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Center for Free Enterprise Named to Oases of Excellence Network

The Barney Barnett School of Business & Free Enterprise has earned a place on another prestigious list, as the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) has named the Center for Free Enterprise & Entrepreneurship at Florida Southern College an Oases of Excellence.

Florida Southern joins 80 elite institutions from across the U.S. and is one of only three schools in Florida included in its Oases of Excellence Network (OEN).

“At a time when higher education too often forces students to limit their efforts in narrow preparation for landing the first job, the Center for Free Enterprise & Entrepreneurship readies students for a meaningful role in the dynamic economy of the 21st century,” said Michael Poliakoff, the president of ACTA. “The Center equips students to transform inspiration into action and to do so with a goal of serving their nation and local community with vision, high purpose, and creativity. In recognition of its invaluable work, ACTA is proud to work of the Center for Free Enterprise & Entrepreneurship as a part of our Oases of Excellence network.”

Directed by Justin Heacock, the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Florida Southern, the Center for Free Enterprise & Entrepreneurship aims to instill an entrepreneurial mindset and reinforce free enterprise principles for Florida Southern College and the surrounding community. The Center offers academic programming as well as experiential opportunities to enrich a student’s education. Students can receive start-up money and mentorship to develop innovative ideas into viable businesses. The Center strives to transform students into innovative leaders that can be effective in new or existing organizations.

“The affiliation with ACTA is important because they amplify the story we are trying to tell here at the CFEE about our exceptional students,” Heacock said. “We hope this partnership leads to more connections and resources to grow our experiential student impact as an Oases of Excellence School.”Launched in 1995, ACTA is an independent, nonprofit organization promoting academic excellence, freedom, and accountability at America’s colleges and universities. The organization works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

“ACTA connects students, alumni, and others who care deeply about educating the next generation of leaders, while maintaining the highest academic standards on college campuses across the nation,” said Tim Holcomb, ACTA’s Department of Entrepreneurship chair. “We are particularly pleased with this recognition of our efforts to prepare tomorrow’s entrepreneurial leaders and motivate them to innovate, create value, and elevate their impact on society.”

The Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise was recently named No. 1 in “Teaching Quality” by Poets&Quants and continues to be included in The Princeton Review’s list of the nation’s Best Business Schools. The School’s Online MBA program was also recently lauded by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top programs in the nation. Florida Southern was recognized because of the Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise’s focus on career-relevant courses with a broad set of multidisciplinary perspectives and student opportunities for real-world experience through industry internships and other forms of professional engagement.

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