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By Nikki Cabus

Registration is open for Florida’s first Bachelor’s degree in AI at Miami Dade College

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Registration is open now for Miami Dade College’s 2024 fall term, which includes new programs that include Florida’s First Bachelor of Science in Artificial Intelligence. 

Miami Dade College (MDC) is a public college in Miami-Dade county and is among the most diverse institution in the nation. There are 167 nations and 63 languages represented in its student body. It is the largest college in the Florida College System with more than 100,000 students in 300 distinct degree pathways across eight campuses and multiple outreach centers.

As per Gartner, 70% of the current workforce has yet to acquire the skills for their current jobs, and 80% of the current workforce doesn’t have the skills for their current and future roles. Limited AI expertise or knowledge is identified as the biggest barrier to AI adoption. Labor market projections indicate a growing demand for AI experts. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity projected more than 1,000 annual job openings in AI in South Florida with an average hourly wage of $45.58 and average annual salary of $94,815.

In July 2023, at a State Board of Education meeting, Miami Dade College (MDC) received approval to offer Florida’s first Bachelor of Science in Applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) which will prepare students for immediate entry into the workforce as AI Analysts, Natural Language Processing Specialists, Computer Vision Analysts, Machine Learning Specialists and AI Programmers. The curriculum also trains students to pursue advanced degrees in computer science or other STEM fields. The program will begin with the Fall Semester on August 26th, 2024.

“There is a significant demand for AI professionals in our state, and MDC is poised to train that future workforce,” said MDC President Madeline Pumariega. “We are proud to be leading the way to ensure students have the skills they need to succeed.”

Miami Dade College’s innovative Bachelor of Science in Applied Artificial Intelligence is designed to meet the fast-growing demand for artificial intelligence (AI) professionals. Through a comprehensive curriculum, students will be equipped to join the fascinating work of using AI-enabled systems in the workplace to streamline business processes, enhance decision-making, and provide exceptional customer experiences. The program additionally focuses on ethical standards and socially responsible practices in the implementation of these technologies and data-driven decision making.

MDC has been leading the way in AI education. Early last year, the College announced a new Associate in Science in Applied Artificial Intelligence and two new College Credit Certificates in AI. Both the associate and bachelor’s degrees are among the first in the nation. MDC is also home to two state-of-the-art AI Centers offering access to the latest technology.

On May 16th, MDC also announced it has partnered with Intel, an industry leader in creating world-changing technology, to implement the Intel® AI for Workforce Program, aimed at educating the next generation of technologists, engineers and inventors in artificial intelligence and help them launch successful careers in their chosen fields.

The Intel AI for Workforce Program, with technology support from Dell Technologies, helps students gain critical job skills in the burgeoning field of artificial intelligence. Intel will provide over 225 hours of AI content, including courses on data collection, computer vision, AI model training, coding, the societal impacts and ethics of AI technology, and more. In addition, professional training for school faculty and implementation guidance is offered by Intel.

“In partnership with Miami Dade College and Dell Technologies, we are committed to the re-skilling of the American workforce and to advancing diversity and inclusion to ensure that the next generation of technologists are prepared and provided opportunities for AI education”, said Michelle Johnston Holthaus, Intel executive vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Group.

MDC is using this content to develop a stackable credential pathway in applied AI that will consist of a College Credit Certificate, Associate in Science and Bachelor in Science. Applied AI courses will also be available for community members looking for upskilling opportunities at MDC’s new AI Center, which is expected to open this fall. The first course, “AI Thinking,” will be offered during the fall term.

“The AI for Workforce Program provides a pathway for meeting the growing demand for a wide range of AI skillsets. It takes students from awareness to experience and completing a practical training. Intel curriculum’s objective and flexibility makes it a great match for MDC and our students” said Dr. George Gabb, lead faculty for AI programs at MDC.

Financial aid and scholarships are available for all AI courses and programs offered. For more information on AI at MDC visit:

By Nikki Cabus

Miami Dade College Becomes the First Florida College with Two Cybersecurity Programs Validated by the NSA

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Miami Dade College announced it has become the first institute in Florida to offer both associate and bachelor’s degree programs in cybersecurity after receiving its second validation from the NSA.

The National Security Agency (NSA) is a U.S. Department of Defense combat support agency and member of the U.S. Intelligence Community leading the U.S. Government in cryptology that encompasses both signals intelligence (SIGINT) insights and cybersecurity products and services, and enables computer network operations to gain a decisive advantage for the nation and allies.

At the 2nd annual South Florida Tech Hub Higher Education Conference held at MDC Wolfson Campus, College officials announced the NSA validation for the Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity through 2029, the highest standard of quality for a cybersecurity degree in the nation. MDC received NSA validation in 2022 for the Associate of Science in Cybersecurity.

“We are honored to receive this prestigious recognition from the National Security Agency,” said MDC President Madeline Pumariega.

“It underscores our commitment to expanding our cybersecurity program, solidifying the College’s position as a leader in talent development for the future workforce. We couldn’t do this without the unwavering support of our world-class faculty, esteemed partners, and industry-leading advisors.”

The distinction acknowledges MDC’s rigorous cybersecurity curriculum standards and academic delivery excellence from faculty to equip students with expert knowledge and skills to protect and defend against the cyber threat landscape. According to a letter from the NSA, the college’s ability to meet the increasing demands of the program criteria will serve the nation well in contributing to the protection of the National Information Infrastructure. The NSA’s National Cyber Strategy addresses the critical shortage of professionals with cybersecurity skills and highlights the importance of higher education as a solution to defending America’s cyberspace.

This news is a welcome addition to MDC’s prestigious designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense by NSA for its impressive cybersecurity curriculum. With this recent validation, students who complete MDC’s bachelor’s in cybersecurity receive explicit recognition in their transcripts. They are also eligible to apply for grants, training and scholarships from NSA and other federal partners.

With Miami Dade College (MDC) being the most diverse institution in the nation, with 167 nations and 63 languages represented in its student body, the College changes lives through accessible, high-quality teaching and learning experiences. MDC’s eight campuses and outreach centers offer over 300 distinct degree pathways, including associate and baccalaureate degrees, certifications and apprenticeships. MDC has admitted more than 2.5 million students and counting, since it opened its doors in 1960 and approximately 120,000 students are currently enrolled.

“This achievement underscores our commitment to excellence in cybersecurity education and solidifies our leadership in talent development for the future workforce,” shared Antonio Delgado, MDC’s VP of Innovation & Technology Partnerships.

“With this validation, our students gain explicit recognition on their transcripts and are eligible for internships, training and scholarships from NSA and other federal partners.”

For more information about MDC’s ‘Cybersecurity Center of the Americas’ programs, visit


By Nikki Cabus

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

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Miami 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.

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).

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.

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.

“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

Registration is open for Florida’s first Bachelor’s degree in AI at Miami Dade College
Miami Dade College Becomes the First Florida College with Two Cybersecurity Programs Validated by the NSA
Miami Dade College’s Cybersecurity Program and Faculty Recognized Among the Top in the Nation by EC-Council