Apr 17, 2024  
Catalog 2009-2010 
Catalog 2009-2010 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Information

Welcome to Polk State College


Since its founding in 1964, Polk State College (PSC) has served the higher education needs of Polk County. Over the years, PSC has undergone tremendous growth and change.

The first PSC academic year started with 1,107 students and 33 faculty members in temporary quarters on the Bartow Air Base. Today, under the leadership of President Eileen Holden, Ed.D., over 100 full-time faculty serve the higher education needs of over 12,000 credit and 9,000 non-credit students in locations throughout Polk County, including two modern campuses in Lakeland and Winter Haven; the Airside Center, south of the Lakeland Airport; and the new JD Alexander Center in Lake Wales.

On all PSC campuses, students have access to high-quality academic programs supported by modern equipment and facilities including:

  • Libraries with more than 93,000 volumes and numerous online electronic resources available on campus and by remote access.
  • Teaching/Learning Computing Centers (TLCCs) equipped with qualified tutors, the latest software, personal computers, CD burners, printers, video editing equipment, and scanners.
  • Fully equipped computer and multimedia classrooms.

As PSC strives to accomplish its educational mission, it continues to integrate technology into the classroom. All computers in the TLCCs and computer classrooms are networked and provide access to various software and CD-ROM reference materials. Both campuses are linked via fiber optic cable. Major emphasis is placed on distance learning using a wireless cable system. Auditoriums can host teleconferences and are equipped for Internet access and multimedia usage. Since opening in 1964, PSC has awarded over 30,000 degrees.

Approximately 70 percent of the graduates receive associate in arts (A.A.) degrees. The A.A. courses are parallel and equal to courses offered in the Florida State University System. PSC’s A.A. degree credits are transferred easily to all universities in the Florida State University System. Additionally, PSC offers numerous associate in applied science (A.A.S.) and associate in science (A.S.) degrees that can lead directly to employment. PSC degree programs have a major impact on the community. An estimated 90 percent of city and county law enforcement officers in Polk County have been trained at PSC, and an estimated 60 percent of Polk County nurses have been educated through the College’s programs.


Polk State College will be a world class college and Florida’s leader in workforce development.


Polk State College is a quality-driven educational institution providing access to affordable associate and baccalaureate degrees, career certificates, and workforce development programs, delivered by diverse, qualified faculty and staff who are committed to student learning and achievement through the consistent practice of collaboration and focus on excellence.


Polk State College fosters and supports creative, innovative, and positive learning experiences within an atmosphere of academic excellence and continuous improvement. The goal is to provide personalized services to assure that every student acquires the knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes necessary for success in advanced education, careers in a global economy, and participation in a diverse and changing society.

As an active partner within our community, PSC is an open-access community college whose programs and services reflect the diversity of its students and the dynamic needs of its community.

A wide choice of programs is available. For career entry, students can earn a certificate, an associate in science or an associate in applied science degree. For transfer to a four-year institution, PSC offers an associate in arts (A.A.) degree. In addition, PSC offers numerous continuing education programs for the enhancement of career skills. Through a variety of learning experiences, students acquire problem solving, critical thinking, communication, and computing skills that are fundamental to all degree and certificate programs.

Core Values

Polk State College’s (PSC) Core Values are Collaboration, Commitment, Diversity, Excellence, Integrity, Leadership, and Service.

  • Collaboration is the pursuit of shared goals and a sense of urgency and commitment, open communication, mutual trust and respect, and accountability to others and oneself.
  • Commitment means demonstrating in words and actions a strong belief in, and acceptance of, the organizational vision, mission, core values, and strategic goals.
  • Diversity means respecting and appreciating the many distinct characteristics people bring to the organization, and creating an environment that honors those differences.
  • Excellence means working to one’s full potential, aligning words and actions, and striving for continuous improvement.
  • Integrity is the adherence to a code of high moral values and ethical conduct.
  • Leadership is a dynamic relationship based on shared purposes between leaders and collaborators, in which both are moved to higher levels of motivation as they affect real, intended change.
  • Service is the daily work performed on behalf of students, employees, and the community. It serves as a fundamental part of the college culture and drives the quest for excellence.

Where to Begin

This catalog contains a wealth of information. Another way to navigate PSC is to visit the website at www.polk.edu. At the website, students can visit Admissions, Student Services, student registration (PASSPORT), maps, faculty information, PSC clubs, athletics, student and cultural activities, and much more online.

  • The “General Information” section gives an overview of PSC. For help getting around the campuses, students should refer to the maps in the back of this catalog.
  • The “Admission, Advising, Registration, and Records” section is where students should start their PSC educational journey. This section explains everything students need to know about being admitted to Polk State College and registering for classes.
  • The Financial Aid section explains how to apply for the many financial aid opportunities available. Students can find additional information about “Loans, Scholarships, and Grants” in Appendix B.
  • The Resources and Activities for Students section provides information about the support services and clubs available.
  • The Regulations section lists rules in effect at PSC.
  • The Programs of Study section gives details about the many degree programs available at Polk State College.
  • The Course Descriptions section lists a summary for each course offered at PSC and provides information regarding prerequisites and corequisites.
  • The Personnel Directory section lists the members of the District Board of Trustees (the PSC governing body), as well as the full-time members of PSC’s administrative and instructional staff.


PSC has two full-service campuses in Lakeland and Winter Haven; an Airside Center, south of the Lakeland Airport; and the new JD Alexander Center in the refurbished Lake Wales City Hall.

The Winter Haven campus, located off Lake Elbert Drive, was established in 1968 and has eight permanent buildings.

The Lakeland campus, open since 1988 and located on Winter Lake Road in South Lakeland, is shared with the University of South Florida. The campus has three academic buildings and a maintenance building.

The Airside Center is home to the Corporate College and the Medical Imaging Complex, which brings together the Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Cardiovascular Technology, and Radiography programs.

In 2009, PSC established the J D Alexander Center in Lake Wales in the historic former City Hall.

PSC also offers classes at Ridge Community High School in Davenport.

PSC is committed to the “one college” concept, with requirements and rules that are the same at all its locations; however, some activities such as athletics, music, and drama are available only on the Winter Haven campus.

PCS Foundation

The Polk State College Foundation, Inc. (PSCF) is a tax-exempt corporation whose purpose is to provide Polk State College (PSC) with resources for the advancement of the College, its students, faculty, staff, and other constituencies in fulfillment of the College’s mission. Through contributions from donors, scholarship opportunities are provided to qualified students. Information about PSCF scholarships and the application process are accessible through the PSCF website at www.polk.edu/foundation.

The PSC Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors, consisting of business and professional leaders in Polk County. The PSCF exists to help provide the “Margin of Excellence,” enabling PSC to offer county residents advanced educational programs promising academic excellence, personal growth, cultural development, and meaningful employment. To fulfill this commitment, the PSC Foundation continually searches for donations of cash, securities, and property, as well as deferred gifts. More information on donations can be found at www.polk.edu/foundation.

Equal Access and Equal Opportunity Mission

The District Board of Trustees of PSC affirms its equal access and equal opportunity policy in accordance with the provisions of the Florida Educational Equity Act and all other relevant State and federal laws, rules, and regulations. Discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, disability, age, veteran status, or marital status against a student or an employee is prohibited.

PSC is dedicated to providing equal access and equal opportunity for all services made available by the College and to conduct all programs and activities without discriminating against a person because of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, disability, veteran status, or marital status.

The Equity Officer serves as the point of contact for complaints alleging discrimination on the basis of age, disability, gender, race, age, national origin, or religion. The Equity Officer serves under the direction of the President and may be reached at 863-292-3602.

Security and Safety

PSC continually strives to provide students, faculty, staff, and visitors with a safe and secure environment. Security officers are on duty 24 hours-a-day and continually patrol the campus.

A security officer can be reached by calling ext. 5059 from any PSC phone on campus, dialing 863-297-1059 from off campus, or by using one of the emergency phones located throughout both campuses. With security and safety in mind, all PSC employees are fingerprinted and are subject to a criminal background check. Employees who appear to pose significant security issues will be terminated. More information on campus security can be found on the PSC Safety website at www.polk.edu/search (type in the keyword safety).


Polk State College (PSC) provides parking at all facilities for its students, faculty, and staff. Restricted area parking is controlled on all campuses through parking tags or decals issued to the faculty and staff. General parking areas are provided for students. Students with exceptional needs should see Student Services for additional consideration. The College does ticket vehicles that are parked in violation of the designated/restricted areas on each campus.

Here are the parking restrictions:

  • Lakeland Campus: Areas identified by signage and yellow lines are restricted to faculty and staff, Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. After 3 p.m., the Visitors’ area is designated as staff parking. All other restricted areas remain the same for the evenings.
  • Winter Haven Campus: Areas identified by signage and yellow lines are restricted to faculty and staff, Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. The
    President’s parking space is reserved at all times.

PSC provides handicapped parking spaces for those with proper vehicle identification. Spaces are identified by the blue handicapped signs located in parking lots on all campus.

Students ticketed for violating parking regulations will be fined in accordance with PSC Board Rule 2.18. Fines can be paid to the Cashier on either campus. Any parking fines that are not paid will prohibit the student from receiving grades, or obtaining a transcript.

Fingerprinting Policy

All students completing any level of school-based field experience or observation must be fingerprinted before entering a classroom. This policy includes students taking lower-division prerequisite courses, such as Introduction to Education and Teaching Diverse Populations. The current cost for fingerprinting is $61. It is the student’s responsibility, not the College’s, to pay this fee. Students will be fingerprinted at the Polk County School Board.


A vast amount of information about Polk State College (PSC) is available on the PSC website at www.polk.edu. The website contains facts about PSC, information about programs, the college calendar, and campus maps, as well as instructions about applying and registering. College news, event schedules, information about various departments, and PSC’s catalogs can also found there.

The website provides many resources, including links to the library’s electronic catalogs, databases, and research tools. Students attending distance education courses will find information about their Internet courses, hybrid courses, telecourses, and other distance education courses. Students can also find phone numbers and e-mail addresses for their instructors and information about PAL (Polk Access to Learning), PSC’s learning management system. The website also provides a link to PASSPORT, which allows students to conduct various Student Services tasks, such as looking up grades and registering for classes.

Registration Tools

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 and make address changes, look up grades, check financial aid, and register online during designated periods before each term.

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, go to PSC’s website at www.polk.edu and click on the PASSPORT link. Step-by-step instructions can be found on PASSPORT’s “Help” screens. Student Services offers a booklet that provides instructions on how to use PASSPORT.

The Worforce Guarantee

Associate in science, associate in applied science, college credit certificate, or vocational certificate graduates:

Polk State College (PSC) will provide the coursework and academic preparation necessary to earn a specific associate in science (A.S.) degree, associate in applied science (A.A.S.) degree, college credit certificate, or vocational certificate. In programs for which licensure, certification, or registry examinations are appropriate, program coursework will also prepare the student for successful completion of any certification, registry, or licensure examination associated with the specific program. This guarantee is valid for one year from the date of the completion of the last course required for the degree or certificate.

A.S., A.A.S., or Vocational Certificate Guarantee:

  1. Any PSC student awarded an A.S. degree, an A.A.S. degree, college credit certificate, or vocational certificate, and who subsequent to the award of the degree is unsuccessful in her/his initial attempt on the appropriate licensure, certification, or registry examination, will be provided up to 10 hours of review and remediation in the appropriate competence area(s) without charge to the student. The graduate is required to meet with the appropriate Program Director within 4 weeks of the failed attempt to determine the remedial program, and the student must retest within 6 months of failure.
  2. A Polk County employer who hires a PSC A.S., A.A.S., college credit certificate, or vocational certificate graduate who has met all professional requirements, including any registry, licensure, or certification requirements, and who determines within the first year after graduation that the student is deficient in an identified area of competence specifically included in the A.S., A.A.S, college credit certificate, or vocational certificate program training completed by the student, may contact a Dean of Student Services to send the student to PSC for up to 10 hours of retraining in that specific competence at no cost to either the student or to the employer.