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Saint Leo Learning

Diving into Saint Leo’s Lakeland Education Center

Are you looking to earn an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in central Florida? One of the many locations Saint Leo University maintains in the Sunshine State is the Lakeland Education Center.

We recently caught up with Brooke Paquette, the center director, to find out about everything this Saint Leo University location offers.

Q: Where is Saint Leo’s Lakeland Education Center located?

A: The address for our center is:

315 Grenada St.
Lakeland, FL 33805

We are located inside PEAK Worship, which is a local church. We are right across the street from the post office and right behind TigerTown, the spring training complex of the Detroit Tigers.

We originally partnered with Sykes Enterprises and held classes at their facility. We moved to this location about a year and a half ago.

We have two small classrooms that each fit about six to eight students in them, so it makes for an intimate learning environment.

photo of a classroom at Sykes Enterprises showing a class put on by Saint Leo University's Lakeland Education Center in Lakeland, FLQ: Which academic programs are offered at this location?

A: We offer the following academic programs:

Associate of Arts (AA)

  • Business Administration
  • Criminal Justice
  • Liberal Arts

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

  • Accounting
  • Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Justice (Criminalistics)
  • Criminal Justice (Homeland Security)
  • Business Administration (Management)
  • Psychology
  • Psychology (Clinical/Counseling)
  • Psychology (Developmental)
  • Psychology (Experimental)

Bachelor of Science (BS)

  • Health Care Administration

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

  • Business Administration

Master of Science (MS)

  • Criminal Justice

In addition to these degree programs, we also participate in Saint Leo FLEX. This option allows students to enroll through the Lakeland Education Center into one of our many online programs, but it also gives them full access to use our center for face-to-face meetings, study space, free Wi-Fi, and in general makes students feel like they are connected to a real brick-and-mortar university.

Q: When are classes offered at Saint Leo’s Lakeland Education Center?

A: Our classes are mainly offered during the week in the evening. However, we do offer courses in our master’s in criminal justice program on Saturday afternoons each term.

Q: What are the students like at this location?

A: Most of our students are adult learners, many of whom are just entering college for the first time to earn an associate degree. Once we get the students into some electives, they can start to figure out what they’re interested in pursuing in terms of a bachelor’s degree.

Brooke Paquette, director of Saint Leo University's Lakeland Education Center, and Tiffany Anderson, an assistant academic advisor, speaking in their office with a new studentQ: Who are the staff members at the center?

A: Aside from myself (Brooke Paquette, the center director), I work with Tiffany Anderson. She is an assistant academic advisor who can advise students on our courses and programs to ensure they have the best chance of success in their educational goals.

Q: What else does the Lakeland Education Center offer?

A: I should mention that I have VA certification and can assist military veterans with their tuition benefits. I’m also a proud Navy veteran. We do get some vets who retire from MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa who wind up moving to the Lakeland area and attend our center to earn their degree.

Plus, I’m a member of the Polk Vision workforce board and have some connections with the Lakeland and Winter Haven chambers of commerce. These relationships can help our students find job opportunities in the area.

We have 10 laptops that students can use. We also offer a lending library for textbooks. Students can donate their textbooks that they no longer need, and future students can check them out for free each semester and then return them when they’re done using them. With the cost of some textbooks, this can offer a huge amount of savings for students.

We also have a coffee station with a Keurig machine for students to use.

Q: What types of events does the center have throughout the year?

A: We collaborate with the church on several events throughout the year. We do food drives where we put together boxes of food for low-income and homeless individuals in the area. We also do clothing drives and various events at the holidays.

Q: What are the main benefits of attending Saint Leo’s Lakeland Education Center?

A: The biggest benefit for students is the one-on-one attention they get from instructors and staff. Even compared to some of our other Education Centers, we might have the smallest class sizes and the best learning environment for students because of how low the student-teacher ratio is.

Q: How can prospective students find out more about this center?

A: You can contact myself directly at brooke.paquette@saintleo.edu. You can also call our center at 863.337.4900.

Also, check out the Lakeland Education Center webpage and Facebook page for more details.

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