MAYFIELD, Ky. (Oct. 23, 2018) – Sullivan University, one of Kentucky’s leading providers of education programs and work skills training, has announced plans to open a Center for Learning in Mayfield, Graves County, bringing a post-secondary institution to this West Kentucky community.
The Sullivan University Mayfield Center for Learning, located at 1102 Paris Road, Unit 15A, in Mayfield, and is set to open early 2019. It will not only provide education opportunities, but also professional skills training and programs for workers and employers, said David Keene, Sullivan University’s Vice President-Community Partnerships.
“Sullivan University coming to Mayfield is a blessing,” said Graves County Judge-executive Jesse Perry. “We had another school here that closed a couple of years ago, so we really have the need for a school that our community can call its own.
“Sullivan is not just filling a gap,” Judge Perry said, “but also planting a seed for many years to come so that now and in the future, our community will have more options for an accessible, affordable higher education.”
The launch of the Graves County Center for Learning continues Sullivan’s growth and expansion strategy. The school – which is based in Louisville – has recently opened Centers for Learning in Louisa in Eastern Kentucky and Carlisle in Central Kentucky. Sullivan also operates a campus in Lexington and an extension facility in Fort Knox.
“Sullivan University has always had the practice of meeting the students where they are,” Keene said. “By opening the Sullivan University Center for Learning in Mayfield, students in Graves County as well as surrounding counties will have the opportunity to take some classes in a face-to-face setting, utilize the center for computer or internet access, or just to have a quiet place to do their work, but closer to home.
“Sullivan’s approach to offering it model for a Center for Learning provides a means of education that is somewhat rare in the education world,” Keene said. “When the population being served is somewhat small, the reduced expenses of a Center for Learning can be a means to bring post-secondary education to a region that other institutions cannot replicate.”
Sullivan University will offer a diverse range of courses that are not available through other local schools, said Graves County Economic Development President Ryan Drane.
“The Center of Learning will provide students with a location and resources that would typically be unavailable to those taking online classes,” Drane said. “This will enrich their learning experience while still providing the flexibility that an online curriculum creates.
“The addition of Sullivan to our existing educational offerings will provide our citizens the ability to specialize in a variety of fields,” he said. “This will, in turn, make them more marketable to companies as they enter the workforce.”
Sullivan has the expertise and experience to assist the county with developing the skills, knowledge and education level of the workforce in the region, Keene said.
“Graves County and surrounding counties are like many other areas throughout Kentucky and the entire nation,” Keene said. “Job growth is increasing, unemployment is declining, but employers still struggle to find the skilled employees they need to fill the vacancies they have. Graves County is without a four year post-secondary university and other post-secondary offerings are limited. The nearest institutions available to the citizens in region are not what could be considered an easy commute for working adults.
“A better educated workforce will assist current employers with their needs, help attract new employers and investment in the community and likely create a higher wage base, which in turns generates tax revenue for local services,” he said.
Graves County Judge-executive Jesse Perry learned about Sullivan University after hearing Allen Rose, Sullivan University’s former vice president of business and governmental affairs, speak at an economic development conference. Judge Perry contacted Mr. Rose to begin the conversation of bringing Sullivan University to Graves County.
“I grew up close to Louisville and have had had several family members take courses and graduate from Sullivan,” Drane said. “They have a great reputation in that part of the state and we are excited to showcase their offerings in West Kentucky.”
Sullivan will initially hire two-part time employees to operate the center in addition to the faculty needed to teach onsite classes. As interest and enrollment in the Center grows, additional employees and/or faculty may be hired or offered full-time positions.
“A Center for Learning will provide the citizens of Graves County the opportunity to pursue a post-secondary education, improve their opportunities for employment or better employment, and will assist the employers of the region with a better workforce,” Keene said. “In addition, many studies have proven that more educated populations improves the quality of life in many ways for region, including reduced crime and higher tax revenues.”
Judge Perry said attracting Sullivan to Mayfield was a “total team effort” that included assistance and support from The Graves County Fiscal Court; Mayfield Mayor Teresa Rochetti-Cantrell and the Mayfield City Council; Graves County Economic Development President Ryan Drane; and Brent Schultz of Mayfield Electric & Water Systems.
In addition to receiving assistance and support from Graves County, CEB Investments is providing affordable rent and assistance with remodeling costs on the Center’s building. CEB owns the building where the Center is locating.
“Sullivan University wishes to thank Graves County Judge Executive Jesse Perry with his assistance and patience as this project has developed,” Keene said. “He worked tirelessly in introducing the Sullivan staff to key people within the community and helping the University locate a suitable facility. The support and involvement of Ryan Drane was critical for the success of the project. And we also want to thank Chris Burnett and Jamie McKnight of CEB Investments for their invaluable assistance.”
About Sullivan University
Sullivan University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees.