ST. GEORGE – Dixie State College of Utah received state approval last Wednesday to begin offering a certificate of completion (COC) in computer forensics beginning this fall. The program, which was unanimously approved by the DSC Board of Trustees March 21, was granted a “fast-track” approval by Utah System of Higher Education Commissioner Dr. William Sederburg.
The computer forensics COC program will provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to conduct forensic examination of digital evidence. The program combines both technical and practical training that will prepare students to assist law enforcement agencies and prosecutorial offices from the crime scene through analysis and into the courtroom.
The COC program will utilize courses currently being taught at Dixie State through its four-year Integrated Studies-Criminal Justice emphasis program. In addition, the new core courses will be taught by faculty at the DSC Southwest Regional Computer Crime Institute (SWRCCI).
“It is very satisfying to be able to once again work with our local law enforcement agencies to offer training and services that benefit the southwest region of Utah,” DSC Vice President of Academics Dr. Donna Dillingham-Evans said. “There are many applications where this training will enhance skills needed to protect and serve our population.”
Upon successfully completing the program, students will be certified to work with and file digital evidence in connection with any criminal activity. Additionally, students will have the ability to conduct computer forensic examinations, which include the functions of imaging, analysis and reporting.
The Dixie State SWRCCI, located at DSC’s University Plaza, serves a dual purpose of training students in the field of digital forensics and supporting law enforcement through the operation and maintenance of a computer forensics lab.
The creation of the SWRCCI makes Dixie State College one of the first institutions of higher education in the country that will introduce cutting edge computer-based forensics training to law enforcement professionals, private industry professionals and students.
Former United States Senator Bob Bennett (R-Utah) championed the effort by securing a $1 million federal grant for the Institute last year, which will be used to train students, police, prosecutors, business leaders and the public on identity theft prevention, computer crime prevention, detection and investigation. The program aims to reduce the devastating economic impact cyber crime is having on our economy by educating government employees and businesses.