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NEWS

Jan. 25, 2006

OU Regents Approve Entrepreneurship Degree Option at RSU

Rogers State University has received initial approval to offer a new business administration degree option that will examine and encourage the development of entrepreneurial enterprises.

The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents, which is RSU's governing body, this week approved adding the entrepreneurship option to RSU's Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree program. The proposal next will be sent to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education for consideration.

University officials estimated the entrepreneurship option in business administration could be offered as soon as the fall 2006 semester.

"While larger companies typically grab the most attention and headlines, it's really small, entrepreneurial employers who comprise the largest portion of our state and national economies," said Dr. Bruce Garrison, dean of RSU's School of Business and Technology. Recent federal studies show that 99 percent of American businesses are classified as small businesses, and these companies create more than 75 percent of the net new jobs and employ more than half of the nation's non-farm private sector.

RSU developed the entrepreneurship degree option for students who have a career interest in self-employment through the creation of new business and industry. Students will have the opportunity to participate with RSU's Innovation Center, which works with emerging business and industry in northeastern Oklahoma to foster economic development. The Innovation Center also operates a business incubator program to provide support for new or expanding companies with the goal of producing companies that will emerge from the program as growing and financially viable entities.

Dr. Ray Brown, RSU vice president for economic and community development and director of RSU's Innovation Center, said there are many opportunities for students to gain "real-world" experience by working with area entrepreneurs, including developing marketing plans, public relations strategies, financial and accounting analysis, information systems, Web site development, strategic planning and management processes. Students also will be able to intern with businesses participating in the Innovation Center's incubator program.

RSU President Dr. Joe Wiley said the university's business and technology resources made developing the entrepreneurship degree program a natural extension of RSU's mission serving the educational needs of business and industry.

"RSU has made a strong commitment to supporting business and industry, both through the degree programs we offer and through the development of the Innovation Center," he said. "The university recognizes that small businesses and other new enterprises are a driving force within our economy, which is why we remain committed to the continued development of entrepreneurial spirit in northeastern Oklahoma."

The entrepreneurship option builds upon the foundation coursework of the business administration degree, with 21 hours of specialization through classes in cost accounting, human resource management, entrepreneurial finance, new venture development, marketing, management, and an internship program.

RSU also offers accounting, human resources and management options for its bachelor's degree program in business administration.

For more information on RSU's business programs, contact the School of Business and Technology at (918) 343-7663.