ST. GEORGE – Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert stopped by the Dixie State College campus in St. George on Tuesday to visit with students in DSC’s criminal justice program.
The Governor also toured the College’s Southwest Regional Computer Crime Institute and the construction site of DSC’s new Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons Building.
Governor Herbert also took time to discuss his long-term action plan for the state, entitled “Prosperity 2020,” an initiative to increase the state’s educational performance that calls for at least 66% of Utahns ages 20 to 64 to have a post-secondary degree or a skill trade certificate, by the year 2020 and beyond, to meet the state’s future work force needs.
The Governor lauded the efforts of DSC students and reminded them that the changing job market demands a highly educated work force to compete in the current global economy.
“If you want a good job, get a good education,” Governor Herbert told the students. “You are the culmination of that effort and you’re getting a good education at Dixie State. You have the ability to make significant contributions to our state and our country, and I wish you well.”
DSC President Dr. Stephen D. Nadauld touted Dixie’s efforts in playing a major role in the economic development of Washington County and the region as the institution continues its progression toward gaining regional state university status. Nadauld pointed out the continued additions to Dixie’s four-year degree offerings and the institution’s extraordinary enrollment growth over the past four years as factors in that effort.
“Dixie is the engine that will drive economic development and educational attainment, not only in Washington County, but the entire region,” Nadauld said. “We have students coming to Dixie from not only the entire state of Utah, but from all over the region, which shows the vitality and economic viability of this campus.”
One of the many programs at DSC that relies heavily on a highly educated work force is the SWRCCI, which is housed in the DSC University Plaza, and is one of only five or six such institutes located on a college campus in the country. DSC’s institute currently 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. That training has also been enhanced with last month’s Utah State Board of Regents approval of Dixie’s new four-year degree program in criminal justice.
The creation of the SWRCCI has made Dixie State College one of the first institutions of higher education in the country to introduce cutting edge computer-based forensics training to law enforcement professionals, private industry professionals and students. 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 SWRCCI is under the direction of William Matthews, a retired special agent for the FBI who specialized in forensics. Matthews noted that the Institute will afford students specialized training in computer forensics training not offered at any other school in Utah or the region, in addition to working side-by-side with law enforcement professionals in an effort to solve cases.
“When students graduate with their degrees in criminal justice, they’ll have the additional training and certification which will allow them to be much more in demand for jobs with law enforcement agencies and in the private industry,” Matthews said. “The Institute also has a functioning lab to support local and state law enforcement by training their officers and certifying them to work in their respective department labs.”
Former United States Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, championed the effort by securing a $1 million federal grant for the Institute in 2010. The funds are 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.
For more information, contact DSC’s SWRCCI Director William Matthews at 435-879-4421 or at [email protected]