Moreno Valley Unified School District Empowers Students with Cyber Academic Pathway Program

Posted by Zeina Ammar on Sep 28, 2021 11:00:00 AM

Moreno Valley Unified School District (MVUSD) has developed a highly successful Cyber Academic Pathway program that was recently profiled in SynED’s Agents of Change: Cybersecurity Career Pathways in the Inland Empire.

NICE K12 - Cyber PathwayDonna Woods, a teacher at Canyon Springs High School, first developed the idea for the program five years ago. She partnered with Chris Lorenz of Valley View High School to create cybersecurity after-school clubs. The success of the cyber clubs led Donna and Chris to create a career pathway program by partnering with professors, IT directors and managers, school administrators, and more to develop a framework.

Next, Donna wrote a career pathway curriculum for Riverside County, which was approved for college credit and then entered into articulation agreements with local colleges—a major step, as students have a greater likelihood of pursuing higher education if they receive college credit for the courses they complete in high school. In 2020, Donna was honored with the inaugural Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award for her dedication and tireless efforts in establishing the Cyber Academic Pathway program.

2020 Cyber Academic Pathway ProgramThe program is designed to help students build a pathway to a cybersecurity career. MVUSD primarily consists of Title 1 schools that serve low-income students, and this program offers life-changing opportunities for students to develop invaluable skill sets that set them up for thriving careers. The program is one of the most successful Career Technical Education (CTE) programs in the state of California, as exemplified by the fact that MVUSD students participating in the program have achieved a 100% graduation rate.

ConvergeOne is proud to donate $5,000 to this incredible program and congratulates the MVUSD team on connecting its students with purpose and helping them achieve their full potential.

“ConvergeOne has been with us since our very first day with only 37 students in our program,” said Donna. “Enrollment in the CTE Cyber Academic Pathway for the 2021-22 school year is at 629 and we are still adding students! … [T]he teachers and I sit in our Cyber Academic Pathway planning meetings and we say, ‘Five years ago, we could have never imagined how far this would go.’ The response from students, parents, the school board, all these partners, you pinch yourself. It’s hard to believe.”

Topics: Security, Cyber Security, K-12 Education


Zeina Ammar
Zeina Ammar  -- As a determined, goal-oriented individual who's passionate about what she does, Zeina Ammar always strives for successful experiences. Today, she is the Major Public Sector Account Executive and top AM nationally with ConvergeOne. Additionally, she proactively empowers student communities by consolidating meaningful technology-based change with districts she partners with. In 2019’s CEPTA (CITE) event, Zeina received the honorable "Inaugural Technology Partner of the Year" award. She is the co-Founder of the Aaron Barnett Foundation, which empowers students in public schools to pursue a higher education and career in Cybersecurity. At the We Deserve Better Foundation, she works closely with local communities to provide over 10,000 students access to education in Nigeria and assist Lebanese citizens with crisis relief efforts and humanitarian aid.