Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with the correct spelling of Gretchen Caughman.
Gretchen Caughman was all smiles Friday as she was handed a pen and directed to sign a stack of papers inside a classroom at the Command Support Center at Fort Gordon.
The signing for the executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at Augusta University represented the beginning of a new partnership with the Fort Gordon Army Continuing Education Center and efforts to enhance its cyber program.
The university was one of four that signed memorandums of understanding Friday. Other schools included Georgia Military College, Webster University and University of Maryland University College, which will be offering degree programs in computer science, homeland security and information system management at Fort Gordon for the first time. The university will also be responsible for distance learning in computer network and cybersecurity and cybersecurity management and policy.
“This is a key piece of transforming how we deliver the service in a better space but also in the delivery of cyber degrees and other degrees we have never previously delivered,” Col. Todd Turner, garrison commander of Fort Gordon, said to more than a dozen attendees.
Under the partnership, Augusta University will offer a bachelor’s degree program in technology with a concentration in cybersecurity.
Two eight-week sessions are already being taught inside a special purpose classroom, equipped with laptops and two large monitors, at the Command Support Center.
“That’s a little bit of a break from our traditional semester model because we want to fit the needs of this particular student population and they tend to do better with more intensive short courses,” Caughman said.
“So we’ve already started with the introduction to computer networking, ethics in cybersecurity and other intro to web courses.”
The classroom will also be linked to the $60 million Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center being built in downtown Augusta to broaden access to the cyber center.
“Part of the partnership is to understand what they’re seeing and what they’re doing,” said Joanne Sexton, director of the university’s Cyber Institute and founding dean of the School of Computer and Cyber Sciences. “And it’s my job to make sure that these students can cross the street and go to work directly for Fort Gordon.”