Secure Software Apprenticeship Program

Logo C CroppedThe development of high quality jobs and a trained talent pool for local employers are important components of our regional economic development strategy. The Greater Peoria EDC is excited to introduce their new apprenticeship program called Central Illinois Center of Excellence for Secure Software (CICESS). If you are interested in learning more about CICESS, contact Kate Cundiff, Director of Workforce Solutions, at


2016 Cohort Schedule

*Work Block 1: 1/11/2016 – 3/11/2016

*Work Block 2: 5/9/2016 or 5/16/2016 – 8/12/2016

Work Block 3: 10/10/2016 – 1/6/2017

Work Block 4: 3/13/2017 – 8/11/2017

Work Block 5: 10/9/2017 – 1/5/2018

Work Block 6: 3/12/2018 – 7/27/2018

*Note: Every Monday during Work Blocks 1 and 2, apprentices are required to attend the Standardized Apprenticeship Training at ISHPI Informational Technologies from 12:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Employers are allowed to send one mentor with the apprentice, in order for the mentor to potentially become a certified instructor for our region.


  1. What is CICESS?
    CICESS is the first Secure Software Apprenticeship Program in the nation. It was developed by local employers in partnership with Illinois Central College. This program was created by local employers concerned about the availability of secure software development professionals in our region.
  2. How does it work?
    The Apprenticeship Program combines on-the-job training and related classroom instruction under the supervision of a trade professional, helping an individual learn the practical and theoretical aspects of a highly skilled occupation. Apprentices are proven to be one of the best ways to develop a talented workforce.
  3. How are students selected for the program?
    Individuals apply for CICESS through Illinois Central College (ICC). They must be accepted into ICC’s Applied Science in Secure Software Degree program to be considered for the full CICESS Apprenticeship. If they are interested in CICESS, students must pass a programming aptitude test to qualify.
  4. How and when do employers select their Apprentice?
    Students in the ICC Applied Science in Secure Software Development degree program who have successfully passed a programming aptitude test are invited to become a part of CICESS. Employers are introduced to qualified students each fall and then may use their standard recruiting and hiring process to offer an apprenticeship position to their preferred candidate/s. Apprentices typically begin with the employer in early January.
  5. What is the employer’s cost for the program?
    Employer program costs include a $2,500 Administrative Fee per apprentice per year, a one-time fee of $5,000.00 per apprentice for the Standard Apprenticeship Curriculum, and apprentice wages during the program.
  6. When are Apprentices in school and when are they with their employer?
    Each semester, Apprentices spend blocks of weeks learning in a classroom at ICC followed by blocks of weeks putting their knowledge to work with their employer. There is a week-by-week schedule and a detailed Apprenticeship Training Program and schedule provided to each employer.
  7. When does the program begin and end?
    The CICESS Apprenticeship typically begins in January and runs for 32 months, ending in August. Apprentices employed part-time during the work blocks may require additional time to complete the required on-the-job training hours.
  8. Does the Apprentice complete a certification at the end?
    The CICESS apprenticeship training will prepare the apprentice to test for the SEI Personal Software Process (PSP) Developer and the (ISC)2 Associate Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP) certifications.