Academic Advising provides assistance to all prospective and enrolled students in making educational and career decisions. Advisors are available to assist students with registration during registration periods (see Academic Calendar). Advising periods are from the Drop deadline of each term to the day before 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 any time after the Drop deadline of each term and up to the day before priority registration opens each term (see Academic Calendar).
A required orientation is provided to students prior to registering for classes in online and face-to-face formats. Students are notified to complete orientation in an Admission letter. Students may come to advising to take Orientation at any time during advising hours or may take the online Orientation at any time it is convenient for them. Allow two hours for Orientation. Students are encouraged to meet with an advisor each semester to review their progress and select courses.
Academic advisors are available in the Student Services offices at both Winter Haven and Lakeland campuses, the JD Alexander 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.
Polk State College faculty members are available to assist students during regularly-scheduled office hours, which are posted on the syllabus for each course along with faculty office locations. Some professors also provide online office hours for supplemented, hybrid, and fully-online classes in Canvas (the College's web-based learning management system) or through real-time email communication. Faculty email addresses and phone numbers are posted on the syllabus for each course so students can email or call their professors for help with course content.
The Polk State College libraries support learning and instruction by providing access to quality academic information resources on many subjects. The libraries' collections include print and E-books, online and print periodicals, online and print reference work, and video resources. The libraries provide access to commercial electronic databases that are accessible to students through the Internet via a single login.
Each library is equipped with personal computers and laptops that are available for use within the library. Currently-enrolled students may borrow library materials for a period of 3 weeks and may request to borrow materials from other libraries via interlibrary loan for no cost. Computer printing and photocopying services using a debit, credit, or BankMobile card are available in each library. All computers in the library are connected to the Internet. WiFi is available for those who wish to bring their own devices. Professional librarians are available to consult with students on research assignments and to instruct on the use of resources.
The Winter Haven Campus Library is located on the third floor of the Learning Resources Building (WLR). The Lakeland Campus Library is located on the first floor of the Lakeland Learning Center (LLC 2160). The Airside Center has a library office with librarians on site to assist students with the use of the resources. The JD Alexander/Lake Wales Center provides outreach librarians to serve students and faculty. For details, students may visit the library website.
The purpose of the Teaching/Learning Computing Centers (TLCC) is to support the educational process and student success at Polk State College. The TLCCs provide up-to-date equipment, facilities, and services to promote student academic success including tutoring, testing services, and a student computer lab. The TLCCs provide a wide variety of resources, including computers, scanners, printers, and Internet and email access as well as numerous software applications available for student use.
The TLCCs offer tutoring in many disciplines, including the sciences, mathematics, languages, and writing, and assistance using computers and other education technologies. Each TLCC has supplemental materials such as slides, models, and other instructional resources designed to support or supplement instruction and student work. Make-up, disability accommodation, certification, CLEP, and distance-education tests are also administered in the TLCCs.
The TLCC at the Winter Haven campus is located on the second floor of the Learning Resources Building (WLR), and the Lakeland TLCC is located on the first floor of the Lakeland Learning Center (LLC 2150). TLCCs are open weekdays Monday through Friday during the day, Monday through Thursday evenings, and Saturday mornings. Specific hours and further information can be found on the TLCC website.
The First Year Experience
The first year of college is both exciting and challenging. The Polk State College First Year Experience (FYE) provides the tools, support, and assistance students need to get a jumpstart on their journey to academic success. FYE is designed to ease students' transition, help them begin building positive relationships on campus, and provide a clear pathway to graduation.
The FYE program consists of five steps to a successful first year.
Step 1: Online Orientation and Academic Success Evaluation
Step 2: Freshman Pre-Advising
Step 3: First Year Seminar and the Common Read Program (SLS 1122 First Year Seminar)
Step 4: First Flight Convocation
Step 5: First Year Experience Student Activities
For more information about FYE and each step visit https://www.polk.edu/first-year-experience/.
Students in the Associate in Arts degree must pass the SLS 1122 First Year Seminar during their first year of enrollment; it is a graduation requirement.
The Student Activities and Leadership Office (SALO)
The Student Activities and Leadership Office is dedicated to students who are interested in developing meaningful ideals and crafting a greater sense of self. At this office, students can find valuable information and useful assistance as well as participate in student-driven activities and events. Participating in campus activities helps students gain life-long skills and the competitive edge necessary for retention and graduation as well as post-graduation success. The Student Activities and Leadership Office offers the following resources and services to students: charter forms and procedure information on how to start a new club, volunteer service information and opportunities, the calendar of campus events, voter registration materials, and information on how to serve on college-wide committees. The SALO is housed in the Student Center on both the Winter Haven and Lakeland campuses and the JDA Center in Lake Wales.
The Student Government Association (SGA) is the official representative of Polk State College students. The SGA has three main responsibilities: it acts as a liaison between students and administrators, it provides programs and events for students, and it represents Polk State College students in state organizations for college students.
The SGA is a member of the Florida College System Student Government Association that represents the College at the district and state level and the American Student Government Association that represents the College at national and international levels.
The SGA holds elections each spring, and officers typically serve a year-long term. All students who are currently in good academic standing at Polk State College can apply to be members of the SGA and are able to attend meetings. Students need a GPA of 2.5 to hold an elected position. The SGA is funded by the Student Activities Fee, making it possible to present programs free of charge to Polk State College students.
The purpose of the Student Activities Board (SAB) is to provide quality entertainment, intramural sports, and multicultural programming for students and to encourage student involvement with student life at Polk State College. Involvement with SAB will teach team building, leadership, and helping one another while having fun. Through these activities, students will gain social, intellectual, and cultural enhancement while participating in extracurricular activities at the College.
Student Activities Board elections take place each spring semester at the first meeting followed by a mandatory training session. At least three-fourths of the voting membership must be present for this election to occur. All members are required to maintain a 2.0 overall GPA or higher to hold a position in the club.
For more information, please feel free to contact SALO on the Lakeland and Winter Haven campuses, and the JD Alexander Center in Lake Wales.
The Student Centers are places where students gather to socialize, study, and dine. The Student Center on the Lakeland campus is located in the LAC building. On the Winter Haven campus, the Student Center is located in the WST building and houses the College bookstore, special event rooms, campus dining services, Activity Center, TV lounge, the Student Activity and Leadership Office (SALO), and the SGA offices.
Many active clubs and organizations are available at Polk State College. Students interested in any clubs or organizations should consult an advisor for membership requirements. For more information contact SALO. Polk State clubs and organizations include the following:
- American Sign Language Club (LK)
- Association of Engineering Technology Students (Clear Springs)
- Bass Fishing Club (College Wide)
- Black Student Union (WH)
- Brother to Brother (Students for African American Brotherhood) (WH)
- Cardiovascular Club (Airside West)
- Chi Alpha (WH)
- Comic and Animation Club (LK)
- Creative Writing Club (LK)
- Fellowship of Christian Athletics (LK and WH)
- Florida Future Educators of America (LK)
- Florida Nursing Students Association (LK and WH)
- Free To Be Me - Gay and Straight Alliance (LK)
- Forensics Team (Speech and Debate) (College Wide)
- Golden Key International Honor Society (LK)
- Honors Program Student Council (College Wide)
- Interfaith Project (LK)
- International Circle (LK and WH)
- Intervarsity Council (LK)
- Math Club (LK and WH)
- Occupational Therapy Assistant Club (WH)
- The Open Book-Polk State College Book Club (WH)
- Pearl of a Nation-Caribbean Club (WH)
- Philosophy Club (LK)
- Phi Theta Kappa (LK and WH)
- Physical Therapy Assistant Club (WH)
- Radiography Club (Airside West)
- SISTERS (Strong Independent Sisters That Encourage Respect and Survive) WH
- Sonography Club (Airside West)
- Speech and Debate Team (College Wide)
- Student Flight Club (Airside East)
- Student Flight Team (Airside East)
- Unete Club-Hispanic Club (WH)
- Visual Arts Society (WH)
- Wellness Club (WH)
Phi Theta Kappa
Polk State College sponsors two chapters of Phi Theta Kappa, the official International Honor Society for community and state college students. Both Polk State College Chapters, Xi Pi and Beta Upsilon Upsilon, are active student organizations on the Winter Haven and Lakeland campuses, respectively, that encourage scholarship, leadership, service to the College, and fellowship among members. Membership is by invitation only. A student must have at least a 3.50 GPA and a minimum of 12 college-level credits at Polk State College.
Polk State College sponsors a chapter of the Golden Key International Honor Society. Membership in Golden Key is eligible to bachelor degree candidates with a minimum overall GPA of 3.5. The Golden Key Society consists of over 400 chapters at colleges and universities in nine countries and promotes pillars of academics, leadership, and service. Membership is by invitation only to qualified students.
Catalogs and other College publications are produced when appropriate. These publications are available on the Polk State College website at www.polk.edu. Alternative formats are available in the Student Services offices for students with disabilities.
The Student Handbook is incorporated into the catalog. All the rights and privileges of students in addition to policies, rules, and regulations are contained herein.
Polk State College provides a wide variety of opportunities for students who wish to participate in the Music Program. There are 5 ensembles that are open to everyone that sings or plays an instrument. New students to the program may be asked to provide a short audition for placement in the large ensembles. The Music Department also offers classes in beginning and intermediate piano, guitar, and voice. These classes are open to all students.
The Concert Band, Concert Choir, Women's Chorus, Men's Chorus, and Strings
These are performance classes, and students who sign up for these classes should anticipate a minimum of two weekends of required performances each semester.
Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Band, Jazz Combo, Brass Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, and Woodwind Ensemble
Students who plan a career in music or demonstrate a high level of performance, vocally or instrumentally, are encouraged to request permission to enroll in the above specialized performing ensemble classes. Students in these ensembles can expect to perform more frequently than the departmental concerts. They are called on to perform often throughout the semester for both College and community functions.
All students who are planning to be music majors/professional musicians must enroll in private study (Applied Music classes). Students who wish to enroll in these classes should contact Prof. John Anderson for assistance with proper placement in these classes.
Special note to all students who are considering Music as a Major: It is essential that you begin the music sequence as soon as possible upon entering Polk State College. Failure to do so can result in additional time requirements for attaining a music degree.
For further information, students should contact Professor Michelle Manzi, Music Department Coordinator, at 863.297.1010 ext. 5402 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Theatre Department offers courses in three aspects of the discipline: academic, production, and performance. The academic classes are Theatre Appreciation (which fulfills the second Humanities General Education requirement) and Dramatic Literature. The production courses are Fundamentals of Stage Craft for scenery and lighting, scenic painting, and technical workshops that support our Main Stage and Black Box productions. The performance courses are Acting Fundamentals I and Acting Fundamentals II, Stage Voice Techniques, Stage-Combat and Movement, and Oral Interpretation as well as musical theatre disciplines of singing-acting and dancing. The Theatre Department's curriculum emphasizes development of students' academic success and their capacity for artistic collaboration.
Polk State College Theatre presents three types of theatrical events:
- Classic musicals, comedies, and dramas in the 500-seat Main Stage Theatre
- Contemporary and avant-garde plays in the 90-seat Black Box Theatre
- Staged Readings and Cabarets
For additional information, contact the Theatre Department at 863.292.3831.
Polk State College is a member in good standing of the National Junior College Athletic Association (Region VIII) and the Florida Community College Activities Association (Suncoast Conference). Athletes compete in men's baseball, men's basketball, women's volleyball, women's softball, and women's soccer. A limited number of scholarships are available for student athletes.
Polk State College has excellent sports facilities that serve as models for other schools in Florida. The Health Center on the Winter Haven campus seats 2,600 adults and houses the women's volleyball and the men's basketball programs. Polk State College's soccer team plays at Lake Myrtle Park in Auburndale. The College baseball field is built to professional specifications. The softball team plays at the Diamondplex.
Students wishing to participate in an athletic program are encouraged to contact the coach of the varsity sport of interest.
Polk State College provides an intramurals program including competition in events such as flag football, soccer, basketball, volleyball, bowling, and more. Students who would like to get involved in these activities, or those who have ideas for other activities, should contact the Student Activities and Leadership Office (SALO) on the Lakeland or Winter Haven campus. Students must be currently enrolled to participate in all intramural and extramural activities on and off campus.
Polk State College's Career Development Services offices are located on the Lakeland and Winter Haven campuses. A variety of services are offered to assist students with developing career plans, choosing majors, preparing for job searches, attending workshops, and viewing reference materials and other website resources.
For more information, students should visit https://www.polk.edu/career-development-services/ or contact the Career Coordinator on the Winter Haven or Lakeland campus.
No hospital or clinic facilities are provided by the College.
NOTE: The College has no express or implied responsibility for accidents or expenses incurred resulting from accidents; therefore, students are required to assume responsibility for their own medical expenses. Students are encouraged to purchase health insurance while attending Polk State College. Information on various insurance plans is available in the Academic Advising offices.
BayCare Student Assistant Program
The College contracts with BayCare's Student Assistance Program providing help for a number of issues, including:
- Anger management
- Relationship issues
- Work/school/life balance management
- Alcohol/drug use
For more information or to schedule an appointment, students should call the toll-free confidential helpline available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (1.800.878.5470). Credentialed counselors are on the Lakeland and Winter Haven campuses for limited hours each week. The counselor on the Winter Haven campus is in room WAD 159. The counselor on the Lakeland campus is in room LTB 1274.
Polk State College has an Ombudsman on each campus who facilitates understanding, communication, and conflict resolution among students, faculty, and staff. The office provides a prompt, impartial, and confidential means of facilitating dialogue and resolving differences between parties apart from formal grievance procedures.
At Polk State College, the Ombudsman:
- Listens to your concern(s).
- Provides a "safe" place to talk confidentially.
- Explains campus policies and procedures, rules, and processes.
- Analyzes your situation and identifies/evaluates options.
- Refers students to other individuals or offices when appropriate.
- Acts as a neutral resource between a student and a faculty/staff member using informal mediation and/or other problem solving techniques.
- Facilitates communication between and among individuals.
- Explains the grade appeal process and provides information on formal grievance processes.
At Polk State College, the Ombudsman does not:
- Take sides.
- Change grades or other College policies.
- Identify individuals without permission, except as required by law.
- Give legal advice.
- Act as a witness or later testify in a formal grievance or legal proceeding.
- Fill other College roles that could create conflicts of interest in maintaining his/her neutral position.
For more information see the Resources and Activities section.
Polk State College respects the rights of its students. The College outlines student rights under several of the College's rules and procedures. These rights cover academic, policy-related, behavioral, and state-legislated matters.
Polk State College adheres to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. All services, degree programs, and classes are open to eligible students with disabilities. Reasonable accommodations are provided, based on individual needs. Students with documented disabilities may be eligible for extended testing time, special computer equipment, recorded texts, note-taker services, interpreters, course substitutions, and other necessary and reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access.
The Office of Disability Services works with any rehabilitation agency, such as the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation or the Division of Blind Services, to coordinate student services for students with disabilities. Designated parking spaces are available for students with disabilities who hold state-approved permits; additional parking permits are not required.
Students are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services to request special accommodations or auxiliary aids. All information provided is voluntary and kept strictly confidential. If you have any questions, please contact the Director of Disability and Counseling Services at 863.669.2309.
NOTE: The College does not provide personal attendant care, transportation, or housing assistance.
TRiO Student Support Services is a federally-funded program designed to offer free individual, academic, and personal support to qualified students. To qualify, students must be first-generation college students (neither parent has a baccalaureate degree), low income according to federal guidelines; and/or have a documented physical, mental, or learning disability. Additionally, they must be at least half-time students at Polk State College who are seeking to complete an associate in arts degree that transfers to a bachelor's program at Polk State College or another four-year college or university. Services include academic and career guidance, mentoring, textbook lending, transfer counseling, and visits to local four-year colleges and universities. TRiO Student Support Services are available to students on the Winter Haven campus in WAD 167, the Lakeland campus in LTB 1293, and the JD Alexander/Lake Wales Center in JDA 103.
Lost and Found
Polk State College manages a Lost and Found location in accordance with Florida State Statute 705.18. Lost and Found is managed by the Security Department on each campus. All lost items are cataloged and kept in the Security area for 30 days. The standard Lost and Found operating procedures are as follows:
All items received are logged into a record book.
The security captain does a visual inspection and attempts to locate the owner of the item.
When a claim is made, the claimant must be able to provide a brief description of the item.
If the description matches the item, the claimant is then asked for a photo ID and must complete a receipt form before the item is released.
Items that are not claimed within 30 days are disposed of in the following ways:
Items deemed valuable are donated to the Association of Florida Colleges (AFC) for auction. (Note: Jump drives are reformatted, removing any identifiable information.)
Student ID's are given to the appropriate Student Services office.
Driver's licenses are returned to the owner via the United States Postal Service.
Books are distributed to the Collegiate High Schools, Student Services offices, or the bookstore.
Bank cards, debit cards, credit cards, or similar items are shredded.
Clothing is given to a Good Will agency.
The College does not provide dormitories, housing, or housing referrals.
Polk State College identification cards are issued to all enrolled students. Students are required to show this ID when using College services or when attending College-sponsored events. Cards that are lost, stolen, or damaged may be replaced for a $5.00 fee that can be paid at the Cashier's office or online through PASSPORT. The photo ID offices are located in the Student Activities and Leadership Office (SALO), Student Services, and TLCC located on both the Winter Haven and Lakeland campuses and SALO at the JD Alexander Center in Lake Wales.
Online students may request their Student ID card via email. In the subject line type, "Student ID Card Request. "Email a copy of a photo ID (driver's license, passport, etc.) and your mailing address to email@example.com. Note: DO NOT include sensitive personal information (Social Security number, etc.) in this email. A SALO representative will contact you if additional information is needed.