Aug 18, 2019  
Catalog/Handbook 2019-2020 
    
Catalog/Handbook 2019-2020

Student Bill of Rights


 

Each student at Polk State College has the right to:

1. Adhere to the College's requirements and policies based on the Catalog in effect at the time the student first entered the College, provided the student maintains continuous enrollment. The College reserves the right to change policies and procedures based on changes in state or federal guidelines, best practices, or in the interest of student success. The student is subject to any changes in policy or procedure.

 2. Access records and to be afforded the protections of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which is outlined in this Polk State College Catalog/Student Handbook.

 3. Know how the College uses his or her Social Security Number. This information is outlined in the document Notification of Social Security Number Collection and Usage.

 4. Access an Ombudsman who can help the student understand policy and procedure, and provide direction when necessary. The Campus Dean of Student Services can direct the student to the Ombudsman.

 

Should any guarantee be denied, or a student feels that his or her rights have been violated in the administration of policy, procedure, or academics, the student has the right of appeal. As outlined in Polk State College Rule 4.26, Student Appeal/Complaint Policy, the following are Polk State College's appeal processes:

  1. Matters regarding grading issues and classroom policies and procedures may be appealed to the instructor or the administrator who is the instructor's immediate academic supervisor (cf. Polk State College Procedure 1018).

  2. Matters of interpretation of academic rules, whether applied to a student in a face-to-face or distance learning class may be appealed to the Petitions Committee (cf. Polk State College Procedure 5023). A student may visit a student success advisor on any campus for assistance in completing a petition. An Online@PolkState student may send a request for assistance to the online student success advisor.

  3. Matters regarding student services for a student with disabilities may be appealed with the assistance of the designated counselor for students with disabilities (Avenues of appeal are specified in District Board of Trustees Rule 4.23). The student may contact Valparisa Baker, Director of the Office or Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (Title IX Coordinator), 999 Avenue H, N.E., Winter Haven, FL 33891-4299; Office: WAD 227 863.292.3602 Ext 5378, email: vbaker@polk.edu, webpage: polk.edu/equity-diversity-inclusion/.

  4. Matters regarding financial aid and scholarships may be appealed to the Student Services/Financial Aid Committee. The student may contact the Quality Assurance and Compliance Coordinator, Ketsia Alexandre, at kalexandre@polk.edu.

  5. Matters regarding the conduct of other students may be appealed to the Campus Dean of Student Services, or his or her designee; this individual assists with the provisions and procedures in District Board of Trustees Rule 4.01 Student Conduct, Discipline, and Due Process. The student may visit the Campus Dean of Student Services, or email a request for assistance to advising@polk.edu.

  6. Matters of discrimination, discriminatory policies, or discriminatory actions (other than matters of discipline or student employment) may be appealed to the College's Equity Committee. Claims of employment discrimination may be appealed using Polk State College Procedure 6054, Equity Complaint. The student may contact Valparisa Baker, Director of the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (Title IX Coordinator), 999 Avenue H, N.E., Winter Haven, FL 33891-4299; Office: WAD 227 863.292.3602 Ext 5378; email: vbaker@polk.edu; webpage: polk.edu/equity-diversity-inclusion/.

  7. Matters of complaint against an employee may be appealed to the employee's supervisor. If the complaint is not resolved at this level, the next step is the formal process, as indicated below.

  8. Matters involving sexual harassment may be appealed using Polk State College Procedure 6076, Sexual Harassment. The individual should contact Valparisa Baker, Director of the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (Title IX Coordinator), 999 Avenue H, N.E., Winter Haven, FL 33891-4299; Office: WAD 227 863.292.3602 Ext 5378; email: vbaker@polk.edu; webpage: polk.edu/equity-diversity-inclusion/.

  9. Matters regarding denial of the in-state residency rate for tuition and fees may be appealed to the Residency Committee as noted in Polk State College Procedure 1025, Admissions Procedure. A student appealing a decision may contact the Assistant Registrar on the Lakeland or Winter Haven campus or send a request to: registrar@polk.edu.

All other matters should be processed as listed below:

  1. In matters of complaint against an employee, the first step is an informal appeal to the employee's supervisor.

  2. In matters of complaint against an institutional policy or practice, the first step is an informal appeal to the administrator responsible.

If the appeal or complaint is not resolved in the informal process, a formal appeal/complaint process must be followed:

  1. A written statement of the complaint must be submitted to the President's Staff member responsible for the organizational unit in which the complaint originated.

  2. The President's Staff member is responsible for investigating and resolving the complaint in a reasonable amount of time. The President's Staff member's decision is final. A decision is issued as a written statement to the parties involved.

  3.  If the complaint is against the President's Staff member responsible for the organizational unit, the President shall assign an appropriate person to review the complaint.

 

Online Education Student Grievances Not Satisfied through the College's Procedure for Online Education Matters

Out-of-state distance education students who have completed Polk State's internal institutional grievance process (as stated above) and the applicable state grievance process found on the webpage listed above, may appeal non-instructional complaints to the FL-SARA Postsecondary Reciprocal Distance Education (PRDEC) Council. For additional information on the complaint process, students should visit the FLSARA Complaint Process webpage at www.FLDOE.ORG\SARA.

 

Student Grievances Beyond Polk State College

Information about filing grievances to the state of Florida can be found on the Florida College System website. 

Copies of Polk State's District Board of Trustees Rules and Procedures referenced above are available on the College's Rules and Procedures websites.