AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University and its Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship rank 24th nationally for students who want to be entrepreneurs, according to a survey of more than 700 colleges and universities by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine. The rankings and analysis will appear in the October issue of Entrepreneur, which hits newsstands on Sept. 26.
While there is a wide range of entrepreneurial programs, the survey's authors found that schools that made the ranking all showed a commitment to practical, hands-on experiential learning to provide the skills that translate into real-world businesses. Community service was found to play an important portion of that experience. The top-ranked schools also had students and alumni actively involved in entrepreneurial endeavors and had faculty who serve as mentors, having already demonstrated success in their own entrepreneurial pursuits.
"It's awesome to be recognized like this. We always believed we had a great program," said Labh Hira, dean of ISU's College of Business. "We're proud of the interdisciplinary nature of our entrepreneurship curriculum, and it's great to receive the external testimonial on it from such publications as The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur."
The ISU Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship -- which provides academic support for the university's interdisciplinary entrepreneurship minor -- connects faculty, researchers, and students to the entrepreneurial world, while also providing Iowa's business and entrepreneurial community access to resources and information within the university. It provides assistance to entrepreneurs -- both students and those from off-campus -- in their efforts to launch new ventures.
"I think this [ranking] is a great validation of the activities at Iowa State -- both the efforts of faculty and the interest of students in entrepreneurship," said Steven Carter, director of the ISU Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship. "I think the other thing of note is that the state of Iowa has two entrepreneurship centers that are nationally ranked. This says a lot about the support and investment John Pappajohn has made in the state of Iowa, and shows how that investment is yielding some return for the state."
The University of Iowa's John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center ranked 25th.
The survey is in response to a growing need among students, according to its authors.
"We've seen the number of individuals interested in entrepreneurship programs expand greatly, and through the survey, they finally have a reliable resource for identifying the programs most appropriate to their goals," said Rieva Lesonsky, senior vice president/editorial director at Entrepreneur magazine. "The credibility of The Princeton Review's research combined with Entrepreneur's comprehensive knowledge of the challenges facing entrepreneurs today make this survey especially valuable."
The complete survey results will be available next week at www.Entrepreneur.com.