The University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business and the Greater Houston Partnership announced today a ranking for the college’s entrepreneurship program that is indicative of the city’s strength in growing businesses and creating jobs.
For the third time in five years, the Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center at UH Bauer has been ranked the best of its kind in the nation, landing at the top of The Princeton Review’s list of leading undergraduate entrepreneurship programs in the U.S. for Entrepreneur magazine.
“As a business school, we are proud to be home to the No. 1 undergraduate entrepreneurship program in the country,” Bauer College Dean Latha Ramchand said.
The program again is No. 1 on the list of the Top 25 Undergraduate Schools for Entrepreneurs, released by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur on Sept. 20. The program was ranked No. 1 in 2008 and 2010, and No. 2 in 2007 and 2009.
“With so many excellent entrepreneurship education programs across the country, this latest national recognition for UH’s Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship is truly an honor,” said UH President Renu Khator. “I congratulate the success of this visionary program and its students and faculty.”
“UH entrepreneurship students at the Bauer College receive the education, insight and practical experience that prepare them to start their own businesses or to work for an existing entrepreneur — providing a significant boost to the economy of the Houston region. It is fitting that this announcement be made at the Greater Houston Partnership, which has been such a strong supporter of the University of Houston in its mission of building regional economic prosperity,” Khator said.
Ramchand agreed, adding, “At a time when job creation is the nation’s top priority, we are proud to be grooming graduates that are equipped with the skills needed to find jobs but also to create jobs. We have always believed that Houston is a city that celebrates and rewards entrepreneurship. Being in Houston helps us attract the best talent, both in terms of students who want to monetize their ideas and also in terms of instructors who are successful entrepreneurs who have created and managed businesses in the area.”
Ranking second and third on the list are Babson College and Baylor University, respectively. The entrepreneurship program at UH Bauer also tops Syracuse University, the University of Southern California, the University of Arizona and 19 others on the list.
“We are proud of the students, faculty and staff of the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship at the Bauer College,” Ramchand said. “This is quite an achievement — The Princeton Review is one of the country’s premier ranking surveys for college, and Entrepreneur is the top business title in the U.S.”
The ranking for the city’s business school is the latest of several national recognitions of the Houston job market and economy.
“It is no secret to anyone that Houston is a great place to do business — to start a small business, to work collaboratively with business partners, to expand globally,” said City Controller Ronald C. Green.
The Kauffman Foundation ranked Houston as the one of the nation’s leading cities in terms of entrepreneurial activity in 2010, out of the 15 largest U.S. cities. Despite an economic downturn and record unemployment, entrepreneurial activity nationwide has risen in the past year, according to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, with 565,000 new businesses created each month in the United States in 2010.
Bauer College has been educating business leaders for decades, with the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship cementing the school’s status as a leader in entrepreneurship when it was created in 1993. The Commission for Higher Education approved entrepreneurship as a major in 1995. Since then, the program has flourished and developed courses for entrepreneurship majors as well as business minors, now attracting more than 1,800 students a semester.
The program has also gained respect from members of the Houston community, who mentor students in the program. Longstanding and highly respected Houstonians Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff became the namesakes of the program in 2008. Wolff is a 1953 graduate of Bauer College, a member of the Dean’s Executive Board and chairman of the board for Star Furniture, a Berkshire-Hathaway company.
Before 2007, Bauer’s entrepreneurship program was recognized regionally. The recent national rankings are indicative of the tremendous growth and breadth of the program, which educates business students as well as those from other disciplines through its global business minor, Ramchand said.
“The education you receive at the Wolff Center focuses on creating an entrepreneurial mindset and process that is applicable to any major at Bauer and students across the university. Faculty teaching in the program are experienced entrepreneurs, all of whom have landed, bought, or successfully run their own businesses. About 40 percent of students involved in the entrepreneurship program are not business majors, and 53 percent of undergraduate students at Bauer participate in the program,” she added.
The ranking also validates the world-class education Bauer students receive through the Wolff Center’s entrepreneurship program, its global business minor and its corporate entrepreneurship certification program, she added.
“Most importantly, the students we graduate go on to start their own business here in the city of Houston, benefiting our local economy,” Ramchand said. “From restaurants to service-oriented companies, the success stories of the Wolff Center graduates have become an integral part of the business landscape of the city.”
Bauer College offers its entrepreneurship students a complete and comprehensive program that includes a six-course lockstep program as well as several enrichment activities to supplement the academic instruction. Each year, between 30 and 35 students are selected through a rigorous application process to take the Wolff Center’s major program in entrepreneurship.
In addition, the WCE certification program in corporate entrepreneurship is the foundation of the college’s global business minor for non-business students. Nearly 1,000 non-business students take WCE courses each year and have an opportunity to see how entrepreneurial thinking can be applied to their interests in engineering, science, social science or the arts.
Each year, an average of 65 percent of WCE students started a business while in school or shortly after graduating. Others go on to join existing ventures and to apply the entrepreneurial lessons learned at UH Bauer to innovate and expand those businesses. WCE students have also won numerous awards in national business plan competitions — even outperforming MBA teams from other schools including Carnegie Mellon. Students in Bauer’s executive MBA program have also had the opportunity to take elective courses in entrepreneurship and corporate entrepreneurship.
The Princeton Review determined the rankings of both graduate and undergraduate programs by evaluating key criteria in the areas of academics and requirements, students and faculty, and outside-the-classroom support and experiences from more than 2,000 programs that were surveyed.
“We are honored to be named the No. 1 undergraduate entrepreneurship program in the nation,” Ramchand added. “The number of schools teaching entrepreneurship has grown very rapidly, and there are a lot of good schools doing that now. It’s very important for the future of our city and country.”
For more information and a complete listing of the schools included on the list, go to www.entrepreneur.com/topcolleges. Full details will also appear in the October issue of Entrepreneur available on newsstands today.
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research and teaching institution is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.
About the C. T. Bauer College of Business
The C. T. Bauer College of Business has been in operation for more than 60 years at the University of Houston main campus. Through its five academic departments, the college offers a full-range of undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees in business. The Bauer College is fully accredited by the AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. In August 2000, Houston business leader and philanthropist Charles T. (Ted) Bauer endowed the College of Business with a $40 million gift. In recognition of his generosity, the college was renamed the C. T. Bauer College of Business.