WCU’s business school climbs charts

WEST CHESTER >> West Chester University is growing its reputation as a business school with several recent recognitions.

The university’s College of Business and Public Management, or CBPM, was ranked the third largest business school in the Philadelphia area in terms of enrollment by the Philadelphia Business Journal in its Aug. 11 issue.

The local state university came in behind Temple’s Fox School of Business and the University of Delaware in business school enrollment.

According to the Business Journal’s research, West Chester had 2,991 undergraduate students enrolled in its business school in the fall of 2016; full time undergraduate business students numbered 2,744. Temple University’s Fox School of Business finished first in the rankings with 6,666 business undergrads, including 5,781 full time. The University of Delaware had 3,369 business undergraduate students, including 3,281 full time.


Notable schools like Drexel’s Lebow College of Business, St. Joseph’s and Villanova universities came in behind WCU, based on fall 2016 enrollment figures.

“What this shows is that we have grown in a sustainable way,” said Dean of the College of Business and Public Management Anthony Wheeler, in a statement. He attributed CBPM’s success to an “understanding by students of the value of a West Chester University business education.”

In addition, the college’s new bachelor of science in international business attracted students, its interdisciplinary approach a definite draw, Wheeler said.

WCU’s College of Business and Public Management, which the Journal ranked fifth last year, recently had its AACSB accreditation renewed.

That accreditation is one way consumers can know they’re getting a quality college business education, said Jeffery L. Osgood Jr., senior vice provost and dean of Interdisciplinary & Graduate Studies at West Chester University.

AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business – provides quality assurance, business education and professional development services to over 1,500 member organizations and more than 785 accredited business schools worldwide.

“It’s the mark of quality for schools of business,” Osgood said.

The university also has diversified its offerings in recent years.

According to WCU spokeswoman Loretta MacAlpine, the College of Business and Public Management added the following programs in recent years:

• Bachelor of Science in Urban and Environmental Planning (2016);

• Master in Urban and Regional Planning (2017);

• Bachelor of Science in International Business (2016);

• Master of Science in Human Resource Management (2016).

“We have a good balance of programs consistent with what the market is looking for,” Osgood said. “The accounting program is one of the largest in the area.”

One of the business college’s programs garnering attention is the WCU Entrepreneurship program, which sponsors an idea pitch program to students and residents who want to start new businesses, “Shark Tank” style.

“Student engagement in the Cottrell Entrepreneurial Leadership Center is increasing, we are developing new academic opportunities, and we are working more closely with our partners which include the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce, Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic, SCORE, and i2n,” said Monica Zimmerman, professor of management and director of the center. “We are also forming new partnerships with Liberty Valley Initiative and Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization. It is an exciting time.”

Similarly, the university’s online MBA program is garnering attention. It was ranked 82 on U.S. News and World Report’s list of 2017 Best Online MBA programs.

“It’s one of the lowest in terms of cost,” Osgood said.

– To contact Business Writer Brian McCullough, call 610-235-2655 or send an email to bmccullough@21st-centurymedia.com.

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