell phones, mobile applications, telematics and GPS tracking are covered with an emphasis on how personal privacy is impacted. Further details are found: http://www.umt.edu/security-conference/

Computer Science Teacher Licensure

A partnership between faculty members from Computer Science, Education, and Applied Computing & Engineering Technology has developed the first K12 teacher licensure education program in the State of Montana for computer science. Limited opportunities in coding and programming are available to students at most high schools in Montana. A major obstacle has been the lack of qualified teachers in the curricular area of computer science. This important program of study has been developed to assist K12 schools by providing teacher education in the computer science domain. The curriculum for these teachers in training will include completion of CSCI 105 Computer Fluency and ITS 150 Cisco Networking I at Missoula College. Intentions are to enroll students in this new program by Autumn 2017.

A Special Moment in our Nation's Capital

The Energy Technology Program, in partnership with the Climate Change Studies Minor, the Blackfeet Community College, Environmental Studies, and local industry partner, Satic, represent the Montana University System at the 2016 National Science Foundation PI Meeting. This meeting represents the third and final meeting for this three-year $728k Project that has trained and educated nearly one hundred students in Renewable Energy Technology.

Front row: Lola Wippert, Blackfeet Community College & Co-Investigator; Krystin Onstad, BCC student representative; Nicky Phear, University of Montana & Co-Investigator; B.D. Erickson II, Founder and President of Satic USA.
Back row: Bradley Layton, Missoula College & PI; John Pickens Blackfeet Community College; Greg Gonstad, University of Montana Environmental Studies student representative.

Associate Professor Layton Discusses Renewable Energy Technology

Associate Professor Layton discusses the future of renewable energy technology in Montana with Bob Seidenschwarz, Jon King, and Peter Christian on KVGO's Talkback August, 2016.