Rowan University will become the next post-secondary institution in America to establish an academic esports program.
The New Jersey university is partnering with Philadelphia-based amateur esports network N3rd Street Gamers to develop esports teams on both the varsity and club levels. Rowan will also offer courses focusing on the esports industry and the popularity of competitive gaming, leading to a full certificate in esports.
Discussing the partnership, Rowan University President Ali Houshmand said that the program will provide students with “hands-on training” in the emerging industry of esports. Students will also develop skills related to the worlds of engineering, business, broadcasting, and computer programming.
Details of the Partnership
The Rowan Board of Trustees voted to allocate $230,000 in funding on September 11 in order to buy memberships to N3rd Street Gamers’ network. Students involved in the program will receive full memberships to the network and will have access to a wide range of gaming equipment. In addition to regular college credits, the program will offer an internship with the gaming network.
As part of the partnership, N3rd Street Gamers will invest a minimum of $1 million for the construction of a 7,500 square-foot facility dedicated to competitive gaming on the Rowan University campus. The facility will include a broadcast studio so that the esports competitions can be streamed live from the area.
John Fazio, CEO of N3rd Street Gamers, says that gaming is no longer simply a “form of entertainment,” but has now become a well-recognized and promising career path. According to him, the facility at Rowan University will give students the chance to develop a variety of skills “that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.”
Recruitment for the esports collegiate teams is expected to begin sometime in the spring semester. To celebrate the upcoming program, Rowan University will host a day-long competitive gaming tournament on October 18.
N3rd Street Gamers is an esports network dedicated to serving semi-professional, amateur, and developing competitive gamers. It accomplishes this through the creation of social and competitive environments for live competitions and tournaments. It has already established esports venues similar to the one it will develop at Rowan University in both Philadelphia and Denver.
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