Centers for Academic Excellence Bring Diversity and Expertise to the IC

February 8, 2021

One of the hidden gems of the Intelligence Community (IC) is a grant program that helps to shape the future of the IC workforce.

The IC Centers for Academic Excellence (CAE) program is designed to create an IC workforce that is diverse, highly trained and well prepared to position the IC at the cutting edge of intelligence.

The program creates a win/win/win situation for colleges and universities, students and the IC itself.

For Colleges and Universities

The IC CAE awards grants to colleges and universities to create a curriculum that illuminates the intelligence profession. Faculty are offered specialized training on subjects related to the IC and can take advantage of research opportunities to help the IC tackle difficult problems.

All accredited four-year colleges and universities are eligible to apply, but the program emphasizes diversity in gender, race and geography. Schools that form a consortium or otherwise enhance collaboration with under-resourced schools are highly encouraged to participate.

For Students

Students in the program get an education that prepares them for a career in national security. They study intelligence-related curricula and participate in specialized workshops, simulations, conferences and seminars.

One such opportunity is the Summer Seminar, a two-week program hosted by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). Participants gain in-depth knowledge of the IC and develop an understanding of the breadth of IC occupations. Seminar students visit congressional oversight committees and various IC agencies. The experience includes a simulation designed to replicate a real-world intelligence problem.

For the Intelligence Community

The IC is the ultimate beneficiary of CAE. The program produces a diverse, competitive and knowledgeable cadre of incoming young professionals. Because the grant includes diversity in race, gender and geography in its criteria, program graduates represent a wide cross section of America. They offer a strong foundational knowledge of the IC and critical skills to immediately contribute in specific roles.

For more information, download the IC CAE FAQ.