School of Entrepreneurship Receives National Model Undergraduate Award
Oklahoma State University’s School of Entrepreneurship has received numerous honors in recent years but earning the National Model Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Program Award by the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) is one of the most prestigious honors in the program’s short history.
The OSU School of Entrepreneurship is just in its fourth year of existence and is already attracting national attention from USASBE, the premier organization for entrepreneur educators, and is recognized as a leader across the nation.
“This award indicates that we are at the leading edge in terms of a comprehensive approach to entrepreneurship education,” Michael Morris, director of the School of Entrepreneurship, said. “Our approach to curriculum design, student engagement, experiental learning, infrastructure development and community outreach represent a model that other universities can learn from.
“The award is a validation of what we are doing and where we are going at Oklahoma State. We have done a number of things that others have not, and so it is good to find that others recognize the value in our approach and see it as a model to guide where the discipline is going. We want OSU to be recognized as the best in the world, and our goals are high. As such, I was not surprised when the announcement was made, but instead felt joy for all the people in our program and all the others at OSU who have supported us and made our progress possible. And one always feels humbled when their peers provide this kind of recognition.”
The award is given annually to colleges and universities that have developed and offer high quality and innovative programs, the purpose of which is to educate and train future generations of entrepreneurs. Programs are evaluated on innovation, quality, comprehensiveness, sustainability, transferability, depth of support, and impact.
“I think they were especially impressed with our competency-based approach, seeing it as the future of where education needs to go,” Morris said.
Larry Crosby, dean of the Spears School of Business, is thrilled that the School of Entrepreneurship is making an impact in the lives of OSU students.
“What a great way to start the new year. While the School of Entrepreneurship is few in numbers, it packs a powerful punch that is being noted across the land,” Crosby said. “Everyone at the Spears School takes great pride in this accomplishment.”
Morris was at Syracuse University when it received the National Model Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Program Award in 2005. But for OSU’s program to receive the same recognition after only a few years is especially satisfying.
“This was our goal but one can never tell with these things,” Morris said. “We have moved very far and done so very fast; at least in terms of the pace at which universities work. But it is one thing to create and implement the program and quite another to get the recognition for what we are doing. So it is quite humbling to receive this recognition.”
The award is just another sign of the school’s impact since the program began in 2008. In the past 12 months, OSU’s School of Entrepreneurship has received a research productivity world ranking of No. 10 (by the M.J. Neeley School of Business at TCU), was one of the few schools to have its undergraduate program (No. 24) and graduate program (No. 23) ranked among the nation’s top 25 (The Princeton Review/Entrepreneur Magazine), and the student-led E-Club was No. 9 in the 2011 Top 20 University Entrepreneurship Club rankings (FledgeWing.com).