Tulsa Community College Opens Cyber Lab

Tulsa Community College (TCC) in Oklahoma has officially opened its Cybersecurity Lab, a new facility that features two computer lab classrooms and a fully functional data center – which operates independently from TCC data systems.

The lab – designed in collaboration with GH2 Architects and constructed by Scissor-Tail Construction – aims to provide students with access to cutting-edge, secure network technology. Once students become familiar with the lab, TCC said they will be able to access and defend the data center.

“The opening of this lab marks a pivotal moment for TCC in preparing students for successful careers in Cybersecurity,” TCC CEO and President Leigh Goodson, said in a press release. “As the demand for Cybersecurity professionals continues to surge, TCC remains steadfast in our mission to cultivate talent and meet the evolving needs of our local workforce.”

Last fall, TCC began offering a Cybersecurity Associate of Applied Science to teach students how to safeguard systems and respond effectively to security breaches.

TCC said it now also offers three college credit offerings to help students enter the cybersecurity field through the TCC School of Business and Information Technology. As students move to more advanced level cybersecurity courses, they will be able to use the Cybersecurity Lab.

“With an emphasis on hands-on learning and access to advanced technology, this facility highlights our commitment to providing a state-of-the-art educational experience that aligns with industry demand,” said Travis White, dean of the School of Business and Information Technology.

“The Cybersecurity Lab will be a tool that allows us to effectively impart knowledge to students,” added TCC Assistant Professor Ted Ward. “This is a big step up from learning strictly via theory and textbooks or simple labs that do not reflect a workplace environment.”

TCC said the lab was developed using funding from multiple sources, including state, Federal, and grant funding.

Earlier this year, TCC completed a cybersecurity transfer pathway with the University of Oklahoma Polytechnic Institute at OU-Tulsa to provide TCC students with a streamlined pathway to earn a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity.

The new Cybersecurity Lab will enable students to receive hands-on learning before potentially going on to a bachelor’s completion program.

“I’m looking forward to working in this new Cybersecurity Lab. I’m a hands-on learner and I’ve always done better in the classroom,” said TCC student Daniel Smith. “Working in a real, production environment, or a ‘sandbox environment’, will really help me and other students in the program understand how to support hardware and software systems and what’s needed to protect them against both internal and external threats.”