Unless you follow higher education very closely, you may not know that the Charlton College of Business on the UMass Dartmouth campus is one of the top business colleges in the nation.

The latest rankings from U.S News and World Report place Charlton in the top 28 percent of undergraduate business programs in the country.

Dr. John Williams, dean of the business college, joined Townsquare Sunday this week to discuss some of the reasons behind its success.

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Williams said those rankings and other factors have led to a dramatic increase in freshman enrollment in the business program; enrollment is up 33 percent over the last year.

Williams said undergraduate students are placed in the business school's Career Coaching Center early on.

"We know if we can start to educate them on the difference of the many positions in different industries, the better off we are," he said. "We do that with panel discussions with industry, workshops and providing lists of internship opportunities. The students are able to decide in a shorter period of time what motivates them, and what they like."

Williams said students seem to be most attracted to cutting edge programs like technology management and business analytics – skills that are in demand in business today.

Another reason for increased enrollment is the college's impressive job placement rate.

"We've been for the last few years at 97 percent placement so we're thrilled with that," Williams said. "Right now for public institutions in Massachusetts, we are number two behind UMass Amherst."

The business college has also started a new project, funded in part by One Southcoast Chamber, gathering data on tourists visits to New Bedford and Fall River.

The complete Townsquare Sunday interview with Dr. John Williams can be heard here:

Townsquare Sunday is a weekly public affairs program heard Sunday mornings at 6 a.m. on 1420 AM and 99.5 FM.

The program highlights individuals and organizations seeking to make the SouthCoast a better place to live and work.

If you would like your organization featured on Townsquare Sunday, please e-mail the host at jim.phillips@townsquaremedia.com.

Inside New Bedford's Capitol Theater

New Bedford's long-dormant Capitol Theater is set to undergo a $6 million restoration project that will convert the former movie house into a mixed-use facility. Here's how it looks today.

WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.

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