Most programs of study at Polk State College (PSC) lead to an associate degree or a certificate. Additionally, students with an associate degree can also pursue a Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and management. Vocational certificates are also awarded in specific technical areas. Associate degree programs require a minimum of 60 credit hours. However, some Associate in Science and Associate in Applied Science programs require more than 60 credit hours. In each of these programs, the specific length conforms to the state-mandated standards. The Bachelor of Applied Science requires 120 semester credit hours, which includes up to 60 credits earned in the associate degree. In addition to college credit courses, PSC provides courses designed to strengthen the academic background of students needing additional preparation before entering college-level courses. These college preparatory courses are in the areas of English, reading, and mathematics. Students are placed in these courses based on their scores on standardized placement tests.
The purpose of the general education curriculum is to provide PSC students with varied opportunities to integrate knowledge, skills, attitudes, and experiences essential for their success in higher learning and for their personal, academic, and professional enrichment. Subject matter and instructional methods are designed to develop communication ability, scientific and quantitative skills, critical thinking ability, and information literacy skills essential for students to become well-educated citizens capable of participating fully, effectively, and productively in a global community. In addition, General Education courses provide students with a sense of diversity in culture, ethics, and social responsibility.
At the completion of the general education core requirements, the student earning an AA degree from PSC will meet the following outcomes:
Demonstrate the ability to read, write, speak, and listen effectively, utilizing standard English.
- Critical Thinking
Demonstrate the ability to reflect on, analyze, synthesize, and apply information through problem solving.
- Scientific and Quantitative Reasoning
Apply mathematical and scientific principles and methods to solve abstract and real-world problems.
- Information Literacy
Demonstrate the ability to access, evaluate, incorporate, organize, and document information.
Demonstrate an ability to work with diverse people and show respect for their values, ideas, rights, and backgrounds.
Demonstrate knowledge of global cultural influences.
Identify and describe ethical principles and their application.
- Social Responsibility
Understand behaviors that lead to personal, social, and professional responsibility.
PSC Honors Program
The PSC Honors Program is designed for highly motivated and talented students who wish to be challenged by an intellectually stimulating academic program of study. Students applying for the Honors Program must have demonstrated, through their academic pursuits, an ability to achieve excellence. Honors courses are not regular courses with additional work; instead they provide alternative approaches to learning that are student-centered and interactive, promoting creativity and global understanding. Honors courses are smaller in size, enabling students and faculty in each class to form a close-knit learning community.
Students must meet one of the following criteria to be admitted to the Honors program:
- High school GPA of 3.5 or higher on a 4-point scale
- SAT combined score of 1100 or higher on Mathematics and Critical Reading
- ACT composite score of 25 or higher
- College GPA of 3.2 or higher, excluding college preparatory courses
- College placement test score of 100 or above on Sentence Skills and 100 or above on Reading
NOTE: The college placement test will be changing during the 2010-2011 academic year. See an advisor for most current information. Once a student has registered and taken classes at PSC, the PSC GPA takes precedence, and the student will be required to have a total PSC GPA of 3.2 or higher.
Students must complete a minimum of 18 credit hours with the Honors designation to graduate from the Honors Program.
For more information on the PSC Honors Program, please see an advisor at either campus or visit the Honors Program website at www.polk.edu/honors.
Associate in Science and Associate in Applied Science Degrees and Certificate Programs
The primary purpose of the Associate in Science (AS) and the Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree programs and the Certificate programs is to prepare students for employment in a specific occupational/technical field. To differing extents, all three prepare students for additional education. Both AS and AAS programs contain a general education component along with program-specific core courses. The AS program option of a specific program differs from the AAS option in the same program only in its general education requirements. The AS degree program options include a general education component that consists entirely of courses capable of transfer to many colleges and universities. Many AS programs are designed to articulate directly with State University System programs. Additionally, all AS and AAS programs qualify students to apply for admission to Polk State College’s Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Supervision and Management. AS and AAS graduates who transfer to a public four-year institution in Florida or pursue PSC’s BAS program will be required to take additional general education courses to earn a bachelor’s degree. Please refer to specific institutional requirements for more information.
The Academic Dean under which a program is offered is authorized to make appropriate and necessary substitutions in a student’s program. However, general education requirements may not be reduced, and in most cases cannot be changed. PSC may change the requirements of an occupational program to keep pace with changes in the occupational field for which the program is designed. Consequently, the College may change or discontinue a program. In the event of such a change, the College makes every effort to ensure currently enrolled students an efficient transition and completion of the selected program.
AS and AAS General Education Requirements
Students must successfully complete the General Education requirements listed in each program or program option. Specific course requirements are listed for each program or program option.
NOTE: In AS and AAS programs where a requirement is designated as an area elective (example: science elective), refer to the courses listed under AA General Education requirements to determine the course or courses that meet the requirement.
Limited Admission AS, AAS, and Certificate Programs
There are additional admission requirements for Nursing, Paramedic, Radiography, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Physical Therapist Assistant, Health Information Management, Cardiovascular Technology, Respiratory Care, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, and Medical Coding Specialist as indicated in the program descriptions. Additional information is available from Academic Advisors. Limited admission programs may begin accepting applicants at any time after the first day of the application period. Students are urged to complete the application process as near to the start of the period as possible.
Applied Technology Diploma
An Applied Technology Diploma (ATD) is a program of study of fewer than 60 credits that consists of courses that are part of an associate’s degree program (AS or AAS). This program of study leads to employment in a specific occupational field.
A College Credit Certificate is a program of study of fewer than 60 credits that consists of part of the courses that lead to an associate’s degree (AS or AAS.). This program of study leads to employment in a specific occupational field.
A Vocational Certificate is a program of study of vocational courses that leads to employment in a specific occupational field.
Reserve Officer Training Corps
Students who participate in Army ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) learn first-hand through courses and field training what it takes to lead others, motivate groups, and conduct missions as officers in the Army. Upon graduation from Army ROTC with a bachelor’s degree, students earn the bar of a Second Lieutenant and can embark on a career in the Army, the Reserves, or the Florida Army National Guard.
Polk State College has a cross-enrollment agreement with Florida Southern College’s (FSC) Department of Military Science that provides students with the opportunity to participate in Army ROTC. Students take the military courses through Polk State College at Florida Southern College.
Qualifying students can apply for scholarships. These are competitive and cover full tuition at FSC and several partnership schools. There are other financial incentives which include money for books and stipends. Those who accept scholarships incur a commitment to serve in the military upon commissioning. However, students who are interested in enrolling in a ROTC course without incurring an obligation to the military are also welcome to participate.
For more information, students should call the Military Science Department at FSC at 863-680-4273.
The Linkage System is a cooperative agreement among five community colleges in the Tampa Bay Area: Hillsborough Community College, State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota, Pasco-Hernando Community College, Polk State College, and St. Petersburg College. PSC also has a linkage agreement with Valencia Community College for Dental Hygiene. This system offers PSC students the opportunity to enter identified programs on a quota-based system. Some courses appropriate to the respective programs may be taken at PSC. Students who have been selected for admission to a Linkage Program at a college out of their district will be required to conform to all program requirements, policies, and procedures of the linkage college, which is the degree-granting college.
Additional information on the Linkage Program may be obtained by contacting a PSC academic advisor. Note: Application deadlines vary by program, so students should work with a PSC advisor as soon as they decide to pursue a linkage program.
Linkage Programs are as follows:
Hillsborough Community College:
Nuclear Medicine Technology
Radiation Therapy Technology
Pasco-Hernando Community College:
St. Petersburg College:
Valencia Community College:
Students from the other four linkage colleges (Hillsborough Community College, Pasco Hernando Community College, St. Petersburg College, and State College of Florida at Sarasota-Manatee) who wish to pursue an Allied Health program at PSC through the Linkage Agreement can select from the following PSC programs (as long as the program does not exist at their home college):
Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Occupational Therapy Assistant
Physical Therapist Assistant
For more information, students should contact an Advisor at their home college about the Linkage Program.