New Education Center to Open at Workplace

May 16, 2013

Saint Leo University President Arthur F. Kirk, Jr. (left), and SYKES Enterprises President and CEO Chuck Sykes (right) signed an agreement Monday, May 13, paving the way for Saint Leo to open an education center with classroom and advising space at the SYKES contact center at 1044 Griffin Road in Lakeland, FL, near Interstate 4 (Exit 32). Lakeland is about 28 miles southeast of University Campus.

This arrangement will make college degree programs available to the SYKES workforce onsite, as well as to local Lakeland residents who are invited to enroll at the center. Students will be able to pursue associate or bachelor’s degrees. Associate degrees will be available in liberal arts, business administration, and criminal justice. Bachelor’s degrees will be available in business administration, psychology, criminal justice, and health care administration.

SYKES executives cited a desire to offer employees and Lakeland community residents educational opportunities with the aims of investing in the workforce and assisting the local economy. “This is an opportunity to really grab hold of life skills,” SYKES President and CEO Chuck Sykes told a group of assembled employees and guests. He recalled that his own very successful father had told him that education is important because it cannot be taken away from a person when hard times fall.

Dr. Kirk told the audience that a majority of Saint Leo’s students are adult learners who come to education centers or to the Center for Online Learning. An adult learner is likely to be 37 years old, on average, he said. Although the burdens of work and school are difficult, an education is worthwhile, he encouraged them.

The director of the Lakeland Education Center for Saint Leo is Edward Steele (shown in photo), an alumnus who attained his degrees as an adult, following service in the U.S. Navy. For further information, call (352) 588-7388.