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UAlbany Paves the Way for the Next Generation of Digital Forensics Professionals

University Finalizes Articulation Agreements with Five SUNY Schools for Innovative Program

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 23, 2015) -- The University at Albany has formally established transfer articulation agreements with five State University of New York (SUNY) community colleges to provide preparation for and ready access to the new digital forensics bachelor’s degree program at the School of Business.

The program improves access to digital forensics for qualified students in associate’s degree programs at Hudson Valley Community College, Tompkins Cortland Community College, Columbia-Greene Community College, Herkimer Community College, and Broome County Community College. Students who complete the program as outlined by the agreement will be awarded full transfer credit and afforded the opportunity to complete the Bachelor’s degree in digital forensics within four additional semesters of study at UAlbany.

Associate Professor Sanjay Goel, Director of the Digital Forensics Program and the Chair of the Information Technology Management Program in the School of Business, has secured a grant through the National Science Foundation (SaTC) to strengthen the pipeline of students from the community colleges by providing online forensics and security laboratories as well as training to the faculty at community colleges in related tools and technologies.

UAlbany Digital Forensics Transfer Articulation Agreement
Representatives from area community colleges and UAlbany discuss a new collaboration between the colleges and the University's Digital Forensics program. (Photo Mark Schmidt)

"The University at Albany is delighted to continue our longstanding, close relationship with these community colleges, and we are proud to offer each student the opportunity to earn both an associate’s degree and baccalaureate degree within the State University of New York system," said R. Timothy Mulcahy Ph.D., Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at UAlbany.

The agreements outline the maximum number of transfer credits that can be applied to the digital forensics degree program at UAlbany, as well as the program requirements for students interested in earning two degrees. The agreements specify which classes at the community colleges can be taken in place of classes at UAlbany. For instance, students completing the Computer Information Systems major at Hudson Valley Community College will be fully admitted to the Digital Forensics major at UAlbany and by earning at least a 3.0 GPA in required courses.

Digital forensics used to be a domain of law enforcement in solving criminal cases but it has moved to businesses for responding to cyber breaches and other incidents. The UAlbany digital forensics program provides students with the high-level training needed to meet the information forensics and security demands for organizations in all sectors of the economy, including health care, government, financial services, and private industry. What identity theft, insider trading, information security breaches, cyber attacks, industrial espionage, financial fraud, and terrorism all share is that they leave behind digital “fingerprints” in the form of electronic data (from computers, networks, the cloud, GPS systems, and smartphones). Similar to DNA forensic scientists in the physical world, digital forensic analysts understand how to follow these "fingerprints" to investigate incidents and track activities in the electronic domain.

The innovative interdisciplinary program harnesses the strengths of the School of Business, the School of Criminal Justice, the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Computing and Information. The new major was bolstered by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s NYSUNY2020 program, which allowed for the hiring of six new faculty members to teach and conduct scholarly research in this area. The program began accepting students in the fall of 2014.

"We have a shortage of well trained security and forensics scientists who can protect our national infrastructure which will only grow in the future. We have bright young students at community colleges that can bridge this gap between supply and demand. By facilitating their entry into our Digital Forensics program, we will be able to address this national need and also provide a success path for community college students. We plan to continue to work closely with community college faculty and administration to understand and address the problems and challenges community college students face when they transfer to UAlbany," said Prof. Goel.

UAlbany also offers a graduate certificate in information security which is ideal for current professionals looking to gain more skills or expand career prospects, those already pursuing graduate studies or students nearing completion of their undergraduate degree in this arena.

Learn more about the digital forensics program.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.