Located in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, Mountain Empire Community College (MECC) is one of 23 colleges that operates under the Virginia Community College System and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). MECC offers a variety of associate degrees, Career Studies certificates, and workforce development opportunities in areas like cybersecurity, software development, nursing, industrial maintenance, and unmanned aircraft systems.

Since June of 2020, MECC has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense by the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This designation confirms that MECC is formally recognized by the U.S. government for its robust cybersecurity program. The college currently offers a Cybersecurity Career Studies Certificate, and several of this program’s courses can also count towards MECC’s Software Development and Computer Networking associate degree programs. These programs provide skills such as ensuring data protection, assessing potential network threats, and constructing secure networks.

Lastly, MECC is an Accredited Training Center for EC-Council, meaning the college’s cybersecurity faculty is certified to deliver the globally recognized security training company’s curricula for top industry credentials like Certified Ethical Hacker and Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator.