Full Sail esports leaders sit down with EdTech to discuss a cutting-edge esports advantage.
By making its esports program accessible to amateur gamers, Full Sail enables students to work with and learn about cutting-edge technology — a valuable asset for students who don’t intend to have a career in gaming.
“There’s a direct connection between what esports programs provide and STEM education,” says Sari Kitelyn, director of esports and project development at Full Sail. “Esports is a really good introduction into having more STEM education and STEM programming within facilities.”
Whether it’s a career in animation, engineering, film, 3D modeling, architecture or something else, a robust esports programs can help all students. And it all starts with campuswide integration.
Career Pathways Multiply with Campuswide Integration
“Community is really our main focus,” says Kitelyn. “We have a huge gaming community here and a huge esports community, far bigger than any competitive scene ever will. So, most of our focus really goes into supporting that community, continuing to bring engaging content and opportunities for them.”
One way Full Sail supports its gaming community is by integrating esports into academics.
“The Full Sail University Orlando Health Fortress is much more than just an esports arena,” Newsome says. “It’s a classroom. Students are coming in there to work through their programs that they’re going to school for. Whether that’s film, production or something else, there’s a lot of ways that we’ve incorporated the educational aspect into a space like that.”
Learning inside the Orlando Health Fortress is just one many opportunities Full Sail provides for its students.
“We have our annual Hall of Fame,” Kitelyn says, “which is like our version of Homecoming. Alumni come back. We do a week of panels and presentations and have a whole ceremony where alumni are getting inducted into the Hall of Fame for their contributions to the industry, and for giving back. And we kick off the whole week with a huge gaming event that usually features multiple different types of game aspects in one super megaevent.”
Full Sail is also intentional about helping students identify their interests outside of gaming, determining what reflects those interests in the esports industry, and providing them with unique and personal opportunities with industry professionals.
“I think the career side, for us, is really the biggest area,” Newsome says.