Friday September 15, 2006

Entrepreneurship Program Ranked #5 in the Nation

The University of Dayton's undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurial programs rank fifth and 16th respectively out of all programs in the nation, according to Entrepreneur magazine.

The magazine just released its list of the best colleges for students seeking an entrepreneurial program in its October issue, which hits newsstands on Sept. 26. The list, compiled in partnership with The Princeton Review, is an exclusive ranking of the 25 most exceptional undergraduate and graduate entrepreneur business programs in the country.

"More than 2,000 colleges and universities offer some form of entrepreneurial education each year," said Patricia Meyers, dean of UD's School of Business Administration. "Being in the top 25 for both our undergraduate and graduate programs is a great honor and strong testimony to our faculty's goal of fostering practical wisdom in UD students."

A number of criteria were factored into the evaluations, including the entrepreneurial emphasis of the curriculum, mentoring, experiential learning, faculty credentials, and the success of graduating students and alumni. High-ranking schools, such as UD, also demonstrated a commitment to practical, hands-on experiential learning to provide the skills that translate into real-world business, according to Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review.

UD's entrepreneurship program started in 1999 with 10 students and enrolled a record 140 undergraduate entrepreneurship majors this fall. Flyer Enterprises, comprised of seven student-run businesses on campus, is now the fourth largest student-run college corporation in the nation, with more than $1.2 million in annual sales. UD offers an entrepreneurship concentration in its MBA program.

Robert Chelle, director of the Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and Fifth Third Bank entrepreneur-in-residence at UD, started the program with more than 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur and believes strongly that entrepreneurship can be taught.

"Our challenging curriculum gives students the opportunity to examine, understand and implement most elements of entrepreneurial success," Chelle said. "In fact, each of our undergraduate entrepreneurship majors have actually planned, started and harvested a for-profit company. Our graduates have the irreplaceable combination of judgment, enthusiasm, and skills necessary to create a new venture, whether it be in the boundaries of a large corporation or the four walls of a rented garage."

UD's entrepreneurship major is the fastest growing and most selective major in the business school with the average GPA of 3.3.

"Entrepreneurship courses at UD are taught by both Ph.Ds and actual entrepreneurs, which is part of the strength of our program," said Dean McFarlin, chair of the management and marketing department and NCR professor of global leadership development. "It's really an unbeatable combination. Our entrepreneurs bring in-the-trenches examples to students while our Ph.Ds — who are world-class researchers on entrepreneurship issues — show students how to connect theory to practice. And through the Crotty Advisory Council, local entrepreneurs act as mentors to the students."

One of those entrepreneurs is community leader and alumnus L. William Crotty who has provided more than $3 million for the program. "It's no surprise that UD has achieved this honor," Crotty said. "UD's mission is 'learn, lead, serve' and that is what entrepreneurs must do every day."

"Our students come with the notion that security is in self-reliance rather than depending on others for a livelihood," Chelle said. "They leave here with the combination of opportunity recognition, ethical ways to conduct business and the strength to be an entrepreneur."

The University of Dayton's entrepreneurship program was named one of the top 10 entrepreneurship emphasis programs in the country in Entrepreneur magazine's "Top 100 Entrepreneurial Colleges for 2005." In 2004, Forbes.com and The Princeton Review selected UD as one of the country's "most entrepreneurial campuses." This fall, UD's School of Business Administration is featured in The Princeton Review's 2007 edition of its book, "Best 282 Business Schools." For more information, go to Entrepreneur.com.

For more information, contact Robert Chelle at 937-229-2022, Patricia Meyers at 937-229-3731 or Dean McFarlin at 937-229-4928