Campus: CSU Fresno -- March 28, 2003
Fresno State Entrepreneurship Program Ranked in
Top Tier by Magazine
California State University, Fresno's entrepreneurship program claimed
two high rankings in a survey of regional entrepreneurial colleges and
universities by Entrepreneur magazine.
Fresno State's entrepreneurship program was ranked No. 4 nationally
among regional universities by its peers and was among the Top 12 of
the best colleges and universities with a regional focus.
This is the first time Fresno State's entrepreneurship program has been
recognized by a national media source since its inception in 1996.More
than 700 entrepreneurship programs were researched from September to
December 2002 with 30 criteria used in the study conducted for Entrepreneur
"This is very exciting, particularly the fact that other entrepreneurship
program directors ranked us No. 4 among all regional programs,"
said Dr. Bob Hill, professor and a holder of one of two endowed chairs
in entrepreneurship at Fresno State. "We've always believed that
we had one of the top programs in entrepreneurship.Now, we have some
corroboration of that belief," Hill said.
Dr. Timothy Stearns, director of Fresno State's Lyles Center for Entrepreneurship
and Innovation and holder of the Coleman Foundation Chair in Entrepreneurial
Studies, said several key factors have raised Fresno State's stature.
Among them are the commitment by the Coleman Foundation to fund programs
to grow entrepreneurship and the creation of the Lyles Center for Innovation
and Entrepreneurship, which assists students, faculty and the community
in their entrepreneurial pursuits.
"Coupled with the commitment from President Welty and Provost Ortiz,
we have been able to craft a formula for success in a very short period
of time," said Stearns. "We take great pride in that we are
now ranked with universities and colleges that launched entrepreneurship
in the 1970s and 1980s while our program is barely seven years old.
"We are on the cutting edge of entrepreneurship programs by integrating
innovation and entrepreneurship into our curriculum," said Stearns.
"We also have designed the program with a strong emphasis on application.
In fact, we are the only university in the listing that identifies 'applied
entrepreneurship' as a core to our program," Stearns noted.
"I have been telling people for some time that we have one of the
best applied programs in the country and the study by Entrepreneurship
Magazine confirms that. The resources, both on and off campus, far exceed
what any student would experience at another campus in terms of facilitating
their efforts to launch a business or acquire the entrepreneurial skills
necessary to be successful in the work place. And entrepreneurship skills
are the most sought after by college students across the nation,"
Hill also credited studentsand the business community in Fresno with
the success of the program. "A major distinction of our program
is the extent to which our entrepreneurship students have been woven
into the fabric of local entrepreneurial endeavors," Hill said.
"This process requires entrepreneurs willing to open their businesses
up to our students and highly capable and responsible students that
can step up and make a positive difference.We are very fortunate to
have both ingredients."
Student Rebecca White said Fresno State's program has given her "a
new lease on life, a new perspective and a can-do approach to starting
a venture of my own." Jim Wright, a Graduate Entrepreneur Award
recipient, called his experience at Fresno State "phenomenal."
"I returned to school after 25 years of working in a corporate
business environment to study entrepreneurship. At Fresno State, not
only are the basics regarding successful business startups covered,
but we also study scientific research about best entrepreneurial practices,
network with successful entrepreneurs and community leaders, and have
the opportunities to practice entrepreneurial skills with local businesses
and community organizations," Wright said.
Garrett Jones, president of the Fresno State chapter of the Collegiate
Entrepreneurs Organization, stated that the entrepreneurship program
has given the CEO club the support and guidance to grow and even start
"When we attend national meetings, students from other campuses
want to know the 'Fresno secret' for success," said Jones. "It
is the strong emphasis on doing rather than listening that makes this
program a great opportunity for students. The professors are real entrepreneurs
that bring interest and experience to the CEO club. They take us from
being thought of as a club to perceiving ourselves as a business."
To view Entrepreneur Magazine's listings, see www.entrepreneur.com/topcolleges.
Media contact: Shirley Melikian Armbruster (559) 278-2795 or (559)
Lyles Center contact: Timothy M. Stearns (559) 287-4332