Start with What You Can Manage
Starting construction on a new state-of-the-art gaming arena might not be necessary, especially if you can repurpose a space. Depending on your program goals, you may be able to use a classroom or storage room to meet your needs in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Whether you’re repurposing space or constructing something new, remember that it’s important to start with what you can manage.
Esports programs come in as many shapes and sizes as the higher ed institutions that invest in them, and their success has less to do with size and more to do with how they’re managed. Full Sail University’s esports program, complete with its Orlando Health Fortress esports arena, would have struggled to achieve the same success at other, smaller institutions for the simple reason that other institutions might lack the resources to manage such a goliath. But by starting with what’s feasible for them, smaller schools like Messiah University — which repurposed the basement of an apartment building for esports use — are still able to develop and sustain the esports programs best suited to them.
Taking Your Program to the Next Level
Once an esports program has been developed and is being managed successfully, it may be time to take things to the next level. There are many ways to do this, including physical expansion — like having separate practice and competition facilities instead of one multipurpose space. Another route is class implementation.
By programmatically bringing esports into the school at large — bringing it into the curriculum of pre-established majors and minors, or ancillary courses like event management — you’re able to gain rapid support for and understanding of the program as students and their instructors alike learn more about the evolving esports industry. This could even lead to new, esports-specific degree programs. In fact, Shenandoah University — a leader in collegiate esports — now offers a bachelor’s degree in esports media and communication and a bachelor’s, a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and a Master of Business Administration degree in esports management.
Regardless of how you build and expand your esports program, CDW is ready to help. Whether it’s supporting your institution with space design and equipment or teaming up with one of our partners to assist with curriculum creation and program alignment, CDW is uniquely positioned to walk with you every step of the way.
This article is part of EdTech: Focus on Higher Education’s UniversITy blog series.