Interview with Pepsi Boyér about the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with an Emphasis in Cybersecurity Management at King University
About Pepsi Boyér: Pepsi Boyér is the IT Coordinator and an Assistant Professor at King University. Her duties include governance of the IT program and making sure any program demands are met, acting as a liaison between the IT faculty and university staff, and ensuring student success. Pepsi Boyér’s background includes teaching within technology and science at all levels of academia since 1996. She has worked within industry and brings business experience and expertise to her courses and the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology program.
Professor Boyér is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Asheville and East Carolina University. She is dedicated to lifelong learning and continues to complete professional development in business and information technology. Professor Boyér is always available to mentor students and encourage their success. She is focused in researching and presenting in the areas of cybersecurity frameworks, cybersecurity auditing methods and educational pedagogy and assessment.
[CyberSecurityDegree.com] Could you please provide an overview of King University’s online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, and how it is structured? What are the key learning outcomes students can expect from, and what kinds of roles does the Cybersecurity Management track prepare students for?
[Professor Pepsi Boyér] King University’s Bachelor of Science in Information Technology’s curriculum is built upon the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Curricular Model and embodies its goals and outcomes, as articulated by the ACM. All-important industry standard IT certifications such as the CompTIA Security+, CompTIA ITF+ (IT Fundamentals) and the CompTIA Network+ are embedded throughout the program giving the students a head start in gaining the necessary tools for being competitive job seekers.
The online IT degree requires 36 semester hours of core IT subject related material and 12 hours dedicated to completing an IT specialty area (track) such as cybersecurity management. The track component intentionally fosters and engages the students towards additional positions within IT environments. For example, the cybersecurity management track specifically prepares students for more advanced managerial roles such as a Chief Information Security Officers. The students will study concepts such as employee behavior, processes, and communication procedures for cybersecurity managers.
The knowledge that students will obtain within the cybersecurity track includes principles of cybersecurity management, cybersecurity policy and risk assessment, risk management concepts, and controls for information privacy. The biggest takeaway for the students within the cybersecurity management track is that they understand how to apply a cybersecurity framework following guidelines given from such governing bodies as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the essential CIS controls to safeguard IT assets and tackle cybersecurity threats.
[CyberSecurityDegree.com] How is cybersecurity as a field evolving to meet contemporary needs and security threats? How does King University’s Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, Cybersecurity Management track train students to meet these contemporary and dynamic needs in the information security space? On a related note, how is cybersecurity as a field increasingly relevant to other industries and disciplines such as business, public policy, psychology, and public health?
[Professor Pepsi Boyér] As cybersecurity threats become more prevalent, cybersecurity managers will have to become even more focused and specialized than ever before. New types of cybersecurity jobs will be created, and thus, new types of management positions will be created in sync with these developments. You simply cannot go wrong majoring in IT; and especially cybersecurity, as every facet of business will depend upon it.
[CyberSecurityDegree.com] King University’s Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, Cybersecurity Management track can be completed 100% online. May we have more information about the online technologies this program uses to facilitate interactive discussions between students and faculty?
[Professor Pepsi Boyér] As stated previously, King University is a teaching college, meaning we dedicate our time specifically to student learning. And even though our IT program is online, we meet with students both virtually and in face-to-face settings if students wish and when possible. At the time of this interview, King University is using Canvas for teaching online courses. Students of our program also use King University’s online writing resource center to help with writing, Microsoft Teams for virtual meetings and classroom attendance, and other possible communication software upon need and other requirements. Our professors do hold online office hours and can be contacted at any time to create a one-on-one virtual meeting with students needing additional tutoring or mentoring.
[CyberSecurityDegree.com] King University is a military-friendly school that offers Active-Duty Tuition Discounts and VA Vocational Rehabilitation. It is also a participant in the G.I. Bill’s Yellow Ribbon Program, which offers financial aid and other benefits to active military members and veterans. May we have more information about these benefits, and how they help students of the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, Cybersecurity Management Track?
[Professor Pepsi Boyér] King University is very dedicated to its military students; faculty, as well as staff, are very empathetic to their dedication and their cause. Veterans, as well as law enforcement, are highly interested in the BSIT program as it relates to the provisions of national security. We dedicate time and resources to accommodate the interests of these students. The BSIT program sets aside time for virtual sessions so that all students may be tutored to foster their return to civilian life or receive support in their current military life to help ensure their success.
The simplest explanation of the G.I. Bill’s Yellow Ribbon Program is that the program helps veteran students meet financial obligations with government funding. More specific information catering to veterans can be found at the following page: https://www.king.edu/about/offices/registrar/military/
[CyberSecurityDegree.com] For their final major requirement, students must complete a final portfolio, which they also present to faculty. Could you elaborate on what the portfolio entails, and the process students undergo to complete and present their culminating experience?
[Professor Pepsi Boyér] Students are required to finish an IT portfolio to showcase their work to, not only the King University professors, but also to any potential or future employers. Students who graduate from King University’s IT program, but do not have any IT work experience or background, may demonstrate their skill set with the portfolio file. The files needed and compiled within the portfolio include the major project files from their IT course work and IT track courses.
In the portfolio, a potential employer will find developed database systems, systems analysis protocols, cybersecurity management, policy management, service level agreements, and other such files related to governance, system development lifecycles and project management. As each student designs and creates each IT system throughout the core IT curriculum, the portfolio reflects their work and advocates to any potential employer the needed qualifications to obtain a job in the field.
[CyberSecurityDegree.com] What role does faculty mentorship play in King University’s Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, Cybersecurity Management track? Independent of faculty instruction and support, what career development resources and academic services are available to students of this program? How can students make the most of these mentorship opportunities and support systems while in the program?
[Professor Pepsi Boyér] As the IT Coordinator, I would specifically like to speak to the qualifications of all of the BSIT’s program professors. While the majority of our teaching professors have PhDs and Doctorates in the field of IT, most of our professors also have work experience within field of IT as well as additional experience in the areas of business, science and IT law. Many of our professors are presently working within the IT field. This wide array of experience within the department helps to broaden the academic framework and implement real-world experience for the BSIT students.
A real-world approach and real-world experience are constantly being applied in the courses. We have information service personnel, cybersecurity analysts, and system administrators teaching our courses. In addition to having professionals teach the courses, the final portfolio and assessment course helps students create professional IT resumes, cover letters and letters of portfolio transmittal. Student resumes and cover letters are edited, and students are mentored towards improving their existing resume. Resume strategies and the competitive nature of job applications are discussed and examined to help promote King University students as potential candidates for prospective jobs. Students apply to, at least, one prospective job position while in the final portfolio and assessment course.
King University offers internships through King University Career Services. Recently, the BSIT program has also started an ambassador program for potential, present and past student connections. This creates relationships between current students and employed IT professionals. The IT Coordinator retains a position in two advisory boards which keeps the Coordinator informed and helps collect job leads.
[CyberSecurityDegree.com] For students who are interested in King University’s Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, Cybersecurity Management track, what advice do you have for submitting a competitive application?
[Professor Pepsi Boyér] To be accepted into the BSIT program, a student must meet the minimum requirements of acceptance for King University. Those specific requirements may be found within the “Admissions” section of the Academic catalog for the university. Additionally, while not required, the student seeking to obtain a Bachelor’s in Information Systems with a focus in cybersecurity management should enter the program with a general interest in the field and enter the program with the drive to dedicate to that interest. The professors will build and develop that interest further as the content and skills are obtained from the course content and hands-on ethical hacking and forensic experience. Students within the program should also be ready to develop their communication skills as this type of skill is so often requested from potential employers.
Students will get the assistance needed to meet the King University’s requirements for being an applicant upon the start of the application process. This program currently only needs transcripts and the King application. The Wiley Enrollment team [a partner of King University] will help any prospective student through the application process. Once the needed transcripts and application are collected, the Wiley Enrollment team will submit the student via SharePoint and the King admissions team will follow in-house processes to determine the applicants decision.
[CyberSecurityDegree.com] How are the requirements for transfer students different from those of students with limited or no college credits? What is the policy for transfer credit from students who have already completed part of a baccalaureate degree at another institution?
[Professor Pepsi Boyér] There is no difference – all applicants are welcome to apply as long as they meet the minimum requirements set forth by King University. Per King’s Registrar, we inform students that King allows up to 76 transfer credits as long as they align with Kings course requirements (i.e., they meet key content requirements in their courses taught at the transfer institution), and have a C or better in the relevant courses. The credit load of the course is taken into consideration – most institutions have courses that are 3 credit hours, whereas King’s courses have 4 credit hour long courses; the remaining hour is placed in the elective section for the student to take (generally speaking). The above is the case for any student that is coming into King with any form of transferable credit.
King University has many partnerships with 2-year institutions using the Tennessee transfer pathway to ensure credit equivalency and acceptance into the BSIT program.
[CyberSecurityDegree.com] What makes King University’s Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, Cybersecurity Management track unique, and a particularly strong undergraduate degree option for students? From faculty expertise and mentorship opportunities to the quality of the curriculum, what are some standout aspects of the program that you would like prospective students to know about?
[Professor Pepsi Boyér] While touting our embedded industry standard certifications should take some precedence when describing the program, the King University Bachelor of IT program distinguishes itself from other universities as the professors dedicate their personal time to individual students and mentor them towards successful completion of the program. The BSIT program is a reliable program that provides professional mentoring that guarantees the needed IT skill sets found in the workplace. The program content and design incorporate hands-on experience, certification study and practice, as well as theoretical design and application so needed within a liberal arts education.
Students are provided with a premium education. Not only does the BSIT program consider teaching to be our number one focus, but our professors also always make themselves available to promote our students’ success. The BSIT program incorporates all that is needed to foster a successful student and IT professional. The teaching culture within this program is exceptional, bar none.
Thank you, Professor Pepsi Boyer, for your excellent insight into King University’s Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, Cybersecurity Management track!
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