CAMPS OnRamp II at Texas A&M University
The Collaboration for Advancing Minority Participation in Security (CAMPS) brings together five public universities in the Texas A&M University System in an Educational Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the National Security Agency’s (NSA) OnRamp II program.
The Collaboration for Advancing Minority Participation in Security (CAMPS) brings together five public universities in the Texas A&M University System in an Educational Partnership Agreement with the National Security Agency’s (NSA) OnRamp II program. These include Texas A&M University, the lead institution; Prairie View A&M University, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU); and three Hispanic Serving Institutions, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M University-San Antonio and West Texas A&M University.
These institutions have strong research reputations and provide opportunities for graduate education and employment, broadening both campus and employment-sector participation in STEM. Four of the five universities conduct NSA-funded research or have NSA Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) designations. Each has the cultural competence and infrastructure to address the needs of diverse students, including those from minority groups (African American, Hispanic, American Indian and Pacific Islander), women and others who are underrepresented in STEM.
In addition, CAMPS also has made available a unique resource, the System-wide Research Security Office (RSO), to inform and assist students who are U.S. citizens with learning about the security culture and completing the security clearance process required for internships and employment with the NSA.
The project’s goal is to increase the number and diversity of undergraduate and graduate STEM students graduating with security internships, research experiences and knowledge of potential employment with NSA and other agencies that require security clearances.
- Provide academic support, scholarships, internships and employment opportunities to diverse undergraduate and graduate students in return for a service obligation to the NSA.
- Provide career guidance to diverse undergraduate and graduate students, along with formal on- campus educational and research programs, to introduce students to security culture and opportunities available within the intelligence community.
- Provide sabbatical opportunities at NSA for CAMPS faculty members and opportunities at the five CAMPS institutions for NSA Visiting Researchers.
- Create national security-related lablets at CAMPS institutions in research areas of interest to the NSA.
National Security Agency OnRamp II Scholarship Program
The purpose of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) OnRamp II program is to promote the technical health and diversity of students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Students will be pursuing employment with NSA while enhancing their academic caliber.
An important element of the educational partnerships with academic institutions designated as OnRamp II schools includes:
- Academic scholarship for up to three years for qualified undergraduate and graduate students in exchange for one year of employment payback for each year of support. Deferment will be allowed for undergraduates who pursue graduate studies.
- Internship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.
- Academic and career advice and assistance with NSA procedures and processing.
- Opportunity for mission-focused cybersecurity research.
NSA OnRamp II scholarship participants will receive funding up to $25,000 per academic year to cover:
- Tuition support and education related fees (does not include meal plans, housing or parking).
- Book allowance (including e-books and audio books) and school supplies up to $3,000 per academic year.
- Professional development allowance (including travel and conference fees, professional certifications, and leadership development) up to $2,000 per academic year.
Scholarship funding cannot be used for stipends.
To be eligible for consideration for the OnRamp II scholarship, students must meet all of the following:
- United States citizen.
- Current or prospective enrollment in a STEM discipline full time as an undergraduate (except for incoming Fall 2021 freshman), with a 3.0 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale as determined by the academic institution.
- Applications will be accepted from current STEM undergraduate students with a Fall 2022 or later graduation date.
- Selection criteria for hire at the NSA
Obligations for Scholarship Participants
The NSA OnRamp II scholarship participant must agree to:
- Processing for clearance as outlined on Intelligencecareers.gov – Application Process.
- Employment with NSA following graduation (unless deferred for graduate studies) for a period equal to the length of scholarship
- Participation in an NSA 12-week internship for at least one summer prior to graduation.
For more details about eligibility and scholarship details, please review OnRamp II Flyer.
U.S. Government Security Clearance
The ability to obtain a security clearance is important for this scholarship program. To assist prospective applicants with this process, we have compiled a list of resources:
- “Your U.S. Government Security Clearance – What you need to know” – Recording
The Texas A&M University System hosted a seminar via Zoom titled, “Your U.S. Government Security Clearance – What you need to know” on Thursday, February 11 th , 2021 from 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm CST. In this seminar, Dr. Kevin Gamache, Chief Research Security Officer for The Texas A&M University System answered questions and offered insight into what will be involved in obtaining your U.S. Government Security Clearance. He provided an overview of the process and offered helpful information that will make the process less intimidating.
Please make sure to have the following documents ready to upload in the application:
- Current resume to include relevant professional experiences such as internships and positions of employment. Include all scholarships, academic honors, STEM student leadership roles, honorary societies, and any other recognition relevant to the selected field of study since entering college. Any notable contributions to STEM prior to college should be highlighted as well. Test scores (e.g., SAT, ACT) will not be evaluated.
- If applicable, copies of relevant publications and presentations pertaining to the STEM fields such as articles, journal submissions, conference presentations, etc.
Two letters of recommendation will also be required from a person knowledgeable of your potential for successful learning and contribution. At least one must be from a current STEM faculty member. Please have recommenders submit their recommendation letters to CAMPS-OnRamp@tamu.edu by Monday, March 22, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. Noon CT (Extended Deadline).
In the application, students will also need to acknowledge that they have completed the following:
- Watched the seminar, titled, "Your U.S. Government Security Clearance - What you need to know", facilitated by Dr. Kevin Gamache, Chief Research Security Officer for the Texas A&M University System
- Reviewed the SF-86 (Standard Form 86)
- Reviewed the Security Prescreen Questionnaire
- Reviewed the pamphlet titled, "Receive and Maintain Your National Security Eligibility"
- Reviewed the "National Security Agency OnRamp II Scholarship Program" flyer
- Reviewed the "National Security Agency OnRamp II Scholarship Program - Service Agreement"
Extended application deadline is Monday, March 22, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. Noon CT.
Important - After a student is selected for this scholarship-for-service program, the following documents will need to be completed
- Statement of acknowledgement from nominee that they have read and agree to sign the OnRamp II Scholarship Agreement , outlining internship and service obligations.
- Statement of ability to meet security clearance requirements, necessary for employment and paid internship work as outlined on Intelligencecareers.gov – Application Process.
Collaboration for Advancing Minority Participation in Security (CAMPS) – includes Texas A&M University, Prairie View A&M University, Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi, Texas A&M University – San Antonio and West Texas A&M University.
For questions about the CAMPS OnRamp II program, please contact Isah Veronica D. Juranek at CAMPS-OnRamp@tamu.edu.