Future jobs start here: Atlantic Cape CC cuts ribbon on $4M Innovation Center

Center is geared toward providing instruction and services in esports, cybersecurity, computer forensics, game design and computer science

Atlantic Cape Community College last week unveiled its new state-of-the-art, forward-thinking and technology-laden Innovation Center on the Mays Landing campus.

Located adjacent to the college’s Student Center, which opened in February 2018, the Innovation Center was funded by a $4 million grant from New Jersey’s Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act and $1.33 million from Atlantic County.

The center is geared toward providing instruction and services in esports, cybersecurity, computer forensics, game design and computer science. It is located inside the renovated Charles B. Boyer Hall, which was constructed in 1967 and was one of the oldest original structures on the campus.

“This project has been in the making for a while, and now our students have the technology needed to succeed and play their best,” Atlantic Cape President Barbara Gaba said.

“With all of the technical degree programs offered here at Atlantic Cape, it is imperative that we keep up with the latest industry demands and trends, and this Innovation Center is just one example of us supplying industry standards for our students.”

The Innovation Center is home to program course options that are in demand in the ever-changing, technologically driven world of the 21st century.

The cybersecurity degree is geared toward providing students with the career skills required for jobs in computer and information security, while focusing on data loss prevention, identity and access management, incident response and forensic analysis.

The game design and development option is designed for students that exhibit a passion for gaming and are interested in a career in the industry. Students will learn game theory, graphics design, animation, 3D modeling and game programming.

The esports option provides students with the knowledge of the basic concepts of the business side of esports, from the corporations that are hiring to the most influential leaders within the industry. Students will study business disciplines, review esports’ language, learn game design basics and components of the industry. This program option will prepare students, and provide them with the basic skills needed, to enter the esports industry at an introductory management level.

About Atlantic Cape CC

Atlantic Cape is a comprehensive, two-year community college serving the residents of Atlantic and Cape May counties. The college offers over 40 career, transfer and workforce development programs to more than 8,000 students annually at three campuses in New Jersey: Atlantic City, Cape May Court House and Mays Landing.

To complete renovations to the entire 18,200-square-foot, three-building complex, which includes Silas Morse Hall and Samuel Richards Hall, Atlantic Cape secured funds from Chapter 12 of the state of New Jersey’s Higher Education Capital Improvement Fund, while Atlantic County contributed 50% of the overall cost of the project.

The rehabilitation of Morse and Richards halls included renovating all classrooms, adding modern technology, high-efficiency geothermal HVAC upgrades, new windows, energy efficient white roofs and interior finishes in Morse Hall and the creation of new faculty offices, kitchenette and lounge in Richards Hall, which had served as a classroom facility.

Atlantic Cape utilized modern technological advancements to ensure that the renovation of the three buildings adhered to current efficiency standards.

“We are proud that this facility is energy efficient with its many modern features,” Gaba said. “We value environmental sustainability and we respect the natural resources we have here in the Pinelands.”

Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver touted Atlantic Cape’s efforts to promote the future of the innovation economy, while also espousing the positive role that community colleges play throughout the state.

“This center is about job creation and the jobs of the future are going to be in cybersecurity, esports and gaming,” Oliver said. “This Innovation Center is going to assist people in this area who are looking for a career path.”