The college esports juggernaut keeps on rolling

Schools moving beyond competition to include academic esports programs
By: | September 18, 2019
gettyimages.com: gorodenkoff

From huge institutions like The Ohio State University (45,000 students) to small schools like Cornell College in Iowa (1,000 students), colleges across the country continue to move full-steam-ahead into esports.

Consider:

• Rowan University in southern New Jersey just announced a partnership with N3rd Street Gamers that will develop one of the region’s largest collegiate esports gaming and academic programs. N3rd Street Gamers will invest over $1 million in the construction of a 7,500-square-foot gaming facility on the school’s Glassboro campus that also will include a broadcast studio, the university announced this month.


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• At The Ohio State University, an esports arena opened earlier this month with 80 high-end computer gaming stations, WBNS-TV reported. Besides competitive gaming, the university’s focus on esports includes esports management, game art and production, game design, programming, the business of games and health and rehabilitation, the station reported.

• Kilgore College in Texas is also introducing a broad esports program that goes beyond competition, according to a report by KETK-TV. Students in the esports program can work with counselors to discover different jobs in the industry, including ones in management, marketing, and game development.


From UB: Esports builds success at Colorado College


• Peninsula College in Washington recently named its first esports coach, Sarah-Charles Morrow, who holds a Master of Arts degree in performance psychology from National University, specifically on mental skills training in esports, according to the Peninsula Daily News.

• Cornell College in Iowa has invested $65,000 to turn a lounge area into a handicapped accessible esports arena with 12 new computers and gaming stations, reports KCRG-TV.

“Universities across the county are recognizing competitive esports as a powerful way to grow their athletic program and authentically connect to the academic and co-curricular opportunities on campus,” says Jay Prescott, who directs the esports program at Grand View University in Iowa and co-founded the National Association of Esports Coaches and Directors.

“Esports programs align well with many STEM initiatives and provide avenues to develop degree programs authentically connected to the esports industry,” Prescott added. “The peer community formation surrounding competitive esports strengthens the student athletes institutional commitment and ultimately leads to greater student success.”

Prescott and other NAECAD members will lead a series of sessions about college esports at the UB Tech conference in Las Vegas in June.


Coming at UB Tech 2020: An entire session track on college esports


 


Interested in esports? Keep up with LRP’s Academic Esports Conference.