La Sierra University: A Globally-Focused Institution Providing Hands-On Entrepreneurial Training In A Safe, Nurturing Environment

By John Thomas, Dean
John Thomas,Dean La Sierra University is situated in the heart of southern California's business community in the business-friendly city of Riverside. Recognized by the Wall Street Journal for the past several years as the first or second most-diverse university in the United States, La Sierra welcomes students from more than 50 countries around the world and from every major religion to its safe, alcohol-free, tobacco-free, and entirely vegetarian campus.

A Christian co-educational university affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, La Sierra opened its doors in 1922 as La Sierra Academy and has grown over the past 100 years to be a thriving four-year university with graduate and undergraduate programs that serves approximately 2400 students a year in business, education, religion, and the arts and sciences. The university's Zapara School of Business empowers more than 400 students each year to enrich the world, create solutions for local and global social problems, and promote and foster human flourishing. La Sierra University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and is a candidate for accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the world's premier business school accreditation association.

Committed to Making an Impact
Situated on 300 acres of rolling hillside in western Riverside, La Sierra University is noted as a State Arboretum because of the rich and plentiful variety of trees and shrubbery on the campus and is recognized as one of the safest campuses in the United States. Serious about making a difference, La Sierra students and faculty ask more questions, seek more understanding through research and knowledge creation, and apply the knowledge learned in the world.

The MBA in Global Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Technology is among the newest programs at La Sierra's Zapara School of Business and is customized specifically for Indian students, taking the best ideas to be executed in the Indian marketplace. It draws on the School's globally-connected faculty and business partnerships around the world and is designed to provide new and recent university graduates interested in being job-creators
with the knowledge and skills to create and launch scalable companies. Following the completion of MBA coursework, students will apply their knowledge in a 12-month business incubation practicum in India where they will develop and launch high-value, scalable technology-based new ventures under the guidance of mentors, who are experienced, successful entrepreneurs. Viable ventures will also receive initial seed funding.

"Designed to expand the entrepreneurial infrastructure in India, the customized program in Global Entrepreneurship offered by La Sierra University guides students into becoming job-creators, rather than job-seekers"


Joy A. Fehr, President

"Very few institutions offer this kind of program that provides a combination of entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology in a values-based education model," says Dr. John Thomas, Dean of the Zapara School of Business. "This program intentionally builds on integrity, honesty, and ethical behavior while focusing on sustainability and concern for the world and the environment," Thomas adds. La Sierra University believes that diversity of thought and ideas means more creativity, innovation, and points of view, making for more-informed thinking and better problem-solving. The values-based campus culture and caring community provide an environment in which students from around the world feel welcome and safe. The university's Office of International Student Services also provides a very helpful, in-depth orientation at the beginning of each term, and offers a variety of other services including peer-to-peer mentorship and special activities that foster global perspectives, intercultural awareness, and international goodwill.

Distinctive Expertise and Experience
Designed to expand the entrepreneurial infrastructure in India, the customized program in Global Entrepreneurship offered by La Sierra University guides students into becoming job-creators, rather than job-seekers ­ young business people who will create jobs that will help their local communities in India, grow and thrive for years to come, while securing entrepreneurial careers for themselves. As such, the program does not place students into internships or jobs in the U.S., but rather helps them launch new businesses back
home in India.

The new Zapara School of Business building of the university was named the 'Most Beautiful Business School' on the website 'topmanagementdegrees.com' when it opened in 2013. The 60,000 square-foot building features innovative classroom design with premier quality furniture, a 385-seat Troesh Conference Center, WiFi connectivity throughout the campus, a state-of-the-art finance/computer lab that features software including SPSS, as well as near real-time financial data, and an innovation/maker lab with rapid prototyping on military-grade 3D printers and CAD technology.

Being among the lowest-priced private schools of comparable type in southern California ­ especially for international students who often pay much higher rates ­ La Sierra University is one of the best values for the money, particularly when considering the remarkable twelve months of personalized entrepreneurial mentoring following the completion of classes.

Now, nearly a century after its inception, La Sierra University serves approximately 2400 students annually and promises its students that it will welcome, challenge, and stimulate you, respond rapidly and flexibly to your needs and concerns, expand your intellectual world, sharpen your skills, and steer you towards exciting opportunities to improve the world around you.

John Thomas, Dean
John Thomas is Dean and Bashir Hasso Professor of Entrepreneurship and Political Economy at La Sierra University's Zapara School of Business. He is the author or co-author of over twenty articles and two books. He is a serial entrepreneur who has been actively involved in the development of a range of entrepreneurial start-ups, focusing on the biotech and technology world. He also serves on numerous for-profit and nonprofit boards, and is known for his global network of business relationships.

Joy A. Fehr, President
Joy began serving as La Sierra University's fourth president on July 1, 2019. In her previous role as provost of La Sierra, Dr. Fehr created the Senior Leadership Team of academic leaders and university executives that has created the perfect future road map of the company.