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MCC Launches Esports Academic and Athletic Programs

Esports-LaunchOne of the fastest-growing sports isn’t played in a gym or on a field, but rather on a gaming console or PC. Esports is taking over the athletic arena and is now an academic program available from Marshalltown Community College. The college shared the news during a news conference on May 11 in the Faust Student Union.

Robin Lilienthal, Provost, Vincent Boyd, Dean of Academic Affairs, and Andrew Goforth, Esports Coach talked about the team, the academic program, and the growing industry — a field that has more than doubled since 2019.

“We know that these jobs have not only remote work environments for students who want to stay local but also transferable skills that can be applied to other industries,” Lilienthal said. “This is an exciting new venture for Marshalltown Community College.”

The associate degree management program will require 64 credit hours, while the diploma program will require 33 hours. Nate Rodemeyer, currently a high school Esports coach and serves as the president of the Iowa High School Esports Association (IHSEA), will lead the management program as a new faculty member in the fall.

Esports is personal to Goforth, who lobbied his alma mater (Grand View University in Des Moines) to add the program. The program was added after he graduated, so he missed the chance to participate and compete as a college student. He feels fortunate to now be able to coach and instruct kids that view themselves as he did.

“The thing that makes this really personal to me is what this degree program will allow is kids that were like me — kids that may not have been fast enough to play basketball or big enough to play football — they have a chance to be part of an athletic environment, a team environment and get legitimized coaching credentials so when they go on the job market as a teacher, a secretary or an IT professional, possibly at a school or a private Esports organization, they will have an official credential that legitimizes their knowledge in Esports,” Goforth said. “And right now I think that’s a big deal.”

There are currently 10 students registered for this academic program. The athletic program will compete in the NJCAAE against teams from other community colleges throughout the nation.

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