Morris College Advances Esports Opportunities For HBCU Students With Innovation Technology Laboratory

Morris College is advancing the realm of opportunities for HBCUs with its mission to make esports an actual career pathway for its students. The liberal arts college is operated by the Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention of South Carolina and one of the school’s strategic goals is to “promote a student-centered, caring, supportive and nurturing learning environment that will enhance student learning and success.”

To accomplish these goals, the school recently announced the newest addition to its educationally transformational space, the Innovation Technology Laboratory, a partnership with Blaze Fire Games. The lab will allow students to develop and design video games and more in the spring of 2023 when the space opens.

“Everyone is excited. We feel that this addition is starting a new path for Morris – number one, providing not only access to new and innovative things, but giving our students a path to complete their degrees,” said Dr. Louis Graham, dean of academic affairs, to HBCU Times. “One of the things we’re looking at is this is just a start. We hope to end this with a degree program within another year.”

Pushing HBCUs Into The Esports Era

Morris College is ahead of the curve by offering an esports performance concentration and certificate. The course requires 24 credit hours and prepares youth for nontraditional sports careers in the ever-evolving gaming space.

“There’s a ton of students who want to be involved in esports, but not necessarily from a competitive standpoint,” said esports strategist Bennett Newsome to EdTech Magazine. “They love watching esports or they love gaming, and they just want to be involved in that community.”

The new lab will host 42 machines built by Power GPU, a company that builds custom gaming PCs to create a persoanlized enhanced gaming experience. Ten of the new devices will be optimized for the college’s esports competition team, while the other 32 devices are for the gaming club and general recreational usage on campus. The investment amount: between $300,000 and $400,000, signaling the school’s deep commitment to the thriving esports industry.

Their partner, Blaze Fire Games, is a licensed digital content provider that taps into various creative talents and skills across the globe with a focus on diversity.


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