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Miami Dade College’s Cybersecurity Program and Faculty Recognized Among the Top in the Nation by EC-Council

on March 3, 2024 / by Nikki Cabus ,

Read Time 4 Minutes

File:Miami Dade College logo.svg - WikipediaMiami Dade College’s (MDC) acclaimed Cybersecurity program and Professor Dr. Diego Tibaquirá were recently recognized by the EC-Council Academia for making a lasting impact on cybersecurity education and student success. 

EC-Council is the leading IT and e-Business certification awarding body and the creator of the world famous Certified Ethical Hacker (#CEH), Computer Hacking Forensics Investigator (CHFI) and Certified Penetration Testing Professional (CPENT)/ Licensed Penetration Tester (Master). The organization has trained over 80,000 individuals and certified more than 30,000 security professionals from such fine organizations as the US Army, the FBI, Microsoft, IBM and the United Nations.

MN Cyber Training Program for CEH Certification - Institute for Professional Development

EC-Council’s certifications are recognized worldwide and have received endorsements from various government agencies including the US Federal Government via the GI Bill, National Security Agency (NSA) and the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS). The United States Department of Defense has included the CEH program into its Directive 8570, making it as one of the mandatory standards to be achieved by Computer Network Defenders Service Providers (CND-SP).

Cyberbit – Cyber Range Platform leading provider

MDC’s Cyber Range

The EC-Council Academia division supports K-12, community college and university programs by providing state-of-the-art cybersecurity technologies and opportunities to obtain globally respected industry certifications. Students graduate from these programs with the necessary skills to protect digital assets, helping to address the workforce gap, estimated to be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions in 2025.

Miami Dade College was among only five colleges and universities chosen for the 2023 Academia Circle of Excellence Award from nearly 2,000 higher education institutions across North America. 

The Cybersecurity Center of the Americas at Miami Dade College is transforming cybersecurity education by integrating the advanced hands-on training needed to be a cybersecurity professional. MDC’s comprehensive cybersecurity curriculum includes an Associate in Science, a Bachelor of Science and certifications.

National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity logo

MDC has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) by the National Security Agency (NSA) for Academic Years 2022-2027. These programs are offered through MDC’s School of Engineering and Technology (EnTec).

Dr. Diego Tibaquira, former United States Marine Corps and Professor of Computer Science at MDC’s Padrón Campus has been instrumental in building the cybersecurity and cloud computing curriculum at MDC. He was one of only four recipients of the Academia Instructor Circle of Excellence Award by EC-Council Academia. Dr. Tibaquira was selected from approximately 1,000 EC-Council-partnered institutions in North America. Award recipients are selected based on their impact on teaching, assessment of their instruction, student experiences, leadership and engagement with the cybersecurity community.

Profile photo of Dr. Diego Tibaquirá, CISSP

Dr. Diego Tibaquira

“What a great Honor to be selected for the “2023 Academic Instructor Circle of Excellence,” Dr. Tibaquira wrote in a social media post.

“Thank you to all my colleagues at Miami Dade College for their support and EC-Council for this Honor. To my mentors and role models Malou C. Harrison, PhD and Antonio Delgado Fornaguera for continuing to show me how to keep striving to do more for our students and community. To President Madeline Pumariega for her vision and allowing Innovation and ideas to take shape to help our College move forward. To my Deans who provide me with the support (100%) to go and do my job in the best ways possible: Niurka “Niki” Goenaga and Manny Perez.”

He concluded, “To my students who keep taking advantage of each and every opportunity the college brings to keep advancing, growing, progressing, and building our Miami Dade College Community and Community at large.”

MDC is the recipient of many top national awards, including the prestigious Aspen Prize. MDC has been recognized among the nation’s “Great Colleges to Work For” since the program’s inception. The College serves as an economic, cultural and civic leader for the advancement of our diverse global community. MDC alumni and employees contribute more than $3 billion annually to the local economy, and graduates occupy top leadership positions in every major industry. MDC has admitted more than 2.5 million students and counting, since it opened its doors in 1960. Approximately 120,000 students are currently enrolled. For more information, visit

Learn more about MDC’s Cybersecurity programs, visit

Miami Dade College’s Cybersecurity Program and Faculty Recognized Among the Top in the Nation by EC-Council