$12M Fed. Contract to MU to Establish Education Program for NGA

News release

ST. LOUIS (AP) – The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has awarded a $12 million, five-year contract to the University of Missouri’s Columbia campus to train NGA employees.

The contract, announced Wednesday, follows the NGA’s decision earlier this year to remain in St. Louis instead of moving to St. Louis County or Illinois.

The contract with the College of Engineering will focus on data science and other training needs identified by NGA. The agency anticipates 1,800 working students in St. Louis and Washington, D.C., will participate.

NGA employees will be paid for time in class. Those who complete the program will have a graduate certificate in data science and a master’s degree from the university.

The agency is expected to break ground next year on a new $1.75 billion campus in north St. Louis.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

More details are as follows:

COLUMBIA, Mo. (News release) – The University of Missouri College of Engineering has been awarded a five-year, $12 million contract to deliver a data science education program that will provide analytical training for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency workforce, and potentially other members of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC).

“This new program will address key education and training needs identified by NGA,” according to a news release from the university.

The award is one of the largest in the college’s history, the release says.

The program is a collaboration between the MU College of Engineering’s Center for Geospatial Intelligence (CGI) and the MU Informatics Institute’s Data Science and Analytics (DSA) master’s degree program.

The newly established effort is part of the NGA College’s Learning Outreach program that partners with qualified academic institutions and industry partners to address key education and training gaps within the NGA, according to the release. Mizzou will provide a comprehensive data science education program that includes databases and programming, statistical analyses and predictive modeling, data visualization and data mining, cloud-based computing, and machine learning among other specialties that will help develop the NGA and IC workforce.

The MU Data Science and Analytics master’s degree was developed as an online-only program for professional workforce training. The DSA program then was adapted to meet specific NGA requirements for on-site instruction at NGA locations in St. Louis and Washington, D.C. MU faculty members who hold appropriate security clearances and have data science expertise will teach at these locations, and this will allow government participants to earn graduate-level credit at MU for all the program courses. As a result, NGA and other IC workforce participants enrolled in the program will have the ability to earn a graduate certificate in data science and a master’s degree from the University of Missouri.

NGA estimates about 1,800 participants from 60 different work roles will take courses from the program, with more than 500 NGA employees completing a program of data science courses that will help them earn a graduate certificate in data science.

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