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BSBA degree in entrepreneurship receives OK 

The Board of Governors of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education recently approved a proposal to start an undergraduate degree in entrepreneurship at Shippensburg University. 

It is the first bachelor of science in business administration entrepreneurship major in the State System and is part of the John L. Grove College of Business, which is internationally accredited and nationally ranked for its quality. 

The new major, which begins in the Fall 2016 semester, builds on the university’s current and highly successful concentration in entrepreneurship. That concentration was started in 2005, has nearly 70 students and has a 100 percent employment rate for students who graduated with the minor. Between 20 and 25 students are expected to graduate from the new program each year. 

University President Jody Harpster said the program will help students with great ideas to become tomorrow’s entrepreneurs. “It is designed to give students the skills, experience and content knowledge to creatively pursue new opportunities and innovations for market, non-profit and corporate venture start-ups,” he said. 

“Classes will provide students with the academic and hands-on learning that will serve as a foundation for their success. By combining a small, supportive incubator environment linked to a high quality liberal arts education, students will have the opportunity to become well-rounded independent entrepreneurs who will create value for the Commonwealth.” 

Dr. John Kooti, dean of Grove College, said, “Grove College has a long history of providing high quality and high value business programs, and the BSBA degree in entrepreneurship is going to be a major distinguishing factor in attracting business students and faculty to the university.” 

According to Dr. William D. Oberman, associate professor and chair of the management and marketing department, “The department is looking forward to becoming the Department of Management, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship. Our entrepreneurship graduates will receive the recognition they deserve and the opportunity for an enhanced educational experience through a revised curriculum and  a supportive environment that includes the Charles H. Diller Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. Special thanks must be given Dr. Shelley Morrisette, the founder of our former entrepreneurship concentration and the creative force behind the new entrepreneurship major, as well as to Dean John Kooti and Associate Provost Tracy Schoolcraft for their critical role in moving the proposal for the major forward.” 

The program, which includes a unique “entrepreneurial ecosystem,” will further enhance the university’s already strong partnerships throughout the region, and is designed to meet the high standards for accreditation set by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International. 

The entrepreneurial ecosystem is a combination of co-curricular programs that provide hands-on learning to complement students’ academic programming. The system includes the Charles H. Diller Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and Innovation, Small Business Development Center and Brad E. Hollinger Stock Trading Room. 

The Diller Center is the hub of entrepreneurial activity and provides resources for co-curricular activities to enhance student understanding of entrepreneurship. It also includes student and academic competitions, mentorship and “Ship Tank” in which students pitch their entrepreneurial ideas. 

Since it was established in 1971, the business college has established a reputation of excellence as it produced graduates who are leaders of business and industry around the world. It also continues to meet the ever-changing needs of Shippensburg students and the regional business community. For more information on the college, please click here.