The Digital Paradigm Shift: Challenges faced by HBCU sport management programs in light of modernization

Jason Perry, Alex J. Anderson, N. Jonas Ohrberg


Sport Management as an academic field has experienced a significant expansion and transformation over the last four decades. With an increased influence of modernization such as new learning technologies and virtual learning, educators in the field have been forced to adapt instructional design, course delivery, and realign sport management curriculum with the demands of the present-day sport industry. This paradigm shift has fostered significant growth in sport management degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Leaders of these programs aim to meet the evolving needs of students in the areas of academic preparation and career readiness. However, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that serve marginalized populations have experienced challenges as they strive to maintain robust academic sport management programming, foster student engagement, and prepare students for careers in the sports industry.  These challenges are heightened in part due to various institutional disparities experienced by HBCUs.  The purpose of this theoretical paper is to examine the impact that the paradigm shift has had on HBCU sport management programs and to discuss the outlook of these programs in lieu of modernization within sport management as both a profession and academic field.  

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