Southeast/South-Central Educational Cooperative was first established in 1990 as a part of the community outreach program of Eastern Kentucky University. After many years of successful partnership, SESC became an independent entity separate from the university on July 1, 2013.
SESC is a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit service agency that provides professional learning and support services to 26 public school districts located in the southeast/south-central region of Kentucky. (These districts include Richmond Model, which operates under the authority of Eastern Kentucky University.) The districts are assigned to SESC by the Kentucky Department of Education to receive these services for their special education programs. Twenty-three of these districts also elect to receive professional learning services from SESC for their general education programs and pay membership fees based on their enrollment. The 23-member Board of Directors is composed of the superintendents of these districts, along with representatives from three colleges/universities from the SESC service region who have also chosen to be members of the cooperative.
According to the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC),16 of the counties in which SESC districts are located are classified as being within the Appalachian region. SESC serves more than 5,300 teachers in 178 schools spread over approximately 6,500 square miles. There are approximately 81,000 students in SESC-member schools, of which 70% participate in the federal Free/Reduced Lunch Program.
Southeast/South-Central’s staff includes Executive Director, L. Kay Dixon, staff also consists of a Regional Director of Special Education and a Professional Learning Coordinator, each of whom have extended years of experience in similar positions in school districts, and multiple consultants with many years of classroom, administrative, and consulting experience. Office and business staff includes a Business/Accounting Manager and Staff Support Secretary.