We are so excited to announce that we have received $4 million in appropriated funds from the Florida Legislature in order to fund the construction and launch of a private Christian early childhood learning center and preschool for children ages zero to four.
“As a university, we are beyond excited to be able to offer a quality learning experience for children and families of our staff, faculty, and the greater Lakeland community,” said SEU President Dr. Kent Ingle. “This will be a stepping stone for us as we strive to expand our reach in providing education that is both affordable and accessible.”
About the Early Learning and Preschool Programs
The learning center and preschool will be rooted in classical education, focusing on milestone and routine-based learning that encourages natural and outdoor play and classically guided exploration. With two-, three-, and five-day options available for parents, the preschool program will offer holistic development for children.
SEU is aiming to break ground on the project in the fall of 2024.
“Southeastern is partnering with individuals and businesses in the community to provide a top-rate private educational option to current and future Polk County residents. SEU’s early learning and preschool programs will be an option for families seeking excellence in education with an emphasis on logic, leadership, and service with a Christian worldview,” emphasized Chief Advancement Officer Julie Paul.
Students from SEU’s College of Education will have the opportunity to work in the learning center and preschool, gaining hands-on experience.
Ingle remarked, “Our students will receive training in multiple aspects of early childhood learning and development, ultimately allowing us to continue to produce highly-skilled graduates ready to enter the workforce and serve the Polk County community.”
Life Skills House Project
In addition to the funds approved for the early learning center and preschool, the university also received $500,000 in order to fund the Pathways: Life Skills House project. The Pathways School of Excellence is SEU’s middle school and high school program for students with special needs. The purpose of the Life Skills House is to increase opportunities for Pathways students to learn functional living skills and grow their competitive employability.
The project will provide a house on campus where students can learn these skills and apply them in an environment similar to the real world. Students will be able to generalize the skills that they learn in the classroom and within the housing space and use those to participate in various jobs across the university’s campus.
We are sincerely grateful to Governor Ron DeSantis, Senator Doug Broxson, Senator Colleen Burton, and Representative Jennifer Canady for their dedicated support of these initiatives.