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The School of Education, Health, and Human Services, and the Department of Health and Physical Education and Recreation Proudly Announce the NEW ESports Major | Minor | Micro-Credentialing Program

COLUMBIA, SC, July 19, 2021, Students at Benedict College can earn a bachelor’s degree in Esports Administration this fall. The new major consists of required core classes in Esports and Sports Management. Esports will be a part of the Health and Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Department in the School of Education, Health, and Human Services.

“Benedict College has been carefully monitoring this growing industry, and our industry forecast was a key motivator in establishing the program,” said Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis. “We believe our students will become leaders and decision-makers in the emerging ecosystem of Esports. They will master a combination of skills related to planning, organizing, managing, budgeting, and marketing. They will not only be the BEST in gaming but the BEST in game design and management.” 

Many students may have initially gained interest in Esports through recreational gaming activities that have risen in popularity in the past few years. “In keeping with Benedict’s strategic plan to offer transformational learning experiences, our innovative Esports Administration curriculum is designed to prepare students to create new applications and to engage in all facets of the industry,” noted Dr. Janeen Witty. “The embedded experiential and co-curricular initiatives combined with the academic rigor of the courses will provide a strong network of learning opportunities for talented scholars who are interested in this fast-growing field.” 

Paula Shelby, an Esports Commissioner, and the Chairperson of the HPER Department, launched the Esports Club a year ago. The club quickly gained popularity while hosting and winning several tournaments. “Our Esports major seeks to prepare students to work in the Esports professional, collegiate, public, and private schools’ arenas, as well as recreational centers”  stated Dr. Shelby. “Our Esports program of study also provides our students with a solid foundation for continued graduate studies in the sporting discipline.”

The HPER Department has developed an academic program that introduces the gaming culture to the Benedict community by focusing on Esports through gaming techniques, development, and content creation. Students will also learn management skills for facilities, fiscal, team, and personnel. 

The College has partnered with Blaze Fire Games and for certifications. Blaze has over 250 Esports Micro-Credentialing certificates that the students can attain. In addition, several credentialing opportunities were embedded into each one of the Esports and Sport Management Classes. 

For more information go to:  https://www.benedict.edu/schools/school-of-education-health-and-human-services / or contact: paula.shelby@benedict.edu  or call 803.705.4775 

About Benedict College

Founded in 1870 by a woman, Bathsheba A. Benedict, Benedict College is a private co-educational liberal arts institution, offering 25 competitive baccalaureate degree programs. The Midlands HBCU welcomes students from all 46 counties in South Carolina, 30 states across America, and 26 countries around the world. 

Benedict offers several high-demand fields of study in STEM, Cyber Security, Mass Communication, Sport Management, Business Administration, Engineering, Computer Science, Biology, and Education. The College also has a diverse faculty and importantly, 80 percent of courses are taught by full-time faculty. 

There are over 18,000 proud Benedict Tigers throughout the nation. Benedict College has been a community leader for over 150-years and is a significant contributor to South Carolina and the region. Contributing $130 million and 1,218 jobs in total local and annual economic impact, a Benedict graduate working full-time throughout his or her working life can expect to earn $1.1 million in additional income because of their Benedict College degree. 

The College made front-page news in the spring of 2018 when it became the first South Carolina college to lower its tuition by 26 percent. Cutting tuition drew praise from the Commission on Higher Education, South Carolina’s education oversight body. The commissioner noted that the move Benedict College made should be applauded because it offers families affordability and students greater access to higher education. 

Benedict College has been highly regarded and exceptionally ranked for its programs by several academic and traditional publications.  For example, Benedict College was ranked as one of the top baccalaureate colleges in the nation by Washington Monthly magazine for creating social mobility and producing cutting-edge scholarship and research.  In 2019, Benedict College received the 2019 ACE/ Fidelity Investments Awards for Institutional Transformation and was named the HBCU of the Year by HBCU Digest

Benedict College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and master’s degrees. Five of the College’s degree programs hold national accreditation: The School of Education, Social Work Program, Environmental Health Science Program, Studio Art Program, and the Tyrone Adam Burroughs School of Business and Entrepreneurship. 

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