Cybersecurity career pathways in the inland empire

Agents of Change

Students at Moreno Valley Unified School District (MVUSD) are discovering new opportunities in the field of cybersecurity, where students are able to envision a bright future with a higher quality of life then their parents or peers, and professionals can earn six-figure salaries.

It is an inspiring story considering nearly every school at MVUSD is a Title 1 school, with 86 percent of students receiving free or reduced-price lunches and a higher-than-average number of homeless and foster youth. For students facing severe hardships at home and in their communities, the doors opened by the cybersecurity CTE pathway are life changing.

What’s happening at MVUSD didn’t happen overnight. It took years of commitment by dedicated teachers, support from district leadership, state and local champions, including those at the community college district, and industry partners all working in coordination together with a common goal: create a system that provides students with the training they need to enter today’s workforce.

The combined effort has led to one of the most successful Career Technical Education (CTE) programs in the state, one that is now a model for schools around the country and even internationally. Donna Woods, a teacher at Canyon Springs High School and early champion of the cybersecurity pathway, was awarded the inaugural Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award in 2020.

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