Jackson State University will host over 100 local high school students in the Summer 2022 Corners to College HBCU program presented by The Black Collegiate Gaming Association (BCGA). The one-week overnight program engages students with the exponentially growing world of eSports gaming and immerses them in HBCU culture and curriculum.
Students are also provided in-depth industry knowledge on the potential growth of eSports and the transition toward university-level curriculum. It further prepares students for competitive eSports careers and gives students the opportunity to contribute to real-case studies and projects from BCGA corporate partners.
“The gaming industry is a huge untapped market for people of color,” says Almesha Campbell, Ph.D., assistant vice president for Research and Economic Development at JSU.
She adds that the industry is one way HBCUs could begin to look at creating generational wealth by recruiting and offering scholarships to gamers.
In 2021, per market and consumer data company Statista, the global eSports market was valued at just over $1.08 billion, an almost 50 percent increase from the previous year.
With the evolution of the eSports gaming industry becoming a viable job market, JSU appears to be at the forefront of innovation and cutting edge curriculum. It is one of the first HBCUs to create a Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship where the eSports program is housed.
“Due to this high market value, it is important for us to start preparing students to understand the business side of eSports, engage in internships at these gaming companies, and compete for scholarships, etc.,” says Campbell.
BCGA organized seven HBCUs across the nation to serve as charter member institutions for the program.
“I’m excited to create history again and bring some of the most deserving and amazing high school students to seven of our 16 HBCU member institutions with Corners to Colleges. We’re changing lives and educating hundreds of Blacks and women of color to enter and diversify the gaming industry,” says Keshia Walker, founder and chairwoman of BCGA.
Working in collaboration with BCGA, a number of corporate partnerships have been solidified, which includes Sony PlayStation, Intel, HyperX, and GameStop. These key relationships have aided JSU with financial resources to secure vital electronic hardware to implement the program effectively as well as accommodate growing student interests.
To be chosen for the Corners to College HBCU initiative, students must have a 2.5 or higher GPA, two letters of recommendation from a teacher/guidance counselor and a community representative or non-profit organization.
For more information and to apply to the program, visit cornerstocollege.org