New cybersecurity course proposed for Chelsea High School

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A new course is being proposed at Chelsea High School that would expose students to the ever-growing and far-reaching field of cybersecurity.

The course proposal was introduced at the Nov. 23 Chelsea School District Board of Education work session. It’s been put forth as a recommendation by Jason Rickli, a teacher at CHS who submitted the proposal to the superintendent and school board.

In his proposed description of Cybersecurity, Rickli said, “The course will expose high school students to the ever-growing and far-reaching field of cybersecurity. This may be accomplished through problem-based learning where students role-play cybersecurity experts-in-training. The course intends to cover a wide breadth of content related to information security and will promote ethical behavior, technical expertise, professionalism, and communication skills.”

If approved, it would be offered to students in 10th
through 12th grades, who had completed certain prerequisites.

“Nationally, computational resources are vulnerable and frequently attacked; in Cybersecurity, students solve problems by understanding and closing these vulnerabilities,” Rickli said as the rationale for the course. “This course raises students’ knowledge of and commitment to ethical computing behavior. It also aims to develop students’ skills as consumers, friends, citizens, and employees who can effectively contribute to communities with a dependable cyber-infrastructure that moves and processes information safely.”

In closing his proposal, Rickli cited how this course would align with CSD’s Portrait of a Graduate:

“The Cybersecurity course would continue to grow the opportunity Chelsea students will have to access the growing field of Computer Science. By continuing to grow the department and evolve the offerings that we have, students will be able to find more of their specific interests in a continuously growing field. They will also be growing socially through being challenged to grow as innovative and creative thinkers as they collaboratively work to solve challenging tasks. This will allow those passionate about computers and this field to feel like their desires are being acknowledged.”

The proposed concepts of the course include:

Ethics: Evaluate ethical impact of cybersecurity situations and the short- and long-term consequences

Security: Conceptualize, design and build secure information technology

(IT) systems

Protection: Identify and analyze threats to computer systems and networks

Defense: Establish protective measures to defend secure information

Operations: Administer and monitor IT systems to ensure performance and security are appropriately balanced

Analysis: Collect, review and evaluate cybersecurity information to determine its usefulness

Investigation: Investigate cyber events and crimes against IT systems, networks, and digital information

Careers: Research the many careers and fields that include information security

The school board will make a decision on whether or not to move this course forward at its Dec. 14 meeting.

Heather Conklin, CSD’s Director of Curriculum and Instruction, told the superintendent and school board, “This course proposal has been reviewed by District Curriculum Council and is being recommended to the Board for approval to move forward. If approved, development of the course will begin. Course development includes a full course outline with standards alignment and requested resources. Proposed course curriculum and resource request will enter another review process before being submitted to the board for approval in March.”

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