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Extra Credit: entrepreneurship education is coming of age in America's classrooms. Find out which schools make the grade in our 2nd annual top 100 entrepreneurial

Author: Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship education used to be a few courses taught in a few business schools. Then it became a lot of courses in a lot of business schools. Now it's becoming much more, including full-fledged doctoral degree programs, university departments, endowed professorships, and even a change in the way entire universities approach educating their students.

"The great new turf in the next three to four years is the massive support for 'entrepreneurship across the curriculum efforts," says David Newton, founder and CEO of TechKnowledge Point Corp., the Santa Barbara California-based venture research firm that compiled the data for Entrepreneur's 2nd Annual Top l00 Entrepreneurial College and Universities. Newton, who is also professor of entrepreneurial finance at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, and other entrepreneurship educators say the cross-curriculum movement promises to institutionalize entrepreneurial thinking in higher education outside of the business school, making it part of far more students' educations.

"It's having biology, sociology, pre-med, engineering and sports medicine students take one or two entrepreneurship courses during their studies," says Newton. The reason educators are embracing entrepreneurship is that entrepreneurial thinking is becoming recognized as fundamental to developing skills in analysis, communication, critical thinking, innovation and other competencies of higher education. "A high-quality liberal arts education is now viewed as a perfect complement to an entrepreneurship education and perspective, and vice versa."