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 policies, also known as national accreditation. The mode of delivery (online, open-entry/open-exit, or hybrid) or the term design (compressed, fast track, traditional 15-16 weeks) does not factor into credit transferability. (See F.S. 1004.09 and Rule 6A-14.0304.)
- Credit is awarded provided the credit earned is in an appropriate area and, at an appropriate level, and provided a grade of D or higher has been achieved as long as D is a passing grade for Polk State's equivalent course.
- 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 (overall) 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 degrees only if an upper-division course meets a specific lower-division requirement. Master and doctorate level courses are not transcribed to Polk State transcripts and may only be used as an acceptable transfer with the permission of the degree program director at Polk State College.
- 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.
- Credits awarded for online courses are evaluated in the same manner as face-to-face courses and the same policies for transfer apply. MOOCs are discussed in the section titled Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC).
- Developmental courses in English, reading, and math are only transferred from state institutions. Out-of-state or private college developmental credit does not qualify for transfer. Students who transfer without a college-level English or math course must take the placement exam unless otherwise exempt.
- 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 Polk State College evaluation rigors.
- Transcripts from international institutions, including those in the English language, require an official evaluation (at the expense of the student) from an external agency recommended by Polk State College. Students are not required to provide transcripts from international post secondary institutions if transfer work is not desired. Polk State prefers students use International Education Evaluations, Inc or Josef Silny & Associates. However, students who have already used agencies at www.naces.org may submit those for consideration. Polk State requires international high school transcripts to be evaluated on a document-by-document basis. Do not pay extra for a course-by-course evaluation for a high school transcript. It is not necessary.
- Students with a regionally-accredited or equivalent bachelor's degree will have general education courses considered met. The exceptions are program-specific general education courses, general education courses that serve as a program course, and courses that are too old according to program standards. In addition, students are required to have two college-level mathematics courses at the College Algebra or higher level in the AA degree and one college-level or higher mathematics course in an AS degree regardless of degree.
- Important note to students: If a student changes the intended program it is the student's responsibility to request a reevaluation of applied transfer credits to the new program. This is not automatically done.
Polk State College recognizes that valid learning can take place in non-traditional and non-collegiate environments. The College follows equivalency course guidelines from the American Council of Education (ACE) in accordance with the Articulation Coordinating Committee of the state of Florida. The College also generally follows additional credit-granting recommendations of ACE but reserves the right to exercise its own judgment in such cases. 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 visit the web page Credits for Experience and Non-Traditional Learning. This page also contains information and links regarding Prior Learning Assessment (PLA).
All credit that is transferred to Polk State College will become part of the student's permanent academic record at Polk State and will appear on the transcript. The credits will be applied in the most appropriate manner to the student's program of study in the areas of general electives, general education, program courses, and other academic requirements. In some cases, credit will contribute to excess hours on the student record.
Student Responsibilities for Award of Transfer Credit:
Students must submit an official transcript to the Admission and Registrar's office before consideration is given for transfer. Students are advised to submit transcripts six weeks before the beginning of the semester.
Students may be asked to complete a Credit Evaluation Worksheet and provide documentation from the sending institution about course content, faculty credentials, textbooks, or other criteria used in the evaluation process. Requests for evaluation of credit from schools that are not regionally accredited and that do not participate in SCNS must be initiated by the student 12 weeks prior to the beginning of the term (but no later than the Drop deadline of the graduating term). Students play an active role in collecting required data for evaluation. A transcript evaluation specialist will review the documentation and render a transfer decision based on Polk State's award policies. Students are responsible for reviewing all credit applied from transfer or articulation. The College is not responsible to the student for misappropriated credit errors.
Students may appeal a transfer decision by visiting an advisor who will complete an Advisor Action Request form. Students are advised to provide thorough and complete documentation with the appeal. The appeal will be reviewed by two or more of the following individuals: the Transcript Services Supervisor, the College Registrar, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and/or one or more discipline-specific faculty. A final decision will be rendered, and the student will be notified in writing.
Polk State participates with other state and private institutions in reverse transfer for the purposes of degree attainment. Students have the option to opt into reverse transfer when applying to the College. Reverse transfer allows Polk State and future institutions that the student may attend to share the student's academic record. Students who leave Polk State without earning a degree, will have these records evaluated to determine if the student meets the requirements for a degree at Polk State and therefore be granted one. Students must meet all the requirements for graduation, including having a minimum of 25 percent of instruction toward the degree at Polk State College. Review the Graduation Requirements section for further details.