Aug 20, 2019  
Catalog/Handbook 2011-2012 
    
Catalog/Handbook 2011-2012 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Admission, Advising, Registration, and Records


 

Student Services

Student Services exists to serve and support the academic purpose of the College and its students through outstanding personalized services.

General Conditions for Admittance

Polk State College maintains an open-door policy for admission to the College. Prospective students with qualifying high school diplomas or an equivalency are eligible to apply. Generally qualifying documents are standard high school diplomas, General Education Development (GED) diplomas, and college placement test-eligible certificates of completion. For information on other completion codes on high school diplomas, students should contact the Registrar’s Office. Home-schooled students who have met the school attendance policy as defined in Florida Statute 1002.41 and have completed all curriculum requirements for graduation as defined by Florida Statute 1003.43, must also submit a completed Home School Affidavit with a transcript of the student's high school coursework in lieu of a high school transcript indicating the diploma type or a GED transcript.

Students can apply for admission at any time and may begin taking courses in the fall, spring, or summer sessions. Correspondence concerning admissions, student records, or registration may be addressed to:

Admission and Registrar’s Office
Polk State College
999 Avenue H NE
Winter Haven, FL 33881-4299

Prior to registering for courses, a student must have the following on file in the Admission and Registrar’s Office: a completed Polk State College Admission Application (this can be submitted online at www.polk.edu), an official high school transcript (or GED transcript, or Home School Affidavit with transcript), all placement test results if required, official transcripts of all previous college work, and an Affidavit of Residency. Official transcripts must be sent directly to the Admission and Registrar’s Office. Transfer and baccalaureate students should submit all requirements six weeks before the start of the term in which they expect to attend classes.

Determination of placement in courses and the necessity of prerequisite classes are based on scores earned on the SAT and/or ACT (these must be less than two years old), or on a college placement test administered at Polk State College, and/or on previous college course work.

High School Transcripts

Polk State College accepts high school diplomas that meet any of the following criteria:

1.      All public high schools within the U.S. or U.S. territories
2.      Previously validated private high schools within your district
3.      Regionally accredited high schools
4.      High schools accredited by the Distant Education and Traning Council (DETC)
5.      All state and military-issued Genderal Education Diplomans (G.E.D’s)
6.      Foreign High School transcripts evaluated by a NACES affiliate as equivalent to a standard high school diploma

All other diploma must be validated.  Students are expected to participate in the collection of the required documentation so that the College can make an informed decision on the validity of the student's diploma and the diploma-granting institution.  Institutions that are not registered with a department of education  from a U.S. state or U.S. territory are automatically denied.  Institutions that only offer an exam for diploma are also automatically denied.

 General Admission Procedure

General admission for the Bachelor of Applied Science, Bachelor of Nursing, Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, and Associate in Applied Science degree programs; Advanced Technical Certificate, College Credit Certificate, or Applied Technology diploma programs; and non-degree seeking students are as follows:

Applications for admission are processed year round; however, to complete all admission requirements and be well prepared for course registration, prospective students should apply at least six weeks before the start of the term in which they expect to attend classes.

Students may apply for admission online at www.polk.edu. Students should read the information online under the Admission links and download the Registration Guide that gives step-by-step instructions for the admission process. Students may also apply in person at any campus or center. 

There is no application fee to apply for admission to Polk State College. Applicants are notified of their application status by their primary e-mail account and their newly assigned Polk State College institutional e-mail account at my.polk.edu. All forms, transcripts, and residency documentation may be submitted in person to one of the following campuses: Winter Haven, Lakeland, or JD Alexander/Lake Wales.

  • The Affidavit of Residency must be completed with two valid proofs of Florida residency, according to Florida Residency for Tuition Guidelines found at www.facts.org.
     
  • The Home School Affidavit with accompanying transcript can be submitted in person or by mail. 
     
  • It is the student’s responsibility to request that official transcripts be sent directly to the Admission and Registrar’s Office from a high school or state GED office and from all colleges attended. Students may be admitted without official transcripts, but may not be placed into college-level courses until official transcripts have been received and evaluated.
     
  • First-time-in-college and new Polk State College degree-seeking applicants are registered for an Orientation class once the application is submitted online along with a detailed admission letter with admission procedures. The applicant's admission letter is also sent to the personal e-mail address entered on the application. The letter is used as a testing ticket for those required to take college placement tests. Testing is available on the following campuses: Winter Haven, Lakeland, or JD Alexander/Lake Wales. Based on test results, students are placed into appropriate level courses in English, reading, and mathematics. Testing, if required, must be done prior to the scheduled Orientation. Transfer students may be exempt from the testing requirement. An admission guide is available in the Admission and Registrar's Office with many details about admission.
     
  • Students whose first language is not English must provide documentation of English proficiency. The International and Visa Student section of the catalog provides more details regarding this requirement.
     
  • It is highly recommended that all students complete academic advising prior to registration, which is done during Orientation for new students. No appointment is required to see an advisor. The Advising Services section of the catalog lists the hours of operation.
  • Students should attend the Polk State College Orientation for an introduction to College resources, for
    interpretation of college placement test scores, for assistance in developing a personalized educational plan, and to learn how to search and register for classes online.
    Students are registered for an orientation session after completing an application.
    There is no cost for the Orientation.

 

  • Students should consult the College website for important registration dates.
     

For additional information, students should visit the Polk State College website at www.polk.edu.

First-Time-in-College Students

Admission may be granted to those who have:

  • Graduated with a standard high school diploma or International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma from a secondary school, including Florida public and private schools and out-of-state schools, in accordance with Florida statutes.
     
  • Earned a General Education Development (GED) diploma through any state Department of Education or the military, as long as the test was administered in the English language.
     
  • Completed a Home Education Program pursuant to the requirement of Florida Statutes 1002.41 and 1003.43. The student must submit a Home School Affidavit signed by a parent or legal guardian. A transcript of the student's coursework in high school is also requested. 

Some additional high school diplomas qualify for college admission under the Florida state guidelines. For information on other high school diploma completion codes, students may contact the Admission and Registrar’s Office at 863-297-1000.

Transfer Students

A transfer student is one who has attended any post-secondary institution. Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions are required regardless of the dates of attendance, the institution's accreditation, or the institution's location.

Students who have previously attended a college or university accredited by one of the six regional accrediting associations, or whose non-regionally accredited transfer work has met the rigors of course-by-course evaluation, may be admitted under the following conditions:

  • The high school diploma requirement may be waived, provided a Polk State College transcript evaluation determines that the student has completed a minimum of 12 academic credits with an overall grade point average of 2.0.
     
  • Students enter Polk State College with the equivalent academic status they held at the transferring institution. Students with a warning or probationary status hold this status at Polk State College. Students on academic suspension or dismissal are not admitted during the term immediately following the imposition of the academic suspension or dismissal status.
     
  • Degree-seeking students receive an evaluation of transfer credits once all admission requirements have been met. Students can access the completed evaluation in their PASSPORT accounts. Details regarding transfer practices can be found in the Transfer of Credit to Polk State College section of the catalog.
     
  • It is the student’s responsibility to assure that transcripts from other colleges are sent directly to Polk State College’s Admission and Registrar's Office to complete admission requirements. If transcripts have not arrived by the registration date of the student’s second term, the student is then prohibited from any further registration. 

Transient Students

A transient student is one who is attending another college or university, but who wishes to earn credits at Polk State College to fulfill degree requirements at his or her home institution.  The student must meet the following requirements for enrollment:

  • Submission of an Official Transient Form or statement from the home institution, certifying good standing and indicating the particular courses to be taken. If the student is from an in-state or participating private institution, the transient request must be submitted through www.facts.org; this submission acts as the student's application.
  • Submission of an online application at www.polk.edu if the home institution does not participate in the electronic transient request process through facts.org
  • Selection of the appropriate courses that the home institution accepts toward the program of study.
     
  • Submission of a request for an official Polk State College transcript to be sent to the home institution at the end of the term.

Polk State College students wishing to attend other colleges as transient students must:

  • Have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0.
     
  • Have met any prerequisites for the desired courses.
     
  • Be in good academic and financial standing with the College.
     
  • Have attended courses during the term immediately preceding the transient request term.
     
  • Take courses that meet requirements for the student’s degree program.
     
  • Not be on the third attempt of a course.  Third attempts are not approved for transient status. 
     
  • Complete a Transient Form 2 weeks prior to registration through www.facts.org. If the student is attending a private institution that does not participate in the electronic transient process, the student should meet with a Polk State College academic advisor.
  • Request that the college where courses are to be taken send an official transcript to the Polk State College Admission and Registrar's Office immediately after grades are posted at the end of the term.

Readmission to Polk State College

A student maintains an active application status, provided that a break in enrollment does not exceed one year. Students returning after an absence of one or more Academic Years, and those students who applied but did not attend within one or more academic years, must:

  • Complete an Application for Readmission online.
     
  • Submit transcripts from all colleges or universities attended since last attending or applying to Polk State College.
     
  • Retake a college placement test if it has been more than two (2) years. (This requirement is for those who have not completed a college-level English and/or a college-level math course with an overall grade point average of 2.0.)
     
  • Submit high school transcripts and all previous college transcripts, including those previously submitted if returning after a five (5) year or more absence.
     
  • Meet the graduation requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of readmission.

Currently attending students changing from a non-degree to degree-seeking program status must submit any required documents previously not submitted (e.g., official transcripts and other requirements) to the Admission and Registrar’s Office to become eligible as a degree-seeking student. 


 Early Admission and Dual Enrollment Programs

Polk State College provides accelerated opportunities to academically talented students from all Polk County public secondary schools and many area private high schools. Home-schooled students are also eligible to participate. The application process begins with the high school counselor.  Home-schooled students must complete the Home School Dual Enrollment Application Packet.

For more information, students should contact the Dual Enrollment Coordinator on the Winter Haven Campus at 863-292-3758 or the Dual Enrollment Coordinator on the Lakeland Campus at 863-669-2822 or e-mail: dualenrollment@polk.edu.  Information packets are available from high school guidance offices and the advising areas on each PSC campus, or they may be downloaded from the website at www.polk.edu.

Acceleration is available to high school students through two dual enrollment programs: Full-time Early Admission and Dual Enrollment.

  • Full-Time Early Admission:
    Full-time early admission can be a suitable choice for high school seniors with the social maturity and academic motivation needed to succeed in a college environment. A student seeking full-time early admission must be a high school senior, have an unweighted grade point average of 3.2 or higher for all courses completed in grades 9 through 11, must have earned a grade of B or better in either Algebra II or a higher-level math course, and must have completed at least 18 high school credits to qualify for enrollment. Full-Time Early Admission candidates are required to have passing scores on all sections of the FCAT, complete and pass all sections of a college placement test (P.E.R.T., CPT, SAT or ACT), register and successfully, complete 12 or more credit hours per semester, and maintain a 2.0 or higher grade point average at Polk State College.
  • Dual Enrollment:
    Dual enrollment is available to high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors who meet the minimum qualifications. Requirements to qualify for dual enrollment are based on the number of credit hours in which the student wishes to enroll per semester.
     

1 to 7 credits – For students wishing to enroll in one to seven college credits, the College requires a 3.0 minimum unweighted high school grade point average for AA degree programs and 2.5 for AS, AAS, and certificate programs. The GPA stipulation applies to all courses up through the end of the previous semester. Additionally, the College requires the student to achieve a passing score on the sections of a college placement test (P.E.R.T., CPT, SAT or ACT) that are relevant to the courses in which the student wishes to enroll. Sophomores may qualify for one course per semester, and high school juniors may take up to two courses per semester.
 

8 to 11 credits – For students wishing to enroll in eight to eleven college credits, the College requires a 3.2 minimum unweighted high school grade point average for AA degree programs and 2.5 for AS, AAS, and certificate programs. The GPA stipulation applies to all courses up through the end of the previous semester. Additionally, a grade of B or better is required in either Algebra II or a higher-level mathematics course. Students must also achieve a passing score on all sections of the FCAT, and a passing score on all sections of a college placement test (P.E.R.T., CPT, SAT or ACT).

Seniors may take up to 11 credit hours per semester, depending on the college placement test results and their high school GPA. For dual enrollment purposes, high school students transition from sophomore to junior, and junior to senior, on August 1 of each year.

Tuition and fees for approved dual enrollment courses are waived by the College. Textbooks are provided to public school students by the Polk County School Board. Students attending private schools or those who are home schooled are responsible for their own textbooks and supplies. Dual-enrollment courses may be taken in a variety of ways: on a Polk State College campus, at a high school in a class taught by a PSC-approved instructor, or via the Internet through Polk State College’s distance learning website (PAL). Courses may be taken as part of a student's regular high school curriculum or in addition to the high school load. Students are required to maintain a 2.0 college GPA and a 3.0 unweighted high school GPA to remain eligible for dual enrollment.

If a student withdraws from a course after the drop/add period is over, he/she receives a grade of W on the college transcript; this does count as the student's first attempt in a course. A student may attempt a course two times as a dual enrollment student; the third attempt and any subsequent attempts at the same class must be approved by the College’s Campus Dean of Student Services and the Polk County School Board. If approved, the expense is the responsibility of the student. Students are advised that multiple attempts may adversely affect their future academic opportunities, admission status at their intended college or university, and the cost of tuition. The information above reflects the rules and regulations in effect at the time of publication. Polk State College reserves the right to make changes as necessary to address any changes in legislation and/or to meet College needs.

Limited Admission Programs

Special standards and procedures are established for admission to certain Associate in Science, Associate in Applied Science, and Certificate Programs. The Programs of Study section of this catalog provides details on these criteria.

Non-Degree Seeking Students

The non-degree seeking student is not intending to complete a degree at Polk State College. This student attends for a variety of reasons, such as to enhance a job skill, for teacher recertification, to meet several prerequisites for an advanced degree, or for personal enrichment.

Non-degree seeking students complete an application for admission online. They are required to submit official transcripts from previously attended institutions the same as the degree-seeking student. They also are required to take a college placement test if it is a requirement to the course of interest. Although the requirement to submit official transcripts can be waived by student petition to the Registrar (registrar@polk.edu), certain courses may require copies of transcripts or passing scores on all or portions of a college placement test. Non-degree seeking students must demonstrate that all prerequisites to a course have been met before registration is permitted. 
 

Concurrent Admission Program (ConAP)

Polk State College participates in the United States Army Concurrent Admissions Program (ConAP). As a ConAP member, the College admits eligible new soldiers upon enlistment, and guarantees full admission during their enlistment and for two years after they complete their active military service.

ConAP also applies to soldiers enlisted in the Army Reserve. Admission for qualified Reserve soldiers is deferred until completion of the initial active duty training (about six months). Students are subject to rules and procedures of the catalog in effect at the time of class registration.

International and Visa Students Admission

International students interested in attending Polk State College should request an International Student Application Packet by calling the International Student Coordinator on the Winter Haven Campus at 863-292-3758, or the International Student Coordinator on the Lakeland Campus at 863-669-2822. International students may also request information to be sent via e-mail at: internationalstudent@polk.edu. The International Student Admissions Guidebook is available at PSC's International Student website. 

Polk State College is authorized to enroll non-immigrant alien students. Non-immigrant alien students are classified as either International Students (F-1) or other Non-immigrant Visa Students. Anyone in the United States with a B1/B2 Tourist Visa, an M-1 Vocational Student Visa, or a J-1 Exchange Student Visa is not eligible to attend the College until the following requirements have been met: 1) completion of the admission requirements for International Students and 2) obtainment of an F-1 Visa or a United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) approved change of status to F-1.

B1/B2 Visa holders and J-1 Exchange Student Visa holders may submit a new application for an F-1 Visa at a U.S. embassy in their home country or other foreign country, or they may submit a Change of Status Application to the USCIS while in the United States to change their visa status to F-1.

M-1 Visa holders must travel to their home country with their SEVIS I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant F-1 student status) to apply for an F-1 Visa at a U.S. embassy abroad. M-1 Visa holders may not change their status while remaining in the United States.

International students enter the United States with F-1 Visas specifically for the purpose of obtaining an education. All international students holding F-1 Visas are required to attend Polk State College on a full-time basis (minimum of 12 credit hours per term including fall, spring, and summer) and pay out-of-state tuition and fees during their entire enrollment. Anyone who enters the United States with a visa other than an F-1 is here for purposes other than obtaining an education. Most visa holders are eligible to attend school while in the U.S. as long as attending school does not interfere with their original purpose for being here. Many visa students are required to pay out-of-state tuition and fees during their entire enrollment at Polk State College. Some visa students are eligible for Florida tuition rates after one year of residency in Florida. Students should check with the International Student Advisor to determine their eligibility to attend school and for information regarding Florida tuition rates.

International and visa students must submit all required documents and meet all conditions of admission by the following deadlines:

  • Fall Semester or Term I (Aug.-Dec.): May 15
  • Spring Semester or Term II (Jan.-early May): Oct. 15
  • Summer Semester or Term III (May-early Aug.): March 15
  • In the event the deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, the deadline is extended until the next open business day.

In addition to the regular admission procedures, international and visa students are required to complete additional admission requirements. International students should begin the admission process three to six months prior to the beginning of the semester in which they wish to enroll.

International students who complete the international student admission requirements by the semester deadline will be issued a SEVIS Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant (F-1) Student Status.

For academic and language students, the SEVIS I-20 form is used to show acceptance to Polk State College and to apply for an F-1 Visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate office in foreign countries. It may also be used to apply for a change of status to F-1 for those who are already in the United States.

International Student Admission Requirements:

These admission requirements apply to international students seeking admission to degree-granting programs and to those seeking admission to the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Program. All requirements must be completed before the SEVIS Form I -20, Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant (F-1) Student Status, is issued.

Degree-seeking international students must show proficiency in English by meeting one of the requirements listed below. International students who do not demonstrate sufficient proficiency in English may enroll in PSC's English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Program. These students must take the Levels of English Proficiency exam (LOEP) for placement in a reading, writing, and grammar course in the EAP Program. The EAP Communications course is also highly recommended to improve speaking and listening skills.

The following steps should be taken:

  • Submit an online application at www.polk.edu.
     
  • Submit an International Student Application.
     
  • Submit an Affidavit of Financial Support, including the student’s or sponsor’s most recent bank statement, showing finances are available for the student’s entire education. A letter of employment may be requested from the sponsor’s employer to verify employment and income source.
     
  • Submit a Health Certification Form, certifying good physical and mental health, which is required before an I-20 form is issued.
     
  • Demonstrate English proficiency via any one of the following:

    1. Affidavit of English Language – Students from a country where English is the native language are required to complete the Affidavit of English Language. Check with the International Student Advisor for a list of countries exempt from English proficiency requirements.
       
    2. Official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) – Students should submit passing scores from Educational Testing Services. Information about TOEFL can be obtained at www.ets.org/toefl.

      • For admission to degree-seeking status: A paper-and-pencil exam score of at least 500 or an Internet-based exam score of at least 61 or higher is required.
      • For admission to the EAP Program: Proof of English proficiency is not required to be admitted into the program. The EAP Communications course is also highly recommended to improve speaking and listening skills.
         
    3. An Advanced Placement (AP) score – A score of 4 or higher on the International English Language exam will be accepted in lieu of a TOEFL score.
       
    4. Completion of the highest level of an accredited, intensive English language program. Documentation is required.
       
    5. Five or more years of successful study in an accredited institution where English is the only language of instruction, as demonstrated on a transcript.

       
  • Provide Proof of Medical Insurance:
    Insurance must include basic medical coverage. Also highly recommended is coverage for medical evacuation and repatriation services. Polk State College recommends Student Secure Select for non-U.S. citizens, which is offered through International Student Insurance. Applications are available from the International Student Office on the Winter Haven and Lakeland Campuses and from the website at: www.InternationalStudentInsurance.com. Students should apply for medical insurance after the F-1 Visa has been approved.
     
  • Possess a Valid Passport:
    A passport valid for at least six months beyond the intended length of study in the United States is required.

International Student Transcript Requirements:

Students must provide official high school, upper secondary, and postsecondary transcripts from accredited high schools, colleges, and universities they have attended. If transcripts are in a language other than English, a certified English translation must also be provided. A certified translation service in the United States or the Ministry of Education in the home country may provide the translation. Students should request two official copies of their transcripts: one should be sent to Polk State College, and one should be sent directly from the foreign institution to an evaluation service, as explained below. All transcripts must be received and evaluated by the College prior to attending classes.

Transcripts from international secondary institutions must be evaluated "document by document" for equivalency to U.S. high school graduation, and college/university transcripts must be evaluated "course by course" for consideration of college transfer credit. The student must pay the cost of the transcript evaluation. Specific instructions for obtaining this evaluation are included with the International Student Admission packet, or they can be obtained from the Admission and Registrar’s Office. The application for evaluation may be downloaded from an evaluator’s website. Go to www.naces.org to select an approved evaluator. Polk State College most commonly uses Josef Silny & Associates and World Education Services.

I-901 SEVIS Fee

Prior to visa application, and once an I-20 form is issued, the student must pay a $200 SEVIS fee to the Department of Homeland Security. Form I-901 information and an application are available at www.fmjfee.com. The fee should be paid at least two weeks prior to visa application. A receipt must be presented at the time of visa application. This I-901 fee is in addition to the visa application fee. For information on the visa application process, please visit www.state.gov.

Within the first three weeks of the semester, students must present a valid visa, SEVIS I-20, I-94 card, and valid passport to the International Student Advisor as proof of eligibility to attend school. Photocopies of these documents are made for the student’s file.

International Students Holding Other Visas

Admission requirements for those holding non-immigrant visas other than B1/B2 Tourist, M-1 Vocational Student, J-1 Exchange Student, and F-1 International Student visas must meet the following admission requirements:

  • Students must submit an Application for Admission.
  • Students must submit official high school, upper secondary, and postsecondary transcripts from accredited high schools, colleges, and universities. If transcripts are in a language other than English, a certified English translation must also be provided. A certified translation service in the United States or the Ministry of Education in the home country may provide the translation. Students should request two official transcripts: one should be sent to the PSC International Student Office of the campus where the student expects to attend, and one should be sent directly to an evaluation service, as explained below.
     
  • Transcripts from international secondary institutions must be evaluated document-by-document for equivalency to U.S. high school graduation, and college/university transcripts must be evaluated course-by-course for by the standards for course objectives at Polk State College. Foreign transcripts from international institutions must be evaluated for either equivalency to U.S. high school graduation or for consideration of college transfer credit. Students must pay the cost of the transcript evaluation. Specific instructions for obtaining this evaluation are included with the International Student Admission Packet, or they can be obtained from the Admission and Registrar’s Office.
     
  • Students must present a passport valid for at least six months beyond the intended length of study in the United States.
     
  • Within the first three weeks of the semester, students must present a valid visa and I-94 card as proof of eligibility to attend school. Photocopies of these documents are made for the student’s file.
     
  • For admission to college-credit courses, students must demonstrate English Proficiency, using the criteria listed under the section titled International Student Admission Requirements. International students who do not demonstrate sufficient proficiency in English may enroll in PSC’s English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Program. The EAP Communications course is also highly recommended to improve speaking and listening skills.

Transfer of Credit to Polk State College

Polk State College accepts college credit earned at other institutions as transfer credit if the institution is regionally accredited, or the institution is accredited by an accrediting body approved by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), in accordance with specific guidelines:

  • Credits earned at regionally-accredited institutions within Florida’s State University System (SUS), Florida community and state colleges, and non-public accredited institutions participating in the Florida Statewide Course Numbering System (SCNS) for which there are comparable courses or requirements at Polk State College are posted to the student’s academic record. When appropriate, this credit is applied toward degree requirements or electives. In some cases, however, it is recorded as credit earned in excess of degree requirements. Award Policies:
    • Credit is awarded provided the credit earned is in an appropriate area, if the credit is at an appropriate level, and if a grade of D or higher has been achieved. However, some courses require a grade of C or better for degree purposes.
       
    • Failing grades are recorded and are included in the student’s grade point average if earned at a Florida state university or state or community college. Failing grades are not recorded from private institutions.
       
  • Credits earned at regionally-accredited institutions that are not participants in the Florida Statewide Numbering System are evaluated, and those found to be equivalent are posted to the student’s record following the award policies listed above.
     
  • Polk State College accepts transfer credit from other institutions if the institution’s accrediting body is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), and if the school and each course meet the evaluation rigors followed by Polk State College. Requests for evaluation must be initiated by the student 12 weeks prior to the beginning of the term (but no later than the Drop/Add deadline of the graduating term). Students play an active role in collecting required data for evaluation. Only courses with grades of D or higher are considered for evaluation according to the award policies listed above.
     
  • Transcripts from international institutions, including those in the English language, require an official evaluation at the expense of the student from an external agency, as recommended by Polk State College. Students may find qualified agencies at: www.naces.org.  
  • Credits earned at Polk State College are based on semester hours; therefore, all transfer work is converted to equivalent semester hours.
     
  • Credits at the upper-division college level are not generally accepted for transfer for associate degree programs. Upper-division courses are accepted for transfer toward baccalaureate degrees and associate's degrees only if the courses meet a specific lower-division requirement.
     
  • Polk State College recognizes that valid learning can take place in non-traditional and non-collegiate environments. The College generally follows the credit-granting recommendations of the American Council of Education (ACE) but reserves the right to exercise its own judgment. Polk State College maintains articulation for credit based on various credentialing, certifications, and licensure in addition to state-mandated agreements. For more information on non-traditional credit awards, students should contact the Admission and Registrar's Office at 863-297-1000 to speak to a transcript evaluator. For information on experiential learning opportunities, students should contact the District Dean of Academics and Student Services at 863-292-3645.

Credit for Armed Services Training

In recognition of the advanced academic and technical content of many military education experiences, Polk State College may grant appropriate credits for military education experiences that are evaluated by the American Council of Education (ACE) as suitable for postsecondary credit. It is at the discretion of Polk State College to award this credit; recommendations in the ACE Guide are advisory only and not binding on the College. Credit is granted in those areas that are appropriate for a Polk State College degree or certification. The Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services serves as the basis for acceptance of such training and the awarding of college credit.

  • When applying for admission, degree-seeking students can initiate the request for credit by providing appropriate supporting documents.
     
  • All required documents must be submitted with the DD214, if separating from the military, or with the DD295, if a current member of the armed services. One of these two documents is required.
     
  • Documents should be mailed to:

Admission and Registrar’s Office
Polk State College
999 Avenue H NE
Winter Haven, FL 33881

  • All requests for military credit awards must be made in the student’s first semester of attendance with Polk State College (but no later than the Drop/Add deadline of the graduating term).
     
  • Once evaluation is completed, students are able to view results on the degree audit in the student’s account in PASSPORT.

The DD214 for veterans or DD295 for active duty military personnel should be submitted to obtain credit for the course HLP 1081 Wellness Concepts. All other credit requests require an official transcript from the registry associated with the student’s branch of service as follows: (Polk State College participates in electronic transcript exchange with the military.)

  • Active Duty military personnel should submit a certified copy of the Application for the Evaluation of Learning Experiences during Military Service, Form DD295, as well as certified copies of any course completion certificates. The Admission and Registrar's Office photocopies the original document if presented in person.
     
  • Army veterans should request that an Army/ACE Registry Transcript System (AARTS) transcript be mailed directly to Polk State College. Prospective students may request an AARTS transcript by writing directly to: Manager, AARTS Operations Center, Ft. Leavenworth, KS 66027-5073. Each request must include the veteran’s name, basic service dates, Social Security Number, and current mailing address. The e-mail address is aarts@leavenworth.army.mil.
     
  • Air Force veterans may request that a Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) transcript be mailed directly to PSC. Prospective students may request a transcript by writing directly to: CCAF, 130 W. Maxwell Blvd., Maxwell Air Force Base, AL 36112-6613. The telephone number is 334-953-7848.
     
  • Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Navy veterans should request a transcript from: The Naval Education and Technical Center, 6490 Saufley Fld. Rd., Pensacola, FL 32509-5204, ATTN: Code N2A5. The e-mail address is ncc@cnet.navy.mil. Information can also be accessed through this toll free number: 877-253-7122.

Veterans

Information and advising are available for those veterans eligible for educational benefits under the various laws aiding veterans and their dependents. Veterans eligible under Chapters 30, 106, 32, and 35 of Title 38, U.S. Code, and the Post 9/11 GI Bill are required to be degree seeking, but they may attend college part time. It is important for veterans to meet with an academic advisor prior to registration each term.

The Financial Aid Office completes the Veteran’s Certification for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Benefits are paid on a sliding scale:

  • Full: 12 or more credit hours
     
  • 3/4: 9 to 11 credit hours
     
  • 1/2: 6 to 8 credit hours
     
  • Tuition only: 1 to 5 credit hours

All veterans and dependents, except those on vocational rehabilitation, are responsible for paying all College fees within the appropriate deadlines. Registration fees may be deferred, when necessary, up to sixty days. If the term is less than sixty days long, the deferment is ten days less than the length of the term, whichever is earlier. Fees may be deferred only once per Academic Year.

VA regulations require veterans to progress at a regular rate toward graduation. Details regarding the current Polk State College policy for meeting this requirement are available in the Financial Aid Office on the Lakeland and Winter Haven Campuses. Veterans should contact the Financial Aid Office for assistance with completing the appropriate paperwork.

Advising Services

Academic Advising provides assistance to all prospective and enrolled students in making educational and career decisions. Polk State College recommends that all degree-seeking students, whether first-time-in-college, returning, or transfer, meet with an academic advisor to establish a program of study, plan the sequence of course work toward a degree, and determine what prerequisite courses are necessary. This is done through Orientation. Students are notified of their scheduled Orientation in an Admission letter. Students are encouraged to meet with an advisor each semester PRIOR to graduation to review their progress and select courses.

Academic Advisors are available in the Student Services Offices at both campuses, the JD Alexander/Lake Wales Center, and the Airside/Lakeland Center during regular operating hours. Advising hours are:

Monday - Thursday 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.   (Airside between 5:00-7:00 by appointment.)
Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.    (Does not include Airside.)

Advisors are available at the JD Alexander/Lake Wales Center during the Center's normal operating hours.

Advising Tracks

Through the use of advising tracks, Polk State College offers preparation for many specific majors in the State University System (SUS) of Florida. Advising tracks serve as a course requirement guide for a student who plans to earn a Liberal Arts degree and then transfer to one of the state universities in Florida to complete a bachelor’s degree. Each advising track includes the courses to satisfy General Education requirements and the statewide common course prerequisites required for specific bachelor degree programs. Using an advising track, students can plan for the AA degree program more effectively and minimize the potential for excess credit hours. Students are advised that excess hours toward a bachelor's degree can cost them additional tuition at the university level. 


Registration

Registering for classes at Polk State College has never been easier. Students have access to a convenient, efficient online registration system available at www.polk.edu. Registering online helps students avoid long lines and closed classes. Students may also choose to register with the help of an academic advisor on campus. The following lists important steps to follow in the registration process:

  1. New students should complete the admission process, take placement tests, provide transcripts, and attend an Orientation meeting where they meet with academic advisors.
     
  2. All students should consult the Academic Calendar on the College's website for registration dates, fees, and payment deadlines.
     
  3. Students should be prepared to pay for classes by the posted payment deadline, which is printed at the bottom of the student's schedule. Otherwise, the registration reservation is canceled, and students may not be able to re-register for the classes they originally selected. Students may pay online with any major credit card through the PASSPORT registration system at www.polk.edu, or in person at the Winter Haven and Lakeland Campuses. Polk State College also has other payment options available for students, such as a tuition payment plan administered through a partnership. After a small enrollment fee and down payment, students can spread tuition and fee payments over 4 monthly payments, depending on when students register. This allows students more flexibility in managing tuition and fees each semester. Polk State College also now offers a faster way for students to get refunds: the Viking One card. The Viking One card is designed to provide students with options for receiving financial aid or school refunds—including the preferred "Easy Refund" method. Easy Refund is the fastest, easiest way to gain access to refund money on the same day that Polk State College releases it. The Viking One card is not a credit card, and there is no cost to the student. For more information, students should contact the Financial Aid or Cashier's offices on the Lakeland or Winter Haven Campus.
     
  4. Students with unmet obligations (overdue library books, financial obligations, or outstanding requirements, such as missing student-records documents) are blocked from registration for future terms.
     
  5. Students may be restricted from registering for courses for which they have not met the prerequisite requirements. Students who pre-register for the next term but fail a prerequisite course must drop the class requiring the prerequisite; however, they may add another appropriate course. Students who fail prerequisite courses but do not drop the next course in the sequence may be dropped from all classes that they have registered for in the next semester.
     
  6. Once the Late Registration Drop/Add period has ended, Admission and Registrar staff and academic advisors are no longer permitted to handle student requests for changes to the student schedule. Schedule change requests after the Drop/Add period has ended must be submitted to the Campus Dean of Student Services or Academic Dean.

Continuous Enrollment

Degree-program students are considered to be continuously enrolled, provided a break in enrollment does not exceed a year. For example, if a student last attended in a fall term with a lapse in attendance, he would be required to reapply for admission in the following fall term. Students failing to maintain continuous enrollment must apply for readmission under the catalog in effect at the time of their next enrollment. This must be done before registration can take place.

Registration Tools

PASSPORT (Personal Access to Student Services Polk Online Registration Tool) is an online system that allows students to conduct various Student Services' tasks. On PASSPORT students can:

  • Review their records
  • Make address changes
  • View their grades
  • Check financial aid status
  • Pay for classes and other fees
  • Order official transcripts
  • Print enrollment certifications
  • Register for classes
  • View official communication
  • Apply for graduation

PASSPORT allows students to conduct these tasks day or night from any computer with Internet access. All students who have been admitted to the College and have a PIN can use PASSPORT.

To use the online system, students should go to the website at www.polk.edu and click on the PASSPORT link. Step-by-step instructions can be found on PASSPORT’s home screen by clicking "Student Help Using PASSPORT." 

Course Delivery Methods

Courses are delivered through various modes at Polk State College to maximize options and flexibility.

  • The traditional face-to-face classroom setting is offered at all campuses and centers.
     
  • Pure Internet has no face-to-face component. Instruction is delivered with the same quality as traditional education. Students use an Internet-connected computer and the college's online learning management system called Polk Access to Learning (PAL).
     
  • Hybrid courses are a blend of Internet and face-to-face course delivery. In a hybrid course, students attend class for some of the allotted class time and then participate in the course using the Internet as well.

Students must meet the minimum technology requirements to participate in Internet and Hybrid courses. Polk State College's Distance Learning website explains the requirements and provides further details, including a description of the PAL interface. Students wishing to enroll in hybrid and online courses must take an Orientation for PAL to ensure that they are ready to be successful using the PAL tools and interface.

Registration Fees

  • Registration fees are due by the fee-payment deadline as published online at www.polk.edu. Payment may be made in person at the Polk State College Cashier’s Office on the Winter Haven Campus or Lakeland Campus, or online through the PASSPORT student portal.
     
  • Failure to pay fees by the published deadline results in cancellation of registration. The student may not be able to re-register for the original classes selected.
     
  • Registration is not complete until the student has received (or printed from PASSPORT) a receipt showing that all fees have been paid in full.
     
  • Financial aid recipients must be aware of their award coverage and pay any outstanding portion by the posted deadline to prevent cancellation of registration.

Defining a Florida Resident for Residency Fee Purposes

At Polk State College, Florida residents pay lower fees than out-of-state students. Residency Guidelines have been developed by a state committee to assist colleges in the administration of Florida Statutes.

State law is found in Section 1009.21, Florida Statutes; Rules 6A-10.044 and 6A-20.003, Florida Administrative Code; and the Board of Governors (BOG) Residency Regulation. The guidelines, as maintained by the Statewide Residency Committee, are used to determine residency status for tuition purposes in public colleges and universities. Updated guidelines can be found at www.facts.org. Polk State College recommends that all new students review these guidelines as there are many ways to meet the residency requirement.

A student who believes that he or she qualifies for a special classification after reviewing the Residency Guidelines, should provide documentation to the Admission and Registrar's Office in Winter Haven, Lakeland, or JD Alexander-Lake Wales. Persons unable to provide documentation according to the state guidelines indicating that they have met the definition of a Florida resident are charged at the non-resident rate. A Residency Committee has been established to hear student appeals to the College's initial residency evaluation. Appeals are written on a petition form found in the Advising Offices at all campuses and centers.  The petition, completed Residency Affidavit and all supporting documents are submitted to the Admission and Registrar's office.

Books and Supplies

The cost of books and supplies varies with the programs and courses that students select. Books and other school supplies are sold in the College bookstores located at the Winter Haven and Lakeland Campuses. Polk State College contracts with Follett, Inc. to provide bookstore services. Follett accepts most major credit cards, debit cards, and local checks with proper identification. Many students buy books online at Follett’s website www.efollett.com.

Fee Refunds

  • To be eligible for a fee refund for a dropped course, a student must complete the drop action no later than the Last-Day-for-Refund deadline, also known as the Drop/Add deadline published in the Academic Calendar on the Polk State College website. 

  • Full refunds are made for courses cancelled by the College. 

  • Late registration fees are refunded only for cancelled classes. 

  • Information about withdrawals and fee refunds for non-credit courses are available at registration.

 Student Records

Polk State College maintains a permanent record of academic information with supporting and relevant documents for each student. The Registrar is designated as the custodian of student records and is responsible for maintaining accurate and readily-available student academic records.

Students may order official transcripts by submitting a transcript request through the student’s PASSPORT account. Transcripts are available via electronic exchange with participating institutions, secure pdf, or in some cases, official paper transcripts. The student's signature is always required to order a transcript. The student provides electronic signatory when the request is made through the PASSPORT system. Polk State College charges a fee of $5.00 for transcript requests.

Other Changes and Requests

Degree Verifications and Enrollment Certifications

Polk State College uses the services of the National Student Clearinghouse to process requests for degree verifications and enrollment certifications. Students may access this information on PASSPORT free of charge. Employers, insurance providers, or others are directed to the website at www.studentclearinghouse.org. Polk State College does not charge a fee for these services, but a small transaction fee is charged by the National Student Clearinghouse for non-student requests. Students can order enrollment certifications through their PASSPORT accounts.

Student’s Personal Information

Changes to a student’s name, Social Security Number, or other vital information require proof. To request  changes, the student should complete a Vital Statistics Change Form and bring the new Social Security card or other document to the Admission and Registrar's Office, along with a driver’s license or other photo ID.

The Registrar is also responsible for the use and release of information contained in student records. The College is committed to the protection of student rights to privacy. It complies with the provisions of the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), State of Florida law, and State Department of Education rules. Polk State College may release directory information to requesting parties at its discretion and does so for college-to-college business or for official college purposes.

Notification of Student Rights under FERPA

Student Rights under FERPA

Annually, Polk State College informs currently attending students of their rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the regulations relating to FERPA Public Law 20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99 promulgated by the Department of Education and Florida Statute 1002.22. These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the College receives a request for access.  
    • A student should submit to the Admission and Registrar's Office a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect.  A College official makes arrangements for access and notifies the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained or are not obtainable by the Admission and Registrar's office,  the student shall be informed as to whom the request should be addressed. 
       
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights under FERPA.
    • Each student may request that such records be amended if he or she believes those records to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of his or her privacy rights. The student must follow Polk State College’s procedures to request a change in records. Procedures vary depending on the change requested. A request to amend record(s) should be submitted in writing to the Registrar, and must clearly identify the record and the requested change. If the College decides not to amend the records, the student shall be notified in writing. Students have the right to appeal by completing a petition with an academic advisor. The Petition Committee provides the student with its final decision in writing. 
       
  3. The right to provide written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
    •   The College discloses education records without a student's prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom Polk State College has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using the College's employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.

      A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the College. Upon request, the College also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student intends to enroll. 
       
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA.  The address of the Family Policy Compliance Office is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901
Phone: 202 260-3887   Fax: 202 260-9001
E-mail: ferpa@ed.gov
 

Students are notified of their FERPA rights annually in the PSC Catalog and on the College's website.

Notice Designating Directory Information

Pursuant to FERPA regulations (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99.37) and Florida Statute 1002.22, Polk State College hereby designates the following categories of student information as “directory information,” which for College purposes may be made public unless the student is in an exempt category as defined by Florida Statute 119.071 (4(d)1).

  • Student name
  • Student’s primary address
  • Dates and status of college enrollment
  • Hometown
  • Classification (Freshman, Sophomore, etc.)
  • Previous institutions attended
  • Photos
  • Student’s current primary program objective
  • Awards received
  • Honors
  • Degree(s) conferred (including dates and any graduation honors)
  • Past and present participation in officially recognized sports and activities
  • Physical factors of athletes

Such information may be disclosed at the discretion of the College for any legitimate purpose, except as provided in the opt-out option. Students may opt-out of disclosure of this information. To do so, a student must meet with the Registrar or an Assistant Registrar and complete, sign, and submit to the Registrar a FERPA Non-Disclosure Request Form. Students who qualify as exempt from disclosure of directory information by Florida Statute 119.071 (4(d)1) are required to notify the Registrar by completing, signing, and submitting the FERPA Non-Disclosure Request Form. The request may be made at any time and remains in effect unless and until the student submits to the Registrar a request for it to be removed (or the student is deceased).

If the student does not complete and submit the appropriate form requesting the withholding of directory information, the College assumes the student consents to the disclosure of such information.

The College disclaims any and all liability for inadvertent disclosure of directory information designated to be withheld.

Accelerated Credits from Testing

AP, CLEP, DANTES, Excelsior College, and IB

Florida statute and the State Board of Education rules allow Polk State College to award credit for satisfactory scores on the nationally standardized College Level Examination Program (CLEP), College Board Advanced Placement Program (AP), the Excelsior College Examination Program (Excelsior College), and International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations. The DANTES subject standardized tests are designed to test student's knowledge on a variety of college-level subjects. Credit is awarded in accordance with the State Board Rule 6A-10.024, allowing students to proceed toward their educational goals as rapidly as possible.

Minimum satisfactory scores for accelerated credit are set by the State Board of Education and are subject to change (see Appendices). Credit is not awarded in areas for which college credit has already been earned, or in  the case of CLEP, in which the course has been attempted.

Polk State College reserves the right to evaluate credit from other accelerated means.  Students are welcome to submit documentation and official records for consideration. Examination scores must be submitted on an official score report from the organization administering the examination. Accelerated credit is posted to the academic record along with the source of the credit. Students planning on transferring to schools outside of the Florida State University System (SUS) are responsible for determining the acceptability of this credit.

A maximum of 45 semester hours of combined accelerated credit, or other advanced placement, or non-traditional means of earning credit such as experiential learning credit, may be applied toward an associate's degree.

Test Administration

Advanced Placement (AP) examinations are taken prior to enrolling in college and are administered in high school following the completion of high school Advanced Placement classes (see Appendices for subjects and minimum satisfactory scores). CLEP exams are administered on the Winter Haven Campus in the Teaching/Learning Computing Center. Exams are administered on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Students may take CLEP exams while in high school or after admission to the College. Once a college course is attempted, CLEP scores for that subject are no longer accepted. Students may contact the TLCC at 863-297-1033 to register.

Excelsior College examinations are administered at Florida Southern College Testing Center, 142 Ordway Building, Lakeland. Students should contact the Testing Center at Florida Southern College by phone at 863-680-4299 for registration materials or more information. Students may refer to the Appendices for exam names, minimum scores required for credit, and equivalent PSC courses.

International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations are taken prior to enrolling in college and are administered in high school following the completion of high school IB classes. The Appendices provide additional information, exam names, minimum scores for credit, and equivalent PSC courses.

Credit-by-Examination

Special arrangements may be made for credit-by-examination in certain courses by consulting the Academic Dean’s Office on the Winter Haven or Lakeland Campuses.

  • Students may be eligible to take an exam provided they have never enrolled in a college-level course equivalent to the exam subject matter.
     
  • A fee is assessed whether the student passes or fails the exam.
     
  • Successful completion of the exam results in credit posted to the academic record.
     
  • Students planning to transfer to other institutions are responsible for determining the acceptability of all transferred credit.