Project SCOPE (Security Clearance Overview and Preparation Education) helps future and current workforce understand, navigate and master the clearance process in order to ensure a strong pool for positions requiring clearance. The project, which debuted in 2009, includes education for high school students, adults in college and/or the workforce and members of the military transitioning to civilian careers. The Project SCOPE website, www.project-scope.org, provides tailored information critical to understanding and preparing for the security clearance process.
- High School Students
Project SCOPE provides information on managing personal finances, making good decisions and engaging in the clearance application process with sections geared directly towards students, parents and teachers. This program offers teachers specific lessons and content that provide essential information about the security clearance process and piques student interest in cleared careers. In addition to lessons geared specifically towards high school students, the curriculum also includes lesson plans intended to prepare middle schoolers for good decision making throughout their high school career. As a complement to these activities, the FMA works with member organizations to bring guest speakers to the classroom to discuss security clearances with students. By design, teachers in a wide variety of subjects and/or extra-curriculars can select and incorporate individual activities or lessons into their curriculum and plans.
For adults, navigating personal finances and the professional world can be daunting — and getting it right has significant impact on their ability to obtain and maintain a security clearance. Project SCOPE provides young people entering the workforce and adults transitioning careers information needed to successfully tackle the challenges of managing student loans, addressing credit card offers and debt, building a budget, developing professional skills and preparing for the job search process.
- Transitioning Military
For active military and new veterans, the adjustment to civilian life poses many challenges, including transitioning to a new career outside the military. The skills and knowledge that many service members have developed could be well utilized in fields requiring security clearance. To help military personnel consider this option during their transition, Project SCOPE provides information and resources related to developing a professional network and civilian resume, exploring job prospects and preparing a security clearance application.
- Expanding Our Efforts
The FMA seeks to expand and enhance outreach to these core groups in two ways:
- Enlarging the speaker series to include speakers at college and community events that target post-secondary students, members of the workforce and transitioning military.
- Developing an advisory committee to review content annually to ensure materials remain up-to-date and accurate.
Given that Maryland has more than 20,000 open positions just in cybersecurity, it is crucial to grow the pool of workers considering cleared careers. Most people falsely assume that they must have a perfect record in order to obtain a security clearance. Providing up-to-date and accurate information about the security clearance process dispels pervasive rumors such as this, leading to more members of the workforce recognizing that a career in a cleared field is obtainable.