Business program top in nation
The audience rejoiced as the Bauer College of Business and the Greater Houston Partnership announced that the school’s undergraduate entrepreneurship program has been ranked first in the nation by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine at an event honoring the distinction on Tuesday.
Founded in 1993, the Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship, which offers the undergraduate program, also topped the list in 2008, and came second in both the 2007 and 2009 rankings.
“We hoped something like this would happen, but I had no expectations,” said Bill Sherrill founder of the WCE.
“This is the fifth year to be first or second, and we’re just very pleased to see that it’s fundamentally a sound program — well taught and very useful to students. We’ve established enough years at that top that we clearly have a quality program. It really says that we weren’t just a flash in the pan, we’re really teaching something very basic that’s incredibly valued.”
The Princeton Review, which ranked the 50 best graduate and undergraduate schools for entrepreneurs in the country from a pool of over 2,000, based their numbers on criteria such as academics and requirements, students, faculty and partnership involvement outside the classroom.
“The rankings are kind of a nice accolade on the whole thing. The real value actually comes from what we get working outside the classroom,” said WCE student Sol Richey.
“We’re interacting with members of the Houston business community. We have a mentorship program that puts us in connection with someone that helps us develop our skills and helps us develop our ideas.”
The announcement comes during a time when Houston has been continually ranked as a city with one of the best economies while most of country is suffering from a weak job market. Jeff Moseley, President and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership, said that “there’s a direct tie to work force development and the announcement.”
In addition to basic classroom instruction, the WCE aims to prepare students in all aspects of entrepreneurship, from starting a business to developing the confidence to run a successful entity on their own.
“It’s not just business development, but it’s also the human development,” said Bauer Dean Latha Ramchand.
“It’s about developing yourself, and when you develop yourself and become confident with who you are, that really contributes a great deal to the scale of the business. There’s a lot of nice things about this program, which makes it special in my opinion. We’re just delighted that the things we thought were special were also validated by an external agency, not just once, but five times in a row.”