The National Information Security, Geospatial Technologies Consortium (NISGTC) was a four year, $20 million federal grant that was established in 2011. The program offered services to individuals who are seeking training and job placement assistance in four Information Technology (IT) areas of Cybersecurity, Geospatial Technology, Programming and Networking and Data Communications.
From Principal Investigator, Dr. Ann Beheler:
In early 2011, the National Information, Security, and Geospatial Technologies Consortium (NISGTC) was a dream. At the end of four years, consortium colleges have achieved far more than thought possible, far more than standard Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (DOL TAACCCT) reports capture.
When asked to consider leading the National Science Foundation IT-related ATE Centers in applying for a DOL TAACCCT grant, the first person contacted was Erich Spengler, the principal investigator for the Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance (CSSIA) based at Moraine Valley Community College. Moraine Valley was the first college to join the group. Three other NSF IT Centers accepted the challenge: The National Convergence Technology Center based at Collin College; Bunker Hill Community College representing the Broadening Advanced Technology Education Connections (BATEC) Center; and Del Mar College that was then the lead for the GeoTech National NSF Center. Three other colleges that had previously received NSF Advanced Technological Education grants also became NISGTC partner colleges.
The partners collaborated to determine how best to address DOL TAACCCT priorities and also fund initiatives that would make long-lasting improvements at each college to support students well into the future. Each college led efforts based on its strengths, and all colleges depended on the leadership of others in the consortium.
Several consortium-wide initiatives stand out as pivotal: National Business and Industry Leadership Teams (BILTs) co-led all our work, ensuring that our completers would be workforce ready; Major equipment was purchased for our Virtual Laboratories—equipment that could not have been funded from our colleges’ budgets. This allowed students 24/7 access to virtual laboratory exercises; Online curriculum and e-books were created; and IT-specific tutors and career coaches supported participants in their studies and helped place them in jobs. Each college also had its own successes that are highlighted throughout this website.