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CyberCorps Scholarship for Service

Cyber LeADERS Scholars Program

The Old Dominion University School of Cybersecurity has received funding from the National Science Foundation's CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service (SFS) initiative to create the Cyber LeADERS Scholars program. In partnership with Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) and Tidewater Community College (TCC), ODU's School of Cybersecurity will provide selected students the opportunity to receive 2-3 years of support. Students receiving the scholarship must work for the federal government in select cybersecurity positions for the same number of years for which they received scholarship support.

The students will engage in applied experiences related to leadership, academic internships, diversity, entrepreneurship, and service learning. Students will also have the opportunity to create an ePortfolio documenting their learning and highlighting their skills.

Modeled after ODU's LeADERS program, the applied learning experiences and coursework completed by the scholarship recipients will ensure their preparation and success in a wide range of cybersecurity government careers.


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Seven Students Make Up First Cohort of Cyber LeADERS Scholars

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Cyber Security

The Cyber LeADERS SFS Scholars program is open to:

  • TCC and TNCC cybersecurity students who intend to transfer to ODU's BS in cybersecurity program. Funding will be provided in the student's last year at the community college and for two years at ODU.
  • ODU cybersecurity students in their junior and senior year (up to two years of scholarship support will be provided).
  • ODU cybersecurity students interested in earning the BS and MS in cybersecurity (up to three years of scholarship support will be provided).
  • ODU graduate students enrolled full-time in the MS in cybersecurity program (up to two years of scholarship support will be provided).

The 2023-2024 application opens on October 15, 2022 and closes on January 31, 2023.

Cyber LeADERS SFS Scholars will receive:

  • Tuition (in-state) and fees
  • An annual stipend ($25,000 for undergraduate and $34,000 for graduate students)
  • An annual book allowance
  • A professional development allowance that scholars can use to attend the mandatory SFS job fair, travel, and professional certifications

*Note that funding from the SFS program replaces any state or Old Dominion University institutional scholarships or financial aid where a student's total cost of attendance is surpassed.



ELIGIBILITY

To be considered for the Cyber LeADERS SFS program, students must be:

  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Enrolled full-time for the duration of the scholarship.
  • Able to take classes on-campus at ODU's main location.
  • An ODU cybersecurity undergraduate junior or senior or a Master's student in Fall 2021 or a student in the last year of an AAS program in Fall 2021 and earning a transferable associate's degree at Tidewater Community College or Thomas Nelson Community College who has signed an intent to transfer form to attend ODU as a cybersecurity student in Fall 2022.
  • Able to secure federal employment and, if needed, successfully obtain a security clearance.
    Willing to commit to a background check

REQUIREMENTS

Cyber LeADERS SFS Scholars must:

  • Maintain a grade point average above 3.20.
  • Participate in the ODU LeADERS program.
  • Develop and maintain an electronic portfolio.
  • Successfully complete cybersecurity internships with authorized federal, state, or local agencies each summer the student is enrolled in the program.
  • Participate in ongoing School of Cybersecurity events including seminars, mentoring sessions, advising programs, the Office of Personnel and Management's (OPM) annual CyberCorps™ Scholarship for Service Job Fair, and the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative's annual internship fair.
  • Refrain from employment during the course of the scholarship so that full attention can be given to completing the requirements of the program.
  • Sign CyberCorps®: Scholarship For Service (SFS) Service Agreement.
  • Complete Responsibility and Obligation Acknowledgement form.
  • Complete at least two of the following:

✓ A leadership course approved by ODU faculty as a LeADERS course.

✓ CYSE 494/595 (Entrepreneurship in Cybersecurity)

✓ An independent research project supervised by a faculty member (for-credit or non- credit)

✓ Complete a service learning project supervised by a faculty member

✓ Complete a diversity studies course approved by ODU faculty as a LeADERS course.

  • Seek and obtain a full-time position with the federal government and complete service with that agency for a minimum of the same number of years as the scholarship award. For instance, if the student received the scholarship for two years, the student would be obligated to complete two years of federal employment.

* Students who withdraw or fail to meet their obligations to the ODU Cyber LeADERS Scholarship for Service program will be required to repay the amount they received by their scholarship to an educational loan.

HOW TO APPLY

  • A CV or resume that shows work experience, skills, coursework, extracurricular activities, and honors/awards.
  • Develop a three-page personal statement. The statement should tell readers about your interest in cybersecurity, how prior courses have prepared you for the ODU Cyber LeADERS program, your professional goals, and which agencies are most appealing to you. Also include reasons why government employment is of interest to you, giving a specific focus to the way that your career goals align with service ideals. More precisely, the statement should explain why you are interested in this program and how you know you are willing to commit to federal employment at this stage of your academic career.
  • Two letters of reference from faculty. Additional letters from employers can be included.
  • For TCC and TNCC students applying for their 2nd year at their community college, submit a Letter of Verification from Kim Perez, kperez@tcc.edu (TCC) or Michael Mann, mannm@tncc.edu (TNCC).
  • Contact information from at least two individuals who can describe your skills, potential, and commitment to working for the government.
  • Unofficial copies of transcripts from all colleges attended. Official copies will be needed if selected.
  • A writing sample from a paper written for a class or project.
  • Use this link to apply - CyberCorps Scholarship for Service Application

The 2023-2024 application opens on October 15, 2022 and closes on January 31, 2023.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: Where can I learn more about the Scholarship for Service program?

A: The Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) Scholarship for Service Program website includes additional details and information for future and current students.

Q: What type of information is considered in background checks and granting clearance for federal positions?

A: The government uses the SF-86 form to conduct background checks for national security positions.

Q: What if I want to change my major?

A. If you do not graduate with a degree in cybersecurity and work for the federal government for the required amount of time, you will need to repay all funds received in the scholarship award.

Q: What if I am not certain about wanting to work for the federal government?

A: You should not apply for the Cyber LeADERS Scholars program if you are not committed to working for the federal government.

Q: Which agencies would meet my service requirements?

A: Here is a list of qualifying Federal Executive & Non-Executive Agencies.

Q: What Institution should I use when applying for this program if I am a TCC or TNCC student?

A1: If you are a student starting your final year at TCC or TNCC in the ITS or cybersecurity program you will list TCC or TNCC as your institution. This will provide you with three years of funding - 1 year at the community college and 2 years at ODU.

A2: If you are a student in your final semester at TCC or TNCC and you plan to transfer to ODU for the fall semester you will list ODU as your institution. You will be considered an ODU student since you finished your associate degree prior to transferring and you will receive two years of funding as an ODU junior and senior.



The 2023-2024 application opens on October 15, 2022 and closes on January 31, 2023.

The application is available using this link – CyberCorps Scholarship for Service Application.



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