CSU Fresno -- April 28, 2003

Fresno State Entrepreneurship Program Ranked in Top Tier by Magazine

California State University, Fresno was named one of the Top 100 Entrepreneurial Colleges and Universities in the United States for the second straight year by Entrepreneur magazine.

Entrepreneur researched more than 825 programs for the May 2004 issue, which showcases the top-ranked schools.

Fresno State's Entrepreneurship program was ranked No. 5 nationally among regional universities by center directors and faculty and was among the Top 10 in ranking by alumni.

Fresno State appears in the first tier of the list of the Top 50 regionally recognized academic programs in the country.

Dr. Timothy Stearns, director of Fresno State's Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and holder of the Coleman Foundation Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies, said several key factors have raised Fresno State's stature on the national level.

Among them are the continued commitment by the Coleman Foundation to fund programs to grow entrepreneurship and creation of the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which assists students, faculty and the community in their entrepreneurial pursuits.

Another key factor has been the unique nature of the Fresno State entrepreneurship program, he said.

"The program here is different from others around the country because we focus on applied entrepreneurship rather than knowledge of entrepreneurship," Stearns said. "Our courses are all project-based, where students obtain hands-on learning about the entrepreneurial process. This culminates with the student required to go through a launch of a business to complete the program," he said.

The final rankings are based on more than 70 separate criteria, including course offerings, teaching and research faculty, business-community outreaches, research centers and institutes, degrees and certificates offered, and faculty and alumni evaluations.

The May issue of Entrepreneur can be viewed at http://www.entrepreneur.com/topcolleges.

For more information about Fresno State's program, contact Stearns at the Lyles Center at (559) 347-6834.

Contact: Shirley Melikian Armbruster, (559) 278-2795 or (559) 593-1815


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