Saddleback's cybersecurity/cyber defense program starts students on a pathway to becoming a United States Department of Defense (DOD) Cyber Security Service Provider (CSSP) in the form of a Computer Science Associate in Science degree that is built for transfer along with the preparation needed to take the Certified Ethical Hacker exam which meets the minimum certificate requirements for the CSSP Analyst, Infrastructure Support, Incident Responder, and Auditor Levels.

The United States Department of Defense Cyber Security Service Provider (CSSP) workforce consists of 5 different levels of employment (e.g. Analyst, Infrastructure Support, Incident Responder, Auditor, and Manager), with each requiring one or more industry certificates along with a four-year degree.  The CSSP is a highly sought-after certification issued by the Department of Defense that indicates a candidate's fitness for the DOD CSSP workforce.

Degrees and Certificates

Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) Program Goal

The goal of the CAE Cyber Defense program is to reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense and producing professionals with cyber defense expertise.

The program helps students to proactively increase their understanding of robust cyber defense technology, policy, and practices to work collaboratively as professionals to enable our Nation to effectively prevent and respond to a catastrophic cyber event. This program will contribute significantly to the advancement of state-of-the-art cybersecurity knowledge and practices.

CAE-CD Program Vision

The vision for Saddleback College's CAE-CD program is to:

  • Provide a program that is committed to excellence in the field of Cyber Defense education.
  • Strengthen the cybersecurity workforce by providing Cyber Defense education through certifications and an Associate of Science degree program.
  • Build an effective education pathway model with K-12 schools to encourage students at an early age to enter cybersecurity fields of study.
  • Provide the Nation with a pipeline of qualified students poised to become the future skilled technical workforce.
  • Continuously improve the quality of its Cyber Defense education program, curriculum, faculty, students, and other institutions.


Professional Journals

Cybersecurity journals and articles are available through the Saddleback Digital Library  at no charge. Just follow the login instructions on the Online Library link on the home page. Lists of Professional Journals may be obtained at either the online Cybersecurity Center or the Cybersecurity Center. Professional Journals available at the Online Library include:

CAE and CAE-CDE Institutions

Four Year National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense education:

Cybersecurity Community Resources

Cyber Competitions

In addition to mentoring for CyberPatriot competitions, Saddleback College students participate in a variety of cyber competitions to sharpen their hands-on skills in cybersecurity. Competitions include the Western Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (WRCCDC) and National Cyber League (NCL).