Computer Forensics Analyst: HERO, Specialized Diploma


Narrative (SD)

Child pornography is a global scourge that plagues every culture and region. There is a growing need for highly effective cyber investigators to identify and to bring to trial Internet child exploiters. The H.E.R.O. program, designed to meet the need for these investigators, is delivered through the Department of Homeland Security and NCC. The program is primarily restricted to cohorts of students selected by NCC and DHS. Most students are Special Operations veterans specifically identified for admission to the program.*


The H.E.R.O. Program is a forty-week cohort program. Before entering the cohort, students must obtain introductory training or demonstrate prior learning, typically facilitated by the DHS. The training obtained through the Department of Homeland Security includes intensive computer forensics training leading to certifications in CompTIA A+, AccessData Certified Examiners (ACE) and EnCase 1. It also includes an overview of the child sexual abuse problem, specifically covering child abuse and trauma, child sexual abuse prevention, prosecution of child sex offenders, and coping with the stresses of working in the field of child sexual exploitation prevention.

Students admitted to the program will spend 10 months in NCC-monitored internships assisting Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents with criminal cases and prosecutions. Duties may include processing digital media and forensic analysis. Interns will assist investigators to identify high-value targets, to locate child victims, and to prepare detailed reports for prosecutions


  • Demonstrate computer forensic skills
  • Be able to track down on-line predators using legally, ethically and constitutionally sound techniques.
  • Demonstrate principles and methods of investigation, including the role of the prosecutor, the function of the courts, and sentencing, corrections, probation and parole processes.
  • Manage cases effectively, professionally and efficiently to support successful prosecutions
  • Assist investigators to identify high-value targets and locate child victim and prepare detailed reports.


Fall Semester

CJST101Introduction to Criminal Justice

3 credits

CISC136PC Support and Troubleshooting

4 credits

ENGL101English I

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:10

Spring Semester

CJST111American Legal System

3 credits

CJST115Criminal Law

3 credits

CJST135Law Enforcement & Investigative Techniques

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:9

Summer Semester

CFAN200HERO Field Experience

4 credits

CJST245Criminal Justice Ethics

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:7

Session Four

Total Credit Hours:7

Total Credit Hours: 26

  • CFAN200 is only offered in the summer; the program is designed to be completed within two or three academic semesters.
  • Program articulation is offered for the following courses:
    • CJST101 - will be waived based on training through DHS and Protect.
    • ENGL101 - may be waived based on faculty evaluation of a written portfolio generated through DHS and Protect training.
    • CISC136 - DHS Ice Training or CompTIA A+ (or CISC130, PC Support and Troubleshooting), AccessData Certified Examiners (ACE), EnCase 1.

*Enrollment in DHS (PROTECT and IT) training is the primary pathway for admission to this program. Students may apply for admission to the program by demonstrating the same competencies and clearances that are facilitated by the DHS pre-admission training program.

  1. Academic coursework equivalent to SOCA103 (Introduction to Sociology), SOCA150 (Deviance) and SOCA204 (Social Problems).
  2. Three completed computer certifications
    • CompTIA A+ (or ELEC130, PC Support and Troubleshooting)
    • AccessData Certified Examiners (ACE)
    • EnCase 1
  3. Have identified an appropriate internship at an investigative agency or organization and possess an active, federally-granted ‘SECRET’ level Security clearance from a sponsoring agency or organization.