Computer Networking & Information Systems Security Degree

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The CNISS program helps prepare students to pursue careers in a variety of entry to mid-level positions including but not limited to Help Desk, network system administration and cyber security. Our instructors prepare students for careers involving the protection of information on computers and networks against unauthorized access or modification of information, and against the denial of service to authorized users.

Degree Info at a Glance

Type: AAT or AAS-T Degree

Approx. # of Quarters: 6

Estimated Cost: $10,636.04

Prerequisites: COMPASS Reading 68 and Writing 33, or successful completion of ENG 82. Prior to completion of first quarter, student must provide documentation of a background check with the Washington State Patrol.

Admission Dates: Fall, winter, spring and summer quarters

Includes those security measures, both physical and virtual, necessary to detect, document, and counter such threats. Curriculum content includes basic and advanced computer and networking skills, physical and virtual security processes and procedures, and introduction to security management, planning, and recovery.

The CNISS AAT/AAS-T program focuses primarily on the technical and problem-solving skills associated with PC and network management and cyber-security implementation but adds hands-on experience building computer and network systems. Additional skills include administration, configuration and security for Cisco, Linux and Microsoft products. Our focus also includes ethical hacking and prevention, assessing the security needs of computer networking systems, and developing safeguard solutions for computer and information-system infrastructures and countermeasures.

The AAT or AAS-T degree is earned by completing technical-core requirements and general-education requirements, and choosing one specialty option. (Option 1: Cisco Network Design Security; or Option 2: Computer & Communications Security.)

The program includes preparing students for the CompTIA A+, Security+, Linux+, Cisco CCENT, CCNA and Microsoft MCSA & MCITP certification examinations and internship work experience Employers include business and industrial firms, financial institutions, government agencies, consulting firms, software developers, health providers and Internet service providers. Innovations in computer technology continue to rapidly change and expand the computer security field. Therefore, the following courses of study may be subject to change in order to offer students training based on current industry standards.

The CNISS program is certified for cyber-security skills education through the National Security Agency’s Committee on National Systems Security. The program has been awarded the NSTISSI 4011 National Training Standards for Information Systems Security Professionals.

In addition to the program course requirements, students must also complete the general education requirements for the degree they seek to obtain. The two degree options in this program are the Associate in Applied Technology (AAT) or the Associate of Applied Science-T (AAS-T). The different requirements for each degree are listed below:

AAT Degree General Education Requirements (15 credits)

  • ENGL& 101 English Composition or CMST& 220 (or higher)
  • MAT 105 Math for Industrial Professions (or higher)
  • PSYC& 100DIV General Psychology (PSY 112DIV, SOC& 101DIV, or other humanities course that meets the diversity requirement)

AAS-T Degree general education requirements (20 credits):

All AAS-T degrees must have a minimum of 20 credits of transferable general education. These credits replace the academic courses required for the AAT degree. Required credits include:

  • 5 credits in communication: ENGL& 101
  • 5 credits in quantitative reasoning: MAT 110, MATH& 141, MATH& 142, MATH& 146 or MATH& 151
  • 5 credits in a social science that meets the diversity requirement (PSYC& 100DIV or SOC& 101DIV)
  • 5 credits in social science, humanities, or science (choose one from the following): PSYC& 100DIV, PSYC& 200, PSY 210, PSYC& 220, SOC& 101, ART& 100, MUSC& 105, ASL& 121, BIOL 118, BIOL& 160, BIOL& 175, BIOL& 241, BIOL& 242, CHEM& 121, CHEM& 110, GEOL& 110, PHYS& 114, ECON 101, ECON& 201 or ECON& 202

Students pursuing an AAT or AAS-T degree must complete all College degree requirements prior to graduation. This includes courses that meet the capstone project, diversity, and computer literacy requirements.

Program Length: This program is approximately six quarters long, depending on the time students need to satisfactorily complete all graduation requirements. Program hours are from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Admission Dates: Summer, fall, winter and spring quarters.

Prerequisites: COMPASS score of 68 in reading and 33 in writing, or successful completion of ENG 082. Prior to completion of first quarter, student must provide documentation of a background check with the Washington State Patrol.

Program Requirements

Course # Course Name Credits
NSS 101* IT Essential I 5
NSS 105*CL IT Essential II 4
NSS 109 Cisco Networking I 4
NSS 120 MS Desktop Support I 5
NSS 125 MS Desktop Support II 4
NSS 135 Implementing System Security 4
NSS 139 Server OS Installation & Configuration 4
NSS 140 Introduction to Data Analysis 5
NSS 152 SharePoint Services Administration 4
NSS 156 Cyber Security Fundamentals 4
NSS 160 Introduction to Linux 5
NSS 162 Administering Windows Server OS 4
NSS 164 Visualization and Cloud Computing 4
NSS 165 Contingency Planning 4
NSS 201 Advanced Linux 5
NSS 205 Advanced Windows Server Configuration 5
  Total Technical Course Requirements 70
  General Education Requirements (See listing above) 15
  Program Option 1 or 2 (see listing below) 24-29
  Total Credits for Completion of AAT Degree 109-114

AAS-T Program Requirements

Technical Course Requirements (Same as AAT) 70
General Education Requirements (See listing above) 20
Program Option (see listing below) 24-29
Total Credits for Completion of AAS-T Degree 114-119

For an AAT or AAS-T degree, students must complete one of the specialty options listed below. These options may also be taken as a stand-alone certificate for those not pursuing a degree.

Option 1: CISCO Network Design & Security

Course # Course Name Credits
NSS 180CAP Internship I 2
NSS 250CAP Internship II 2
NSSC 201* Cisco Networking II 5
NSSC 203* Cisco Networking III 5
NSSC 205* Cisco Networking IV 5
NSSC 208 Managing Network Security 5
  Subtotal 24

Option 2: Computer & Communications Security

Course # Course Name Credits
NSS 180CAP Internship I 2
NSS 250CAP Internship II 2
NSSB 202 Overview of Penetration Testing 5
NSSB 215 Computer Forensics 4
NSSB 231 Web Security 5
NSSB 245 Scripting 5
NSSB 210 Security Learning Lab I 3
NSSB 220 Security Learning Lab II 3
  Subtotal 29

*Articulated courses with high schools for dual enrollment

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