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Saint Leo University To Close Lakeland Center, Announces Reopening Plan For Pasco Campus

Saint Leo is the oldest Catholic university in Florida. Its main campus is located 30 miles north of Tampa.
Saint Leo University
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

is closing its satellite location in Lakeland.  

The private Catholic university is based in Pasco County and operates remote locations in seven states.  Lakeland is one of 17  facilities slated to close over the next few months.

In a press release, the university cited enrollment trends and the coronavirus pandemic as reasons for shuttering more than half of its satellite locations. 

At the start of the spring 2020 term, the university had approximately 70 students at its Lakeland Education Center. Students currently enrolled can continue to take their courses online.

“We understand this move may be hard for some of our students, but we will work through it with them together,” said Melanie Storms, senior vice president at Saint Leo University. “Our staff will discuss solutions to help students continue their educational journey. Our goal is to see all of our students earn their degrees, and we sincerely hope that will be at Saint Leo.”

On its website, the university recently announced a preliminary plan for reopening its main campus north of Wesley Chapel. The school plans to reopen all in-person classes on schedule in August.

However, due to concerns over the coronavirus and travel, following the Thanksgiving holiday break, all courses will resume online for the last two weeks of the term. 

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Cathy Carter is the education reporter for WUSF 89.7 and StateImpact Florida.