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ACC Student, 17, Excels in National Cyber League Competition

Jessica Frank, 17, a System Security student at Alamance Community College, performed in the top ten percent nationwide of the National Cyber League Spring 2021 Individual Games.

Jessica Frank, 17, a System Security student at Alamance Community College, performed in the top ten percent nationwide of the National Cyber League Spring 2021 Individual Games.

Based on preseason performance, Frank competed in the gold bracket for the NCL Individual Games. Final results of the NCL Scouting Report placed Frank in the 94th percentile among 4,180 participants.

Jessica Frank, a dual-enrollment student at ACC, is also homeschooled in Elon.

“This is especially impressive based upon the fact that some of Jessica’s competitors were graduate students in cybersecurity,” said Debra McCusker, Lead Cybersecurity Instructor at ACC.

The games were conducted in real-time for students across the U.S. from March 26-April 11. Competitors ranged from U.S. high school students to graduate students at prestigious universities. NCL reported that 520 two-year schools and universities from across all 50 state registered to play, according to McCusker.

The NCL Scouting Reports, in which Jessica Frank excelled, are recognized by prospective employers as the equivalent of an internship or fulfillment of a contract-based work engagement.

Students competed in nine cybersecurity scenario categories for the NCL Spring Individual Games: Cryptography, Enumeration and Exploitation, Forensics, Log Analysis, Network Traffic Analysis, Open Source Intelligence, Password Cracking, Scanning and Reconnaissance, and Web Application Exploitation.

The National Cyber League (NCL) was founded in 2011 to provide an ongoing virtual training ground for college students to develop, practice, and validate their cybersecurity skills. The games are designed around performance-based exam objectives of CompTIA certifications, considered the industry standard for establishing a career in the IT industry.

Alamance Community College in 2018 transformed its A.A.S. degree in IT Networking to one that focuses on the broader information security needs in the modern organization. The new Associate of Applied Science in IT Systems Security (Cybersecurity) emphasizes the cyber operations skill set employed within a security operations center. Instructors teach students the skills to become triage specialists who monitor, manage, and configure security tools, review incidents to assess their urgency, and escalate certain incidents when necessary.

Renard Spratling is Department Head of Information Technology at ACC.