Feb 26, 2024  
Catalog 2009-2010 
    
Catalog 2009-2010 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Regulations


Academic Regulations and Student Responsibility

Polk State College (PSC) is responsible for publishing all rules and regulations regarding students’ responsibilities. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with these rules and regulations and for their own conduct. Written rules, regulations, policies, and procedures in effect at the time are binding.

The material in this catalog is published to provide information on rules and regulations in effect at the time of publication; however, the College reserves the right to make changes to course offerings, curricula, academic policies, and other rules and regulations at any time. These changes govern currently and formerly enrolled students.

Copies of all official Board of Trustees rules and College procedures are available for inspection in the libraries and the office of the Dean of Student Services on both the Lakeland and Winter Haven campuses.

As the College periodically updates policies, students are urged to read all official notices posted on campus bulletin boards. Unawareness of duly published rules and regulations is not considered a valid excuse for failure to comply.

Emphasis on Competency

The 1979 Florida Legislature enacted the Postsecondary Education Act (CS/HB 1689) to improve the quality of higher education in Florida. Major goals of the legislation include:

  • Assuring that students entering their freshman year are placed correctly in courses so that they can acquire essential college-level communication and computation skills
     
  • Assuring that students entering their junior year have acquired those communication and computation skills essential to succeeding in the upper division

The state of Florida puts great emphasis statewide on placement testing and advising, standards of academic progress for currently enrolled students, and exit standards to prove mastery of essential skills.

Student competency is emphasized at PSC by careful selection of educational programs, placement testing, and admissions and academic advising. Students are required to make quantifiable progress toward their educational goals.

Testing

Placement Assessment

PSC provides a comprehensive placement assessment program in accordance with Florida law. Students may use scores that are less than two years old from Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and/or American College Testing (ACT) tests to determine placement in mathematics, reading, and English courses. All students who do not have recent SAT or ACT test scores will be required to participate in the College’s assessment program. PSC uses the Florida College Entry Level Placement Test (CPT) provided by the College Board to test for proficiency in reading, writing, and mathematics. Although frequently referred to as “testing,” the CPT is not a pass/fail examination, but rather an assessment tool used to determine the proper placement in college courses. The CPT does not determine admission eligibility.

Students who have taken the ACT or SAT may use these scores to determine eligibility for college-level courses as defined by Florida Administrative Code 6A-10.0315. These exams will be used only to determine college-level skills. For placement above the first college-level course (i.e. College Algebra or higher), a student must take the appropriate section of the CPT exam to determine placement.

The current state standards for placement in college-level courses are:

Subtest CPT
ACT
SAT
Reading 83 18 Verbal or Critical Reading 440
Sentence Skills/English 83 17 Verbal or Critical Reading 440
Elementary Algebra 83 19 Math 460

All students applying to take credit courses are required to present official scores on the ACT, SAT, or CPT prior to course registration. Exceptions may include students transferring from other colleges with appropriate English and mathematics credit or 12 transferring-credit hours at a minimum GPA of 2.00. Students not pursuing a degree or certificate (non-degree seeking students) also may be exempt from placement testing, but unless they provide evidence of previous college credit in English and mathematics, students are limited to enrollment in courses not requiring communication or computation skills.

College preparatory (college prep) courses in English, reading, and mathematics are required for students who score below state-mandated standards. Students are required to begin enrollment in all required college prep courses during their first twelve credit hours at PSC and to continue enrollment in prep courses each subsequent term until completed. Students who place into three college prep areas are required to take SLS 1101 (College Success) in their first term at Polk State College (PSC). Students who place into two college prep areas are encouraged to take SLS 1101 in their first term at PSC. Students enrolled in college prep also may take courses concurrently in other curriculum areas for which they qualify. College preparatory courses do not apply toward graduation requirements.

College Level Academic Skills

All students expecting to graduate with a B.A.S. or A.A. degree, or who expect to transfer as a junior to any state university in Florida, are required to demonstrate college level academic skills in English, reading, and mathematics. Prior to July 1, 2009, Florida state schools validated competency through the College Level Academic Skills Test (CLAST). Beginning with the 2009-10 academic year, the CLAST exam will no longer be administered; however, students must meet certain academic standards, formerly known as CLAST alternatives, to earn a baccalaureate or associate in arts degree.

These alternatives are earned by meeting or exceeding the minimum scores on the ACT in English (21-English, 22-reading) and mathematics (21) or the minimum scores on the SAT in verbal or critical reading (500-English and reading) and quantitative (500), or by passing six hours of college course work in each subject area (English-6 and math-6) with a combined minimum grade point average of 2.50 and grades of “C” or higher.

Credits earned through accelerated mechanisms, such as the College Level Examination program (CLEP), Advanced Placement (AP), and International Baccalaureate (IB) are calculated as a grade of “B” for CLAST purposes.

Students transferring as education majors must pass the General Knowledge exam to be accepted into junior standing in the College of Education at any Florida state university or private college offering a state approved baccalaureate degree in education.

Gordon Rule

The “Gordon Rule,” State Rule 6A-10.030, requires B.A.S. and A.A. program students to complete six semester hours of English and six semester hours of additional courses, in which the student must demonstrate college-level writing skills through multiple assignments. Additionally, B.A.S. and A.A. program students must complete six semester hours of mathematics at the college level or higher. The mathematics portion of the requirement is satisfied by taking the appropriate mathematics courses. Because Polk State College (PSC) uses a “Writing across the Curriculum” approach to meeting the writing requirement, in addition to the required composition courses, any of the required social sciences and humanities courses will fulfill this requirement. Students should talk with an advisor regarding the Gordon Rule requirement. A minimum grade of “C” is required in all courses fulfilling the writing and mathematics portion of the Gordon Rule.

Credits

Credit hours are the units by which PSC measures its course work. The number of credit hours assigned to a course usually corresponds with the number of hours per week a class meets.

PSC uses a semester plan. A semester credit hour is based on classes meeting one hour per week during the length of a 15 week term; therefore, a three-semester-hour class usually meets three hours each week during a 15 week term. Summer terms, or other periods shorter than 15 weeks, require additional hours per week to meet the minimum state-mandated hours necessary for generating semester hour credit.

Transfer credits earned from institutions using quarter plans are converted to semester hours as follows:

Quarter Hour   Semester Hours  
1 = 0.66  
2 = 1.33  
3 = 2.00  
4 = 2.66  
5 = 3.33  
6 = 4.00  
7 = 4.66  
8 = 5.33  
9 = 6.00  
10 = 6.33  

When calculating for graduation requirements, fractions of hours are not rounded up to the nearest whole number. For example, if a student earns 59.5 hours toward a 60 credit-hour degree requirement, the student does not qualify for graduation.

Maximum and Minimum Course Load

During Terms I and II (Fall and Spring), the minimum course load per term for full-time students is 12 semester hours, and 6 semester hours for the summer term. Anything less than these minimums will be considered part time. The average academic load during Terms I or II is 15 semester hours.

Maximum course load during Terms I and II is 20 semester hours per term, and 9 semester hours for each of the summer terms. Students maintaining a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher, and who have completed at least 15 semester credits, may exceed the credit maximums with the approval of the Dean of Student Services. Those wishing to appeal this regulation are required to do so prior to the first regular registration day.

Students planning on working while attending school are encouraged to adjust their schedules accordingly and register for classes early in the registration period in order to maximize scheduling options.

Grades

Grades are recorded on the student’s permanent record in the Student Records Office and are issued in the form of a transcript upon request. Term grades are available online through PASSPORT at no charge. Grades and grade-point values are listed below:

A – Superior

4 Grade Points

B – Above Average

3 Grade Points

C – Satisfactory

2 Grade Points

D – Minimum

1 Grade Point

F – Fail

0 Grade Points

I – Incomplete

0 Grade Points

S – Satisfactory

Corporate College Only

U – Unsatisfactory

Corporate College Only

W – Withdrawal

 

Final grades are based on any or all of the following: class assignments, special reports, research papers, tests, class participation and attendance, laboratory and field work, and a final examination. Specific grading polices and course requirements are provided by the instructor at the beginning of each course.

Students who believe the final grade posted is in error should contact the professor to discuss a possible grade change. Grade-change petitions to the professor must be submitted no later than the end of the following term.

Auditing Courses

Both non-credit and regular college credit courses are available for audit. Courses in limited admission programs may be audited only with the prior permission of the appropriate Dean and appropriate Program Director. A student may not audit a course in which the student received a grade of “C” or higher unless it is determined it is necessary for the student’s future academic success. To audit a course, a student must meet College admission requirements, be or become a matriculated student at Polk State College (PSC), and be able to demonstrate, if required, that he/she meets the placement standards for the course to be audited. If the student has not met the College’s Standards of Academic Progress for continued enrollment, auditing a course may be permitted with prior approval of the Dean of Student Services.

A credit student should identify the intention to audit a course at the time of registration. A student who has enrolled in a credit course as a credit-seeking student may convert that registration to “audit” status. However, this declaration must be made no later than the last day of the course’s designated Drop/Add period. A credit course may not be converted to “audit” status if the course is being paid for by a third party (such as through Financial Aid, scholarship, WIA, Veteran’s benefits, Vocational Rehab, etc.). A student auditing a course will be responsible for paying course tuition and fees as assessed, according to his/her residency status and to the fee schedule made public by the College.

A student auditing a course will be required to adhere to the attendance, testing, and other course requirements for an audit student as established by the instructor in the specific course being audited. An audit will be posted on the student’s transcript. However, students auditing a course will receive no credit for the course. An audit course will not be counted or used when calculating GPA, academic standing, Veteran’s benefits, other financial aid eligibility, or for certifying enrollment for outside agencies. A course declared for audit cannot be converted to a course for credit at a later date, however the course may be subsequently repeated for credit as long as the repeat does not violate the Forgiveness Policy of the College or other College regulations.

Incomplete Grades

If a student cannot complete course requirements by the end of the term due to extenuating circumstances (as verified by the faculty member), the instructor may assign a grade of “I.” If the extenuating circumstances occur prior to the withdrawal date, the instructor will most likely withdraw the student from the course and not assign a grade of “I.” Although the instructor may withdraw a student, it is ultimately the student’s responsibility to withdraw from classes.

By assigning a grade of “I,” the professor indicates that the student may receive a passing grade by satisfactorily completing the unfinished course work within a reasonable amount of time agreed to by both student and instructor, but no later than by the end of the next term. Furthermore, the professor assumes the responsibility for grading the additional work and completing a grade-change form. If the student fails to meet the objectives by the conclusion of the following term, the “I” converts to a grade of “F.”

When a faculty member has agreed to assign a grade of “I,” the Incomplete Course Work Completion Plan form must be completed, signed, and filed with the appropriate Academic Dean’s Office.

Students who have applied for graduation in a given term must complete all required course work by the graduation date. An incomplete grade in a course needed for graduation will prohibit graduation for that term.

Forgiveness Policy

PSC’s state-mandated grade forgiveness policy allows students to repeat only those courses in which they earn a grade of “D,” “F,” or “W.” Students are allowed only three attempts in any one course: one initial enrollment and two repeats. The third attempt at a course will be charged at a cost equal to the full cost of the instruction rate. Although all course attempts appear on the transcript, only the grade earned in the most recent attempt is calculated in the GPA. Students are not allowed to withdraw from the third course attempt. Before repeating a course, students should consult the Financial Aid Office to determine what impact, if any, repeating a course has on financial aid status.

NOTE: Other institutions to which students eventually may transfer do not necessarily have the same grade forgiveness policy as PSC. These schools may recalculate student GPAs or reassess eligibility for financial aid.

Standards of Academic Progress

The regulations regarding academic progress apply to all credit students regardless of the beginning date of attendance at Polk State College (PSC). In determining academic progress, college credit, vocational credit, and preparatory credit are combined. Attempted courses are defined as all courses for which a student registers and remains enrolled beyond the last day of the Drop/Add period.

The term “Standards of Academic Progress” refers to the policies and procedures PSC uses to define students’ progress as they complete academic course work at the College. Standards of Academic Progress are designed to help students monitor progress and standing in regards to the grade point average (GPA) requirement. A minimum overall 2.0 GPA is required for graduation from PSC.

The seven (7) levels of academic standing are:

  • Good Academic Standing
  • Academic Warning
  • Academic Probation
  • Academic Suspension
  • Probation After Suspension
  • Academic Dismissal
  • Probation After Dismissal

The College helps students monitor their standing and progress. For any term in which a student falls to Academic Warning, Academic Probation or Academic Suspension, a statement indicating the student’s standing is printed on the student’s transcript for that term.

PSC welcomes transfer applicants with demonstrated success at other institutions. Students who transfer from other institutions are bound by PSC’s Standards of Academic Progress, and may enter the institution under one of five (5) levels of status:

  • Good Academic Standing
  • Academic Warning
  • Academic Probation
  • Probation After Suspension
  • Probation After Dismissal

Students who are on Academic Suspension at another institution may not enroll at PSC in the term immediately following the term in which they were suspended. A student may, however, enroll under the appropriate status in the next succeeding term or subsequent terms thereafter.

Academic Terms Defined

Overall (Cumulative) Hours Attempted: Total credit hours attempted since entering college, including hours credited from previously attended institutions.

Overall (Cumulative) GPA: Grade point average for all cumulative work attempted (that contributes to the GPA) since entering college, including transfer work from all previously attended institutions.

Term Hours Attempted: Total number of credit hours for which a student has enrolled in a given term.

Term Hours Earned: Total number of hours in a given term for which a student earned a passing grade.

Term GPA: Grade point average for all work attempted (that contributes to the GPA) for a given term.

GPA Calculation: To calculate Overall GPA or Term GPA, grades and grade-point values must be used as follows:

A – Superior

4 Grade Points

B – Above Average

3 Grade Points

C – Satisfactory

2 Grade Points

D – Minimum

1 Grade Point

F – Fail

0 Grade Points

To calculate a GPA, multiply Course Credit Hour by Grade Point Value to determine Quality Points earned per course; divide Quality Points earned by Hours Earned. The following is an example:

  1. Add the Total Attempted Hours for the desired GPA (term, overall, transfer, local, program, or other) that contribute to the GPA.
Total Attempted Hours
  1. Multiply the assigned grade point value of each grade on each course that is contributing to Total Attempted Hours by the number of credit hours the course is worth to get the Course Grade Point Value for each course.
  1. Total the individual Course Grade Point Values for each course to get the Total Grade Point Value for the GPA being calculated.
  1. Multiply the Total Attempted Hours times the Total Grade Point Value.
x Total Grade Point Value
  1. This equals the Total Quality Points.
= Total Quality Points
  1. Divide the Total Quality Points by the Total Attempted Hours.
÷ Total Attemped Hours
  1. This equals the Grade Point Average (GPA).
= GPA

Good Academic Standing

A student is in Good Academic Standing when all of the following conditions are met:

  • At least 50% of the courses in which the student was registered in the last term were completed with grades of “D” or better.
     
  • The GPA for the last term was 2.00 or higher.
     
  • The Overall GPA is 2.00 or higher.

Academic Warning

A student will be placed on Academic Warning under any of the following conditions:

  • Overall Hours Attempted value is 12 hours or more, and the student’s Overall (Cumulative) GPA is less than 2.00.
     
  • Term Hours Earned value is less than 50% of the Term Hours Attempted for the term attended.

A student will remain on Academic Warning until the student returns to Good Academic Standing or falls to Academic Probation.

Academic Probation

A student will be placed on Academic Probation under any of the following conditions:

  • The student’s Overall Hours Attempted value is 30 hours or more, and the student’s Overall GPA is less than 2.00.
     
  • The student is on Academic Warning and fails to earn a Term GPA of 2.00 or greater for the next term attended.
     
  • The student is on Academic Warning, and the student’s Term Hours value is less than 50% of the Term Hours Attempted for the next term attended.

A student on Academic Probation may register for classes only after academic advising and with specific course approval.

Academic Suspention

A student will be placed on Academic Suspension under any of the following conditions:

  • The student’s Overall Hours Attempted value is 45 hours or more, and the student’s Overall GPA is less than 2.00.
     
  • The student is on Academic Probation, and fails to earn a Term GPA of 2.00 or greater for the next term attended.
     
  • The student is on Academic Probation, and the student’s Term Hours Earned value is less than 50% of the Term Hours Attempted for the next term attended.

A suspended student may not enroll at the College for one term following suspension.

Probation After Suspention

A student will be placed on Probation After Suspension if the student is on Academic Suspension and has fulfilled the terms of the suspension.

A student on Probation After Suspension will be permitted to register for classes only after academic advising and with specific course approval. The student must complete 50% of all courses attempted and maintain a 2.00 Term GPA or be placed on Academic Dismissal for one academic year from the end of the term for which he/she was dismissed.

Academic Dismissal

  • The student is on Probation After Suspension or Probation After Dismissal and fails to earn a Term GPA of 2.00 or greater for the next term attended.
     
  • The student is on Probation After Suspension or Probation After Dismissal, and the student’s Term Hours earned are less than 50% of the Term Hours attempted for the next term attended.

Academic Dismissal is critical. A student on Academic Dismissal may not enroll at the College for one academic year following the end of the term for which he/she was dismissed. A student may petition for readmission. To be considered, the petition must be submitted to the Dean of Student Services at least thirty (30) working days before the beginning of the term for which the student is seeking readmission. The student will be notified of the decision in writing.

Probation After Dismissal

  • The student is on Academic Dismissal, has fulfilled the terms of dismissal, and has received approval of his/her petition for readmission.

A student on Probation After Dismissal will be permitted to register for classes only after academic advising and with specific course approval. The student must complete 50% of all courses attempted and maintain a 2.00 Term GPA. A student who fails to meet these requirements will again be placed on Academic Dismissal and will be considered for readmission only after a minimum of one year from the end of the term for which he/she was dismissed.

Class Attendance

General Policy: Class attendance is a critical part of the teaching and learning process. Students are expected to arrange their schedules in order to maintain regular and prompt attendance in all of their classes. Instructors may provide course specific attendance policies, such as indicating that excessive absences from class may result in withdrawal or failure.

Policy for International Students: International Students are required to maintain full-time enrollment status (12 or more credits per term) and to abide by the attendance policy established for each course in which they are enrolled. They are also expected to meet the standards established in the College’s “Academic Standards of Progress.” Failure to meet the requirements of either policy may have a negative effect upon the student’s visa status.

Policy for Veterans and VA Benefit Students–Credit Courses: Records of attendance will be maintained for all courses in order to determine the last day of attendance. Withdrawal will be consistent with the instructor’s policy regarding attendance for all students, including Veterans or other students attending through VA benefits. VA benefit students will be withdrawn from a credit course by the withdrawal deadline if the instructor can ascertain that attendance will prevent satisfactory completion. Should a VA benefit student violate the attendance policy for the course, the student will be decertified by the school, benefits will be terminated for unsatisfactory progress, and the student will be required to refund monies received that term.

Policy for Veterans and VA Benefit Students–Certificate Courses: Veterans and other persons eligible to receive VA education benefits who register in a certificate course and accumulate 4 days of unexcused absences within any calendar month will be decertified for lack of attendance. This action will lead to decertification by the school, termination of benefits for unsatisfactory progress, and refund of monies received by the student that term.

Policy for Law Enforcement and Corrections Certificate Programs: Students enrolled in law enforcement and corrections certificate programs are required to attend the full number of hours of each course. Unexcused absences and absences when the work is not made up may result in students being dropped from the course. Absences approved by the Training Center Director for illnesses, subpoenas, and emergencies are permitted or excused; however, students must make up all missed time and work. Students must submit requests for authorized absences to the course coordinator or Center Director. Trainees returning from any absences are required to submit a written notice to the appropriate training center staff detailing the total time absent from class, as well as the time returned to class.

Honors

Students graduating with an overall GPA of 3.5 graduate with “Academic Honors.” Students graduating with an overall GPA of 4.0 graduate with “Highest Academic Honors.” These distinctions are part of the student’s permanent record and appear on the diploma and official transcript.

Withdrawal Process

Students may officially withdraw from a course(s) during any given term, provided they follow appropriate policy and procedure. Following the conclusion of the Drop/Add period, students may officially withdraw without penalty from any course, provided they submit the appropriate forms to Student Services no later than the published deadline. The published deadline reflects approximately but no more than 70% of the term, based upon the course’s scheduled duration.

Students cannot use course withdrawal to avoid academic dishonesty penalties. Students who have been penalized for academic dishonesty in a course are not eligible to withdraw from the course.

Under the Forgiveness Policy, students are allowed only three attempts in any one course, one initial enrollment and two repeats. In certain circumstances, students may petition to repeat a credit course beyond the three attempts. Students should be aware that repeating courses may result in a higher fee. In college prep courses, students may petition for reduction of this fee. Students should visit an Academic Advisor for details. Although all course attempts appear on the transcript, only the grade earned in the most recent attempt is calculated in the GPA. Students are not allowed to withdraw from a third course attempt. If a student stops attending class, the grade earned, usually an F, is assigned and posted.

Prior to repeating a course, students should consult the Financial Aid Office to determine what impact, if any, withdrawing from or repeating a course has on financial aid status.

NOTE: Other institutions may not necessarily have the same grade forgiveness policy as PSC and may recalculate student GPAs or reassess eligibility for financial aid. In addition, limited admission programs at the college (Nursing, for example) have program-specific academic standards that address course withdrawals for students enrolled in these programs.

Cheating and Plagiarism

Polk State College (PSC) considers academic dishonesty an assault upon the basic integrity and meaning of a college education. Cheating, plagiarism, and collusion in dishonest activities are serious acts that erode the College’s educational role and tarnish the learning experience, not only for the perpetrators but for the entire community. It is expected that all PSC students will understand and subscribe to the ideal of academic integrity and that they will be willing to bear individual responsibility for their work. Materials (written or otherwise) submitted to fulfill academic requirements must represent a student’s own efforts. The fundamental purpose of this rule is to emphasize that any act of academic dishonesty attempted by any PSC student is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Examples of academic dishonesty include:

  1. Cheating or plagiarizing on tests, projects, or assignments: Cheating is defined as the giving or taking of any information or material with the intent of wrongfully aiding oneself or another in academic work considered in the determination of a course grade. Plagiarism is defined (Black’s Law Dictionary, Revised Fourth Edition) as “the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.” Plagiarism includes failure to use quotation marks or other conventional markings around material quoted from any specific source, and paraphrasing a specific passage from a specific source without accurately citing that source. Plagiarism further includes letting another person compose or rewrite a student’s assignment.

    The following items have been identified as a partial list of examples of cheating and/or plagiarism by the faculty and students at PSC:

    1. Asking for information from another student before, during, or after a test, quiz, or exam situation.
    2. Copying answers from another’s paper during a test, quiz, or exam situation.
    3. Knowingly letting someone copy from one’s paper during a test, quiz, or exam situation.
    4. Using sources other than what is permitted by the instructor in a test, quiz, or exam situation.
    5. Copying material exactly or essentially from outside sources while omitting appropriate documentation.
    6. Copying or falsifying a report of a laboratory, clinical project, or assignment without doing the required work.
    7. Changing answers on a returned graded test, quiz, or exam in order to get the grade revised.
    8. Using another individual’s work or collaborating with other students on assignments without the express permission of the instructor.
       
  2. Plagiarism in written assignments: Plagiarism includes handing in a paper to an instructor that was purchased from a term paper service or downloaded from the Internet and/or presenting another person’s academic work as one’s own. Individual academic departments may provide additional examples in writing of what does and does not constitute plagiarism, provided that such examples do not conflict with the intent of this policy.
     
  3. Furnishing false information to any faculty member.
     
  4. Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any college document, record, or instrument of identification.

Violations of the College’s policies pertaining to academic dishonesty may result in academic penalties and/or disciplinary action at the discretion of the instructor. Academic penalties may include, but are not limited to, a failing grade for a particular assignment or a failing grade for a particular course. Students charged with violating the Academic Dishonesty portion of this rule will not be permitted to withdraw from the course.

Additionally, the student may be referred to the Dean of Student Services of the campus or center where the offense took place for violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Any student suspected of violating the “Academic Dishonesty” section of the Student Code of Conduct will be subject to sanctions and provided due process as outlined in Polk State College (PSC) Procedure “Academic Dishonesty.”

Graduation Requirements

Students completing college transfer programs receive an associate in arts degree (A.A.) and are certified as completing general education requirements.

Some technical courses cannot be used as electives in the A.A. degree programs, nor do college prep courses apply toward graduation. See an advisor for information regarding degree requirements and applicable courses. A.A. degree candidates are also required to meet college level academic standards.

Students completing occupational/technical degree programs receive either an associate in science (A.S.) or associate in applied science (A.A.S.) degree, depending upon the program option selected. Students in health-related programs may be required to earn a grade of “C” or higher in all discipline-specific courses. College prep courses do not apply toward either A.S. or A.A.S. degree requirements.

Students completing the four-year degree receive a bachelor of applied science (B.A.S.) degree. College prep courses do not apply toward the B.A.S. degree requirements. B.A.S. candidates are also required to meet college level academic standards.

All students planning to graduate must meet with an Advisor and apply for graduation in Student Services no later than the deadline published on the PSC website. A $20.00 graduation application fee is assessed to graduates.

PSC graduation requirements include:

  • Completion of all degree-seeking admissions requirements, including the submission of all necessary transcripts and other documents.
     
  • Completion, prior to the date of graduation, of the required semester credit hours in a prescribed program of study and any applicable test.
     
  • An overall GPA of 2.0 or higher.
     
  • Completion of a minimum of 25% of the program hours “in residence” at the College.

All graduates are invited to participate in the formal graduation ceremony held at the end of Terms I and II (Fall and Spring). Summer graduates are invited to participate in the fall ceremony. To receive ADA accommodations, students need to let the academic advisor know when completing the Graduation Application.

Petitions

Students who feel the College’s regulations are not interpreted or applied fairly may petition the Petitions Committee. The Committee reviews each individual written request and makes a recommendation for final disposition. Information about the petitioning process is available from academic advisors.

Students with disabilities who feel the college has not met their needs appropriately, other than issues of substitutions, may appeal to the college Equity Committee for an appeal hearing. The decision of the Equity Committee is final.

Conduct, Discipline and Due Process

Students at Polk State College (PSC) are expected to act in a responsible manner that supports and enhances the educational process. PSC has a tradition of excellent conduct by its students, and the degree of responsibility they exhibit is a reflection of the educational atmosphere of the College.

Although the vast majority of students are never affected by issues regarding discipline, when acts of unacceptable conduct occur, they are dealt with in a manner supporting PSC’s educational purpose.

The Board of Trustees Rule 4.01 and related Procedures define unacceptable conduct, including sexual misconduct. It also sets forth the penalties and disciplinary procedures that apply when violations occur, and describes the due process requirements used. Information summarizing Board Rule 4.01 is available in Student Services.

Sexual Misconduct

PSC is particularly sensitive to sexual misconduct as an important part of the “Student Conduct, Discipline, and Due Process Rule.” Sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature from any person when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance, study habits, and/or educational experiences, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or study environment.
     
  • Sexual Assault: Any act, or attempted act, as defined in Florida Statutes.
     
  • Public Indecency: Exposing one’s body in such a manner that another party reasonably could be offended, or sexual conduct where another party reasonably could be offended.

Victims of sexual misconduct are encouraged and assisted in referring or filing charges. An advocate is provided in all cases to assist victims. The College notifies appropriate law enforcement officials in any assault case alleged to have occurred on college-owned or controlled property, immediately adjacent property, or during a College-sponsored activity involving students, employees, or volunteers of the College. PSC proceeds with the College’s discipline process in addition to notifying law enforcement officials.

Drug-Free Policy

Because the likelihood of success is so dramatically reduced for students on drugs, PSC is determined to have drug-free campuses. Illegal use of drugs or alcohol is not tolerated on any PSC campus or at any PSC-sponsored event off campus (DBOT Rules 4.01 and 2.25). Certain limited admission programs have additional procedures regarding the use of drugs and alcohol. Various opportunities exist at PSC to educate students about the realities of drug and alcohol abuse. A major unit in the Wellness Concepts course (HLP 1081) covers substance abuse. In addition, special seminars, workshops, and discussion opportunities are scheduled.

PSC requires all applicants for admission to commit to obeying the law and to refrain from illegal drug and alcohol activity on campuses and at all College events.

Students who illegally use drugs or alcohol or sell or manufacture legal or illegal drugs on any of the College’s campuses or centers or at a College-sponsored event off campus are subject to disciplinary actions which could include suspension or expulsion.

The College will refer for prosecution anyone engaging in illegal drug or controlled substance/alcohol activity on the College’s campuses, centers, or at College events.

Students who are convicted of any drug offense are required to report the offense to the Dean of Student Services within five days of the student’s first day of classes. Furthermore, students currently attending PSC who become subject to legal action as a result of drug-related offenses are required to contact the Dean of Student Services. The College reserves the right to investigate reports of drug use or conviction. Students who are found to have neglected this requirement are subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.

Readmission is granted to suspended or expelled students of drug-related offenses only when they provide proof that they are drug-free after drug rehabilitation. The Petitions Committee, consisting of students and staff, reviews the proof and makes a recommendation regarding readmission.

Information Technology Access/Use Policy

All individuals who employ information technology resources provided by Polk State College (PSC) (this includes but is not limited to telephones, computers, the PSC local area and wide area networks, and the Internet) must use these resources for academic purposes only. Use of PSC computing and network resources is a privilege and not a right. Inappropriate use can result in suspension or revocation of privileges.

Inappropriate use can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. The intentional sending or retrieval of obscene, slanderous, and/or harassing messages/materials.
  2. The unauthorized access (or attempted access) of any networked computer system.
  3. Violation of copyright, including unauthorized copying or modifying files.
  4. Use of networked resources for academic plagiarism.
  5. Any use for commercial purposes.
  6. Posting or downloading non-academic and/or inappropriate material to Usenet.
  7. Participation in network activities that place a strain on computer resources.
  8. Using IRC (Internet-relay chat) resources for non-academic purposes.
  9. Playing games for non-academic purposes.
  10. Any other behavior deemed inappropriate in the PSC Student Code of Discipline.
  11. Unauthorized installation of software on PSC hardware.

Violation of these terms will result in notification of the appropriate administrative authorities as outlined in the PSC Student Conduct, Discipline, and Due Process policy. This could include the PSC administration and state and federal agencies.

Virus Damage Policy

PSC is not responsible for damage to or loss of data from an individual’s disk storage media or home computer resulting from e-mail or any other kind of file transfers from PSC faculty, staff, and/or other students.

PSC does everything within its power to ensure that harmful files will not be propagated, but students are responsible for the protection of their personal hardware, software, and data. All students are encouraged to scan any files they receive with a currently updated virus protection product before using them on a computer. Students should maintain electronic copies of all their work throughout a term to ensure they have a backup if data gets lost and/or corrupted on the Internet.

Children on Campus

PSC has no facilities or services to accommodate children while adults are attending class or conducting business on campus. In fairness to others and in recognition of limited facilities and services, we request student cooperation in not bringing children to class or into other service areas.