If you live in north Florida and are looking to earn a college degree in a smaller environment with one-on-one support from faculty and staff, Saint Leo University's Lake City Education Center just might be the best fit for your educational goals.

We recently caught up with Lake City Education Center director Jessica Markham to discuss everything about what this unique location has to offer.

Q: Where is Saint Leo's Lake City Education Center located?

A: Our center is located on the Florida Gateway College campus at:

149 SE College Place, Building 101
Lake City, FL 32025

We rent out a small building on their campus for our administration office.

I should mention that Gainesville is the largest city we are closest to, which is about a 40-minute drive from here.

Q: What is it like sharing space with another school?

A: There are several benefits to having us share space with Florida Gateway College. We get to use some of their classrooms to hold our on-ground classes. Plus, students have full access to the library and restaurant on campus.

Q: How long has Saint Leo University had a presence in the Lake City, FL area?

A: We first opened a center in Lake City in 1996. We have had a presence here ever since.

Q: Which academic programs are available for students to take at this center?

A: We offer a wide selection of bachelor's degree programs. These include:

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

- Accounting

- Criminal Justice

- Criminal Justice (Criminalistics)

- Criminal Justice (Homeland Security)

- Human Resource Management

- Human Services

- Elementary Education (K-6)

- Business Administration (Logistics)

- Business Administration (Management)

- Business Administration (Marketing)

- Psychology

- Psychology (Clinical/Counseling)

- Psychology (Developmental)

Bachelor of Science (BS)

- Health Care Administration

Q: When are classes held at the Lake City Education Center?

A: All of our classes are offered between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday evenings. These times make it very convenient for working adults to come to our center after work and earn a degree that won't interfere with their work schedules.

Q: What are the students like at your location?

A: Compared to other Saint Leo University Education Centers, our students tend to skew younger. I'd say the average age is about 22, and most are female. We have a great overall mix of ages and also some military veterans.

Q: What are the faculty like?

A: We currently have one full-time faculty member who teaches in our education program. We have a few adjunct instructors who teach across our other programs.

Q: Who are your staff members?

A: We have a small team here. Along with myself, we have Maelyn Babinec, our assistant academic advisor, and Breanna Black, who is an assistant academic advisor and our school certifying official.

Q: In general terms, why should prospective students seriously consider attending the Lake City Education Center for their higher education?

A: The biggest benefit of our center is the one-on-one support students receive. This starts with the application process. We walk all students through their application and then make sure they choose the appropriate classes that are conducive to their schedules. We make it a point to get to know our students on a personal level so that they always feel comfortable.

Plus, we try to group students together so they can get to know each other and support each other as they go through their programs. Having small classes of usually no more than 10 students makes this a great way to do this.

Finally, I'd say the fact that we serve a rural community is convenient for many students who would otherwise have to drive a distance to get to other schools.

Q: How can a prospective student find out more information about Saint Leo University's Lake City Education Center?

A: You can call our center at 386-752-6866. You can also e-mail us at lakecity@saintleo.edu.

Finally, feel free to visit the Lake City Education Center webpage and the center's Facebook page.