Northwest College is considering starting an esports program.
We hope the trustees scrap that idea.
Online video gaming, or esports, in the past had been something children and adults played to pass the time.
Now video games generate large amounts of money through professional leagues and corporate sponsorships.
We are keenly aware that NWC, not unlike almost every college and university, is struggling with decreased enrollment and declining revenues.
We just can’t see how an esports program would gain the school much.
Under current conditions of declining enrollment, we recognize colleges are scrambling for students and money.
The schools least impacted are the ones offering students a path to a future career and that is what we believe NWC should concentrate on.
Colleges cannot offer something for everyone.
But we believe NWC should discover its own niche in the collegiate world and enhance its offerings in that field.
For example: the Wyoming State Legislature recently adopted state level standards for teaching computer science. Wyoming high schools are struggling to find staffing to meet those standards.
In our opinion, a junior college preparing students to compete for a four-year degree from another institution in the computer science field would be a far greater benefit than the opportunity for students to compete in video games.
Extracurricular activities are a fundamental part of a balanced education, but only a part.
Academic disciplines will always be the backbone of a good education.