TCC Hosts Cybersecurity Lab Grand Opening

Tulsa Community College's Cybersecurity Lab

Tulsa Community College hosted a grand opening to celebrate the completion of its Cybersecurity Lab. The new facility at the Southeast Campus location features two computer lab classrooms and a fully functional data center to ensure students have access to cutting-edge, secure network technology. Once students become familiar with the lab, they will be able to safely access and defend the data center, which operates independently from TCC data systems.

“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, Ph.D. said. “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."

TCC began offering a Cybersecurity Associate of Applied Science in Fall 2023, designed to lead students directly into the workforce. TCC now provides three college-credit offerings to help an individual enter the fast-growing and high-paying field of Cybersecurity through the TCC School of Business and Information Technology. Students will be able to use the Cybersecurity Lab as they move to more advanced level courses in Cybersecurity.

TCC leadership cuts a ribbon outside of the Cybersecurity Lab
TCC Assistant Professor Ted Ward, Ph.D., TCC Dean of the School of Business and Information Technology Travis White, Ph.D., TCC CEO and President Leigh Goodson, Ph.D., TCC student Daniel Smith, and TCC Regent Wes Mitchell cut the ribbon outside of the Cybersecurity Lab during its grand opening.

“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, Ph.D., 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,” said TCC Assistant Professor Ted Ward, Ph.D. “This is a big step up from learning strictly via theory and textbooks or simple labs that do not reflect a workplace environment.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the number of Cybersecurity jobs will grow by 32% between 2022 and 2032. The average salary in Oklahoma is nearly $100,000 in this field.

“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.”

Data center at the TCC Cybersecurity Lab
The new Cybersecurity Lab features two computer lab classrooms and a fully functional data center, which operates independently from TCC data systems.

The Cybersecurity Lab was designed in concert with GH2 Architects and constructed by Scissor-Tail Construction. Pinnacle Business Systems worked with TCC for more than a year to help design the Cybersecurity Lab data center that will be used in curriculum for current and incoming students. Funding for the project was derived from multiple sources including state and federal dollars as well as grant funds.

“GH2 Architects is excited for the future of the TCC Cybersecurity program and the impact it will have not only on students but the Tulsa community for years to come. We are grateful to have worked with the TCC team and their incredible vision for this innovative, student-focused concept,” said Megan Chinowth, GH2 Architects Principal Interior Designer.

“We’d like to thank the TCC team for their vision and GH2 Architects for putting that vision on paper that allowed our team to construct this project. We are proud to have contributed to the creation of the Cybersecurity Lab that will provide students an innovative learning environment for years ahead,” said Scissor-Tail Construction Director of Operations Mike Baxter.

“It was an honor for Pinnacle to be chosen as the partner of choice for this collaboration with Tulsa Community College. Knowing that our teams were able to help build something that was going to have a substantial impact on the Tulsa community was both motivating and rewarding. We are excited to see the college implement an outstanding cyber curriculum for students,” said Pinnacle Business Systems Vice President of Professional Services Brandy Semore.

TCC recently completed a Cybersecurity transfer pathway with OU Polytechnic Institute in Tulsa consisting of a semester-by-semester guide that shows students what classes are needed to complete an A.S. in Computer Information Systems at TCC, and the classes needed after transferring to OUPI to complete a bachelor’s degree in Cybersecurity.