Saint Leo University's Savannah Education Center is settling into its new home at 325 West Montgomery Cross Road, Savannah, GA 31406. A grand opening ceremony was held October 18 to officially welcome the community and celebrate the center's new location.

The university has served the Savannah community since 1975, when it began offering classes at Hunter Army Airfield (HAAF) and Fort Stewart. It continues to deliver strong academic programs, one-on-one attention, and support services for students.

Saint Leo University's Savannah Education Center is 14,900 square feet. It features 13 classrooms; a "cyber bar;" Learning Resource Center; computer lab; student study room; and student lounge. In addition, the center boasts the university's third Military Resource Center for student-veterans and military-related students.

The Savannah-area community was welcomed by Saint Leo administration, including President Jeffrey D. Senese; Senior Vice President of Saint Leo WorldWide Operations Melanie Storms; Vice President of Business Affairs and CFO John Nisbet; Associate Vice President of Student Services Shadel Hamilton; and Assistant Vice President for Saint Leo Worldwide Central Region Candis Whitfield.

Bishop Emeritus J. Kevin Boland of the Diocese of Savannah blessed the facility and all who study and work there.

 "We hope to grow enrollment to continue to expand the reach of the Savannah Center, and also provide more of a campus feel for our students," said Savannah Education Center Director Stephanie Stinski, who also is a Saint Leo alumna. "We hope that our students feel more at home in this location as we are able to offer the students more space outside of the classrooms with the Study Room, larger computer lab, and cyber bar as well as a spacious student lounge that is just for them."

So just what is a "cyber bar?" "The cyber bar is a space for our students that provides computers with more desk space than what our computer lab tables have," Stinski explained. This provides more space for students to have their books and notes out while they work on research, paper writing, or working in their D2L courses."

Since Saint Leo's Savannah Education Center started out on the local military bases, the university has maintained a strong connection with the military personnel in the Savannah area. "We have many veterans and active duty members as well as their family who attend the center, so the MRC [Military Resource Centers] gives those individuals a space that is dedicated o  them as a way to say 'thank you' for their service," Stinksi said.

Saint Leo's core values are displayed throughout the building. But they are not just words on a wall—the Savannah Education Center is collecting personal care items for the Salvation Army homeless shelter through Wednesday, October 24, as part of Saint Leo Serves. 

A team of volunteers from Saint Leo University-Savannah will put together personal care bags and deliver them as well as serve breakfast at the shelter on October 27, National Make a Difference Day.

"The new center offers spaces that we didn't have before," Stinski said. "The student study room provides space for study groups to get together to work on projects, or for individual students who need space to review their research or prepare a presentation. We also have an outdoor patio for students to enjoy while they are on a break or are waiting for their next class to begin. The new center provides more classrooms that hold fewer students so students are getting more one-on-one interaction in the classroom, instead of being in large classes that could make that difficult. Instructors are able to do more group activities with the smaller class sizes, and give more one-on-one attention to the students."

The Savannah location offers associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees. Associate degrees are offered in liberal arts, business administration, and criminal justice.

Bachelor's degrees include accounting, business administration-logistics; business administration-management; criminal justice; criminal justice-criminalistics; criminal justice-homeland security; human resource management; human services; psychology-clinical/counseling; psychology-developmental; psychology-general; religion; computer information systems; and health care administration.

Master's degrees are offered in human services administration; criminal justice; and business administration (MBA).

Evening and online classes make it easy for busy professionals or members of the military to further their education, Stinski said. Registration is taking place for the Spring 1 Semester, which begins January 7.

For more information, email or calling (912) 352-8331.