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Esports are in at Barton
BCC trustees approve new program

It’s official: next year students will be able to try out for the new collegiate esports team at Barton Community College. The BCC Board of Trustees met Tuesday and approved a proposal that will include hiring a part-time coach and offering scholarships for competitive video gaming.

Dean of Student Services Angie Maddy said she’d already spoken to a prospective student who expressed interest in going out for the team.

The proposal to add an esports program has already been discussed at two board study sessions. Trustee Don Learned said he would join the other trustees in voting to approve it but he still had some questions. BCC Multimedia Specialist Curtis Rose, part of the esports research team, was asked how competitions would work.

“It’s broken down by game,” Rose said. “You may not play the same school for all games.” However, travel is not an issue, since the games are played online.

Athletic Director Trevor Rolfs added, “it wouldn’t just be the schools in our league.” However, with all Kansas community colleges now offering or considering esports, Rolfs predicts that “80% of our league will be involved in esports in the next two years.”

Board Chairman Mike Johnson said adding esports “broadens our bases and potentially brings in new students.” He noted the popularity of esports has grown nationwide, and some universities are spending large sums of money to build esports training facilities and arenas.

“We won’t be doing that,” he added.

Commonly played esports games

• Multi-player online battle arenas (MOBAs) – League of Legends, DOTA 2

• First-person shooters – Overwatch, CS, GO, R6: Siege

• Fighting – Super Smash Bros.

• Digital collectible card games – Hearthstone

• Battle royales – Fortnite, Apex Legends

• Real Time Strategy – Starcraft

Meeting at a glance

Here’s a quick look at Tuesday’s Barton Community College Board of Trustees meeting:

• Vickie Dreiling from Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball presented the Fiscal Year 2019 Audit, which the board approved. The college received an unqualified (i.e. “clean”) audit for the financial portion and a qualified audit for its audit of federal financial aid (Pell grant) funds. A plan of correction has been submitted to insure addition oversight when administering Pell grants.

• Vice President of Instruction Elaine Simmons presented a progress report on the three-year plan to make Open Educational Resources available for multiple classes. OERs are online materials that replace traditional textbooks and are available to students at a lower cost or no cost.

• Dean of Institutional Effectiveness Charles Perkins gave the Strategic Planning Report.

• Executive Director of Institutional Advancement Coleen Cape reported on plans for a Dec. 6 event with Barton’s first graduating class, as part of the college’s 50th-anniversary celebration.

• A proposal to offer esports and esports scholarships in 2020 was approved.

• The board approved hiring two new employees. Patti Amerine was hired as a secretary and data specialist at the Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) and Andrea Jenkins will teach mathematics on the Barton County campus.

• The board met in executive session for 40 minutes to discuss an employee’s performance.