The Student Services Offices exist 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 submit a completed Home School Affidavit.
All newly admitting students are highly advised to use the Admission Guide available on the website polk.edu Steps to Admission. Guides are also available at all campuses and centers.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or:
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 open registration for 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 an authorized location, and/or on previous college course work.
Polk State College accepts high school diplomas that meet any of the following criteria:
- All public high schools within the U.S. or U.S. territories
- Previously validated private high schools within Polk State College's district or those accredited by Florida Coalition of Christian Private Schools Association, Inc (FCCPSA)
- Regionally accredited high schools
- High schools accredited by the Distant Education and Training Council (DETC) or AdvancEd
- All state and military-issued General Education Diplomas (G.E.D’s)
- Foreign High School transcripts evaluated by a NACES affiliate as equivalent to a standard high school diploma
All other diplomas 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. Generally, schools that offer an exam for a diploma, yet do not fit in the categories above, are denied.
General Admission Procedure
General admission procedures for Bachelor's degree programs, Associate's degree programs, Advanced Technical Certificate, College Credit Certificate, or Applied Technology diploma programs; and non-degree seeking students include the following steps.
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 open registration for the term in which they expect to attend classes.
Students may apply for admission online at polk.edu. Students should read the information online under the Admission links and download the Admission Guide,or pick one up at any campus or center. This Gu 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 at the Winter Haven or Lakeland campus or to the JD Alexander Center.
- The Affidavit of Residency must be completed with two valid proofs of Florida residency, according to Florida Residency for Tuition Guidelines found at www.flv.org.
- The Home School Affidavit 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. Students must provide all transcripts before the registration of the second term of the student's enrollment. Without submission of all transcripts at that time, students may not continue enrollment.
- 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 at 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 at all campuses and centers with further details about admission. All students should refer to the Admission Guide.
- 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 and the Admission Guide list the hours of operation.
Students should attend the Polk State College Orientation for an introduction to College resources, for an 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.There is no cost for the Orientation session.
- Students should consult the College's Academic Calendar on polk.edu for important registration dates.
For additional information, students should visit the Polk State College website at polk.edu.
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.
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.
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 for admission purposes, 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 academic status of Probation if they had a Suspension, Probation, or Dismissal status at the transferring institution. Students on Academic Suspension or Dismissal are not admitted during the term immediately following the imposition of the academic suspension or dismissal status at the transferring institution.
- 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 the 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.
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.flv.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 www.flv.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 two (2) weeks prior to registration through www.flv.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 to obtain a paper Transient Form.
- 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 or three terms. 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) years or more.
- 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 meet the requirements of the catalog year in which they declare degree-seeking status.
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 online at .polk.edu. Private school and home-schooled students must read the Dual Enrollment Articulation Agreement and agree to its terms and conditions. This document defines the qualifications, rules, and regulations regarding the early college programs offered at Polk State College, and all Polk County students must abide by them. Students must also complete the High School Approval Form. Visit the Dual Enrollment web page of the College website for complete details.
Students may also contact the Dual Enrollment Coordinator on the Winter Haven Campus at 863-292-3758, the Dual Enrollment Coordinator on the Lakeland Campus at 863-669-2822, or e-mail: email@example.com. Information is available from high school guidance offices and the advising areas on each Polk State College campus, or information may be downloaded from the website at www.polk.edu.
Acceleration is available to high school students through two early college programs: Full-Time Early Admission and Dual Enrollment. Both are often referred to as dual enrollment. 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 Polk State College-approved instructor, or via the Internet through Polk State College’s distance learning delivery method (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 or she receives a grade of W on the college transcript; this counts 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 may not take place until the student graduates from high school. The third attempt will be charged at the full cost of instruction which is approximately the out-of-state tuition rate. 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, financial aid eligibility, 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. The most updated information and details are available on the Dual Enrollment web page of the polk.edu website.
Limited Admission Programs
Special standards and procedures are established for admission to certain Polk State Associate in 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 re-certification, 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. 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 the rules and procedures of the catalog in effect at the time of class registration.
Admission for International and Visa Students
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. The International Student Admissions Guidebook is available at Polk State College'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. Students with F-1 visas are required to attend school two consecutive semesters as full-time students. The third semester is considered the student's vacation period.
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. Details on Florida tuition rates can be found at www.flv.org on the Residency page.
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 are 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 the College'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 documents:
- Affidavit of English Language – Students from a country where English is the native language are required to complete the Affidavit of English Language. Students should check with the International Student Advisor for a list of countries exempt from English proficiency requirements.
- 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, English proficiency is not required. The EAP Communications course is also highly recommended to improve speaking and listening skills.
- An Advanced Placement (AP) score – A score of 4 or higher on the International English Language Exam is accepted in lieu of a TOEFL score.
- Completion of the highest level of an accredited, intensive English language program. Documentation is required.
- 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 post secondary transcripts from all 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. For upper division consideration, be sure to request that your evaluation distinguish between upper and lower division coursework. 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. Students may visit 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 USD $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, students may visit www.state.gov.
Within the first three weeks of the semester, students must officially report to the school and 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. Then the student is registered in SEVI as "arrived and registered for classes."
International Students Holding Other Non-Immigrant Visas
Individuals 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 online.
- Students must submit official high school, upper secondary, and post secondary 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 Polk State College 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 the College’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:
- Award Policies:
- Credit is awarded provided the credit earned is in an appropriate area, is at an appropriate level, and if a grade of D or higher has been achieved for most courses. However, a grade of C is required for some specific courses such as English and college-level mathematics; these credits are only transferred when the student has earned a grade of C or higher.
- Credits earned at Polk State College are based on semester hours; therefore, all transfer work is converted to equivalent semester hours.
- All transfer credits contribute to the cumulative GPA of the student's Polk State College record.
- 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.
- Credits earned at regionally-accredited institutions 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.
- Developmental courses in English, reading and math are only transferred from state institutions. Out-of-state or private college developmental course credit does not qualify for transfer. Students who transfer without a college level English or math course must take the placement exam.
- 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. Credits are given based on 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.
- 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 prior learning assessment, 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 educational experiences, Polk State College may grant appropriate credits for military educational experiences that are evaluated by the American Council of Education (ACE) as suitable for post secondary 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 should 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:
- 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 online at www.aarts.army.mil. Each request must include the veteran’s name, basic service dates, Social Security Number, and current mailing address. For further information, students can email: email@example.com.
- 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, 100 South Turner Blvd., Maxwell AFB-Gunter Annex, AL 36114. Requests may also be made online at www.au.af.mil. All requests must include the student's full name, Social Security Number, date of birth, and the address where transcripts are to be sent. For further information students may call 334-953-7848.
- Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Navy veterans should request a transcript online via their SMART accounts. The Naval Education and Technical Center is no longer accepting paper requests. For more information students should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 877-838-1659.
- Note: Polk State College participates in electronic transcript exchange with the military.
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 Time Benefits: 12 or more credit hours
- 3/4 Benefits: 9 to 11 credit hours
- 1/2 Benefits: 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. Veteran's are expected to maintain the same academic standards of progress as students who receive federal financial aid. Details regarding the current Polk State College policy for meeting these requirements 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.
Academic Advising provides assistance to all prospective and enrolled students in making educational and career decisions. Advising periods are from the Drop/Add deadline of each term to the day before priority registration opens each term. 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 the Orientation Session. Students are notified of their scheduled Orientation Session in an Admission letter. If an Orientation is not scheduled for them, students should contact Polk State at 863 297-1000 to schedule Orientation. 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 p.m. by appointment.)
||8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
||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.
Polk State College offers bachelor's degrees,associate's degrees, and certificate programs at the college level. Within the degrees there are numerous programs available from which the degree-seeking student selects a program objective for specialization. A student must select his or her program objective when 24-30 hours of college credits have been achieved. The program objective is an area of study that includes a group of courses and requirements that make up a program and lead to a degree in a specific discipline. The student may obtain more than one degree at the same level in different disciplines or earn different degrees at different levels within the same discipline; however, a student cannot earn two associate degrees in the same discipline or two bachelor degrees in the same discipline. The chart and examples below explain this rule.
Program or Program Objective
|Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS)
||Supervision and Management
||Supervision and Management
|Associate in Science (AS)
||Diagnostic Medical Sonography
|Associate in Applied Science (AAS)
||Electrical Distribution Technology
||Accounting Technology (This program is no longer available to new students at Polk State)
According to the above chart:
- A student may earn an AS in Business Administration and a BAS in Supervision and Management with the Business Administration specialization.
- A student may earn an AS in Accounting Technology and an AS in Business Administration and Management.
- A student may earn a BAS in Supervision and Management with a Business Administration specialization and a Public Administration specialization. The student earns one BAS degree with two areas of specialization.
- A student may not earn a BAS in Supervision and Management with a Business Administration specialization and a second BAS in Supervision and Management with a Public Administration specialization.
- A student may not earn an AAS and an AS in Accounting Technology.
- A student may earn an AS in Accounting Technology and an AA in Liberal Arts.
- Polk State College offers many advising tracks within the AA in Liberal Arts degree (see Program of Study section of this catalog for a complete listing). However, regardless of the advising track selected, the student earns a degree in Liberal Arts. Therefore, even if the student completes the requirements for more than one advising track, he or she will earn one AA in Liberal Arts.
The College provides advising and degree audit tools in PASSPORT to assist the student in planning a schedule of courses required by a chosen specialization and degree program. Each student should see a college advisor for guidance in selecting a program objective and for help with success strategies to stay on track toward degree completion.
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 specific bachelor’s degree offered at a state university. Each advising track includes the courses to satisfy General Education requirements and the statewide common course prerequisites required for specific bachelor degree programs. Because advising tracks are tools for advising and not requirements for specific associate degrees, students cannot request substitutions for courses in an advising track. Using an advising track, students can plan for the AA in Liberal Arts 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.
Excess Hours Warning
Section 1009.286. Florida Statutes, establishes an "excess hour" surcharge for students seeking baccalaureate degrees at state universities. It is critical that students, including those entering Florida College System institutions, are aware of the potential for additional course fees. For the 2012-13 academic year and thereafter, "excess hours" are defined as hours that go beyond 110% of the hours required for a baccalaureate degree program. For example, if the length of the program is 120 credit hours, the student may be subject to an excess hour surcharge for any credits attempted beyond 132 credit hours (110% x 120).
All students whose educational plan may include earning a bachelor's degree should make every effort to enroll in and successfully complete those courses that are required for their intended major on their first attempt. Florida College System students intending to transfer to state universities should identify a major or "transfer program" early and, by the time the student earns 30 semester hours of college credit, be advised of admission requirements for that program, including the approved common prerequisites. Course withdrawals and/or repeats, as well as enrollment in courses nonessential to the intended major, may contribute to a potential excess hours surcharge.
Polk State College online student portal, PASSPORT, provides degree audit and program completion tools for the student. Advisors are available for program and career advising between registration periods. Students are encouraged to avail themselves of these tools and opportunities to plan program progression well and to prevent accumulation of excess hours that do not contribute to the students program completion.
Registering for classes at Polk State College is accomplished through the online registration system available at www.polk.edu. The following lists important steps to follow in the registration process:
- New students should complete the admission process, take placement tests, provide transcripts, and attend an Orientation Session where they meet with academic advisors. New students receive registration assistance during the Orientation Session.
- All students should consult the Academic Calendar on the College's website for registration dates, fees, and payment deadlines.
- Students should be prepared to pay for classes by the posted payment deadline, which is listed on the Academic Calendar and displays on the student's schedule in PASSPORT. 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 PASSPORT 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 four (4) monthly payments, depending on when students register. This allows students more flexibility in managing tuition and fees each semester. Polk State College offers student refunds through the EagleOne card. The EagleOne 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 EagleOne 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Once the Late Registration and Drop/Add Period have ended, schedule change requests must be submitted to the Campus Dean of Student Services or Academic Dean.
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 if he missed the spring, summer and next fall. 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.
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 the PASSPORT home screen by clicking the link for "Student Help Using PASSPORT."
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). Some pure Internet classes may require proctored examinations. This may require visiting a testing center and may involve additional costs. The course schedule identifies the delivery method.
- 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.
- 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.flv.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 the Winter Haven or Lakeland campus, or the JD Alexander-Center. 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 the petition section of the Residency Affidavit found in the Admission and Registrar's Offices at all campuses and centers. The 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. Students can also buy books online at Follett’s website www.efollett.com.
To be eligible for a fee refund for a dropped course, a student must complete the drop action no later than 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.
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 documents, 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, and 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:
- 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 is informed as to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights under FERPA.
- A 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 is 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.
- 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 for the purpose of improving pathways for the educational pursuit of students.
- 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
Students are notified of their FERPA rights annually in the Polk State College 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 only may be made public unless the student is in an exempt category as defined by Florida Statute 119.071
- Student's name
- Student’s primary address
- Dates and status of college enrollment
- Classification (Freshman, Sophomore, etc.)
- Previous institutions attended
- Student’s current primary program objective
- Awards received
- 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 educational purpose as defined by the College, except as provided in the opt-out option. The College may share any portion of student records with post-secondary institutions to which the student is enrolled or intends to enroll, or with the student's high school or governing school board as necessary to provide for pathways of transfer, degree completion, or other legitimate educational purpose on behalf of the student.
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 statutes 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 also 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. Current scores can be found on the Florida Department of Education website. 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 Advanced Placement, or other non-traditional means of earning credit may be applied toward an associate's degree of 60 hours.
- 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.
- CLEP exams are administered on the Winter Haven Campus in the Teaching/Learning Computing Center (TLCC). Exams are administered on Mondays 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 the 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 Florida Department of Education website for exam names, minimum scores required for credit, and equivalent Polk State College 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 Polk State College courses.
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.