The First Day of NACE Conference: Confirmed the Great Enthusiasm of Educators about Esports
The National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) hosted its first-ever national convention at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia, July 18-20, 2018.
Panels for the first day focused very much on the steps and logistics necessary in establishing a college and/or university Esports program.
The day opened with the panel: “Where Should Your Program Live: Athletics, Academics or Student Life.” Panelists represented Grand View University of Des Moines, Iowa; Columbia College in Missouri; and St. Clair College in Ontario, Canada.
Grand View’s program resides under athletics, as does Columbia’s; St. Clair’s program, though, lies within student life. The reasons for these decisions derive from scholarship limitations and associated restrictions, and the ever-present opportunities for Esport players to continue revenue generation while matriculating. The basic willingness of existing collegiate departments to accept Esports also proves a determining factor.
All three schools admitted to the challenge of game/life balance among Esports athletes. Tutors, academic monitors, counseling, and grade reviews were proffered as remedies.
It became clear throughout the day that the more than 150 attendees viewed establishing Esports programs as a surefire way of increasing student enrollment. Fortunately, the experience of many NACE members has proven that supposition. Consequently, conference attendance is almost double original estimates Most importantly, all schools reported that Esports offerings – be they club, intramural, or intercollegiate – resulted in improved acceptance rates among applicants.