A survey of more than 2,300 colleges and universities ranks Xavier among the top schools for undergraduate entrepreneurship programs in the country. The survey, by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine, ranks Xavier 24th this year, compared to 17th last year when about half as many schools participated.
The list features undergraduate and graduate programs. All schools surveyed were evaluated based on key criteria in the areas of academics and requirements, students and faculty, and outside-the-classroom experiences. Xavier was ranked among the best along with such schools as Baylor, Temple, DePaul, Babson College and Syracuse.
“We are honored to once again be included in The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine list,” said Daewoo Park, director for the Williams College of Business Entrepreneurial Center.
“The effort of our faculty and advisory boards to offer an outstanding entrepreneurial experience for the students continues to attract national attention,” said Ali Malekzadeh, dean of the Williams College of Business. “Dr. Park and his colleagues are working hard to continue this five-year tradition of being ranked among the best schools in the nation.”
Park said the department is participating in two new initiatives which will further the growth of the entrepreneurial center. One is a statewide college entrepreneurship conference and competition on Oct. 23-24 to be held at the Cintas Center. The other is a program Xavier is starting called the Xavier Black Belt Entrepreneurship Certificate program.
The first of its kind in the nation, the Black Belt Entrepreneurship Certificate is for both undergraduate students and those in the business community. It offers yellow, green, blue and black belts, allowing students to continue to learn and improve their skills. Just as in a traditional martial arts program, students will be tested in front of a panel of experts and must pass before moving on to study at the next level.
Nearly twice as many schools participated in this year’s survey, which underscores the growing number of entrepreneurial courses nationwide and the established mainstream appeal of business ownership. Experiential learning, courses in social and environmental entrepreneurship, and more involvement with nearby communities of business leaders are some of the emerging trends among schools. Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s vice president of publishing, said the ranking shows that while there are overall trends, each program offers something unique for students, and that the ranking highlights “schools that are exceptional for specific reasons.”
“Aspiring business owners want not just to learn, but to do, and today’s top colleges are responding to that demand,” said Amy Cosper, editor in chief at Entrepreneur. “We’re finding schools focus more on helping students determine an idea’s feasibility, plan and set up all aspects of a business, and network more with other entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. The opportunities keep expanding—and our ranking is an excellent launching point for a prospective student’s research.”
For a complete listing of the schools ranked and a full database of details on each of their programs, visit www.entrepreneur.com/topcolleges. Read more about Xavier's program and other local college programs in The Cincinnati Enquirer.