Morris Brown eSports

Morris Brown launches eSports degree program

The 24-hour curriculum will prepare its students for employment in private businesses, government agencies and more. 

Morris Brown College recently opened its eSports lab and announced a degree program for students to have the opportunity to enter into competitive eSports and digital entertainment. 

Morris Brown’s President, Dr. Kevin James, is looking forward to beginning the program. He said, “building this eSports lab is just a phenomenal opportunity for us to lead, not only with the degree component but also having the hands-on piece as well where students can come and compete, learn, teaching, etc., so we’re very excited about this.”

Competitive video gaming non-profit Pharaoh’s Conclave is Georgia’s leading organization in the gaming industry and creates opportunities for minorities in STEM professions. 

Its founder and Morris Brown graduate, Erich Thomas, approached James to create the Ronald Floyd Thomas Center for eSports and Innovation, and the rest is history. 

He told HBCU Gameday, “we started talking about it and conceptualizing it towards the end of the year. That’s when we first met Dr. James. When we first talked about it, and then we came in and looked at the space, and did the wall breaking [ceremony] shortly thereafter.”

Inspired by a Real Sports with Bryant Gumble segment in 2011, Thomas was intrigued by the growing appeal of this new sport and said, “wow, this is awesome.”

Lack of Diversity

But when he saw the competitors, he noticed a major flaw– no Black people present. He quickly realized that the winners were all White or Asian men. 

Thomas knew if he was going to change the narrative, he would need to build a collegiate-level program from the ground up and do it at a Historically Black College. 

“When I did a little further digging regarding eSports,” said James, “we found out that there were no HBCUs that had a degree in this, and so while we were rewriting the whole program, we said ‘hey, we want to be the first to do it,” and so we’re the first Black college to have a degree program in eSports and also have a certificate in eSports and we’re very excited about it.”

Receiving donations from major computer companies like Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Doordash, Pharaoh’s Conclave began working on the lab equipped with gaming consoles, a virtual reality race car simulator, and a 3-D printer, among other things, to start the program. 

Photo: Allison Joyner

Hard Reset

As Morris Brown is going through what James calls “the hard reset,” leading up to the recent accreditation candidacy from the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS), he said, “it was a perfect opportunity for us to reassess and recalibrate what our academic offerings were while we’re working on the accreditation.” 

Morris Brown’s eSports Performance Certification program consists of a 24-hour curriculum that will prepare its students for employment in private businesses, government agencies and continuing their education after completion. 

This spring semester, Thomas will instruct Wolverines with Introduction to eSports and Introduction to Business Modeling to begin their matriculation. 

James added that MBC would also create a dual degree program for high school students looking to get a head start in their certification. 

“High school juniors and seniors,” he said, “who are interested in eSports can take the certificate, graduate high school and come straight here to Morris Brown and finish their degree, or they can go into the workforce.”

Morris Brown is currently accepting applications for the eSports Performance certification program, which will begin in January of next year. 

To find out more, log onto their website

Morris Brown launches eSports degree program
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  1. Pingback: Morris Brown launches eSports degree program - HBCU Gameday - Instalanun

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