Jul 14, 2024  
Catalog/Handbook 2020-21 
Catalog/Handbook 2020-21 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Student Support, Resources, and Activities

Student Success Advising

Student Success Advising provides assistance to all prospective and enrolled students in making educational and career decisions. Polk State College recommends that all degree-seeking individuals, whether first-time-in-college, returning, or transfer students, meet with a student success advisor to establish a program of study, plan the sequence of coursework toward a degree, and determine what prerequisite courses are necessary. Advisors can help individuals adjust their plans and goals any time after the Drop deadline of each term and up to the day before priority registration opens each term (cf. Academic Calendar) Students are encourages to meet with a student success advisor each semester to review their progress and select courses..

A required Orientation is provided to students prior to registering for classes in online and face-to-face formats. Students are notified to complete Orientation during the Admission process. Students may come to advising to take Orientation at any time during advising hours, or they may take the online Orientation at any time it is convenient for them. Students should allow two hours for Orientation.  

Academic advisors are available in the Student Services offices at both the Winter Haven and Lakeland Campuses, the JD Alexander Center, and the Airside/Lakeland Center during regular operating hours. Advising hours are:

Monday - Thursday 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.   (Airside between 5:00-7:00 p.m. by appointment)
Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Faculty Office Hours

Polk State College faculty members are available to assist students during regularly scheduled office hours, which are posted on the syllabus for each course along with faculty office locations. Some professors also provide online office hours for supplemented, hybrid, and fully online classes via Canvas tools (the College’s web-based learning management system) or through real-time email communication. Faculty email addresses and phone numbers are posted on the syllabus for each course so that students can email or call for help with course content.


The Polk State College libraries support learning and instruction by providing access to quality academic information resources on many subjects. The libraries’ collections include print and E-books, online and print periodicals, online and print reference work, and video resources. The libraries provide access to commercial electronic databases that are accessible to students through the Internet via a single login.

Each library is equipped with personal computers and laptops that are available for use within the library. Currently-enrolled students may borrow library materials for a period of three weeks and may request to borrow materials from other libraries via interlibrary loan at no cost. Computer printing and photocopying services are available at each library through the use of a debit, credit, or BankMobile card. All computers in the library are connected to the Internet. WiFi is available for those who wish to bring their own devices. Professional librarians are available to consult with students on research assignments and to instruct on the use of resources and citations.

The Winter Haven Campus Library is located on the third floor of the Learning Resources Building (WLR). The Lakeland Campus Library is located on the first floor of the Lakeland Learning Center (LLC 2160). The Airside Center has a library office with librarians on site to assist students with the use of the resources. The JD Alexander Center provides outreach librarians to serve students and faculty. For details, students may visit the Polk State Library webpage.

Teaching/Learning Computing Centers

The purpose of the Teaching/Learning Computing Centers (TLCC) is to support the educational process and student success at Polk State College. The TLCCs provide up-to-date equipment, facilities, and services to promote student academic success including tutoring, testing services, and a student computer lab. The TLCCs provide a wide variety of resources, including computers, scanners, printers, and Internet and email access, as well as numerous software applications.

The TLCCs offer tutoring in many disciplines, including the sciences, mathematics, languages, and writing, and assistance using computers and other education technologies. Each TLCC has supplemental materials such as slides, models, and other instructional resources designed to support or supplement instruction and student work. Make-up, disability accommodation, certification, CLEP, and distance-education tests are also administered in the TLCCs.

The TLCC at the Winter Haven Campus is located on the second floor of the Learning Resources Building (WLR), and the Lakeland Campus TLCC is located on the first floor of the Lakeland Learning Center (LLC 2150). TLCCs are open weekdays, Monday through Friday, during the day, Monday through Thursday evenings, and Saturday mornings. Specific hours and further information can be found on the TLCC website.

The First-Year Experience Program

The first year of college can be both exciting and challenging. The Polk State College First-Year Experience (FYE) Program provides the tools, support, and assistance students need to get a jumpstart on their journey to academic success.  The FYE Program is designed to ease students’ transition, help them begin building positive relationships on campus, and provide a clear pathway to graduation. 

The FYE Program consists of five steps to a successful first year: 

Step 1: Online Orientation and an Academic Success Evaluation

Step 2: Freshman Pre-Advising

Step 3: First-Year Seminar Course (SLS 1122) and the Common Read Program

Step 4: First Flight Convocation

Step 5: First-Year Experience Student Activities

More information about the FYE Program is available at: https://www.polk.edu/first-year-experience/.

Students enrolled in the Associate in Arts degree program must pass the First-Year Seminar Course (SLS 1122) during the first year of enrollment at the College; it is a graduation requirement.


The Student Activities and Leadership Office (SALO)

The Student Activities and Leadership Office is dedicated to students who are interested in developing meaningful ideals and crafting a greater sense of self. At this office, students can find valuable information and useful assistance, as well as participate in student-driven activities and events. Participating in campus activities helps students gain life-long skills and the competitive edge necessary for retention and graduation, as well as for post-graduation success. The Student Activities and Leadership Office offers the following resources and services to students: charter forms and procedural information on how to start a new club, volunteer service information and opportunities, the calendar of campus events, voter registration materials, and information on how to serve on college-wide committees. The SALO is housed in the Student Center on both the Winter Haven and Lakeland Campuses, and at the JDA Center in Lake Wales.

Student Government Association

The Student Government Association (SGA) is the official representative of Polk State College students. The SGA has three main responsibilities: it acts as a liaison between students and administrators, it provides programs and events for students, and it represents Polk State College students in state organizations for college students.

The SGA is a member of the Florida College System Student Government Association that represents the College at the district and state level, and the American Student Government Association that represents the College at national and international levels.

The SGA holds elections each spring, and officers typically serve a year-long term. All students who are currently in good academic standing at Polk State College can apply to be SGA members and attend meetings. Students need a minimum GPA of 2.5 to hold an elected position. The SGA is funded by the Student Activities Fee, making it possible to present programs free of charge to Polk State students.

Student Activities Board

The purpose of the Student Activities Board (SAB) is to provide quality entertainment, intramural sports, and multicultural programming for students, as well as to encourage involvement with student life at Polk State College. Involvement with SAB focuses on team building, leadership, and helping one another while having fun. Through these activities, students gain social, intellectual, and cultural enhancement while participating in extracurricular activities at the College.

Student Activities Board elections take place during the first meeting of the spring semester; elections are followed by a mandatory training session. At least three-fourths of the voting membership must be present for this election to occur. All members are required to maintain a minimum 2.0 overall GPA or higher to hold a position in the club.

For more information, individuals may contact SALO on the Lakeland Campus, Winter Haven Campus, or the JD Alexander Center in Lake Wales.

Student Center

The Student Centers are places where students gather to socialize, study, and dine. The Student Center on the Lakeland Campus is located in the LAC Building. The LAC Building houses the cafeteria and dining area, Student Lounge and activity areas, conference rooms, SALO and SGA office. On the Winter Haven Campus, the Student Center is located in the WST Building and houses the College bookstore, special event rooms, campus dining services, Activity Center, TV lounge, the Student Activity and Leadership Office (SALO), and the SGA offices.

Student Organizations

Many active clubs and organizations are available at Polk State College. Students interested in any clubs or organizations should consult an advisor or the Student Activities and Leadership Office (SALO) for membership requirements. Polk State clubs and organizations include the following:

  • 3 Helping Hands, Inc. (LK)
  • American Sign Language Club (LK)
  • American Student Chemical Society (LK)
  • Art Club (WH)
  • Association of Engineering Technology Students (Clear Springs)
  • Bass Fishing Team (LK)
  • Black Student Union (WH)
  • Brother to Brother (Students for African American Brotherhood) (WH)
  • Cardiovascular Club (Airside West)
  • Chi Alpha (Christian Club) (WH)
  • Comics, Animation and Cinema Club (LK)
  • Creative Writing Club (LK)
  • Diversity of Dance (WH)
  • Flight Team (Airside)
  • Florida Future Educators of America (LK and WH)
  • Florida Nursing Students Association (FNSA) (LK and WH)
  • Free To Be Me (GSA) (LK)
  • Golden Key International Honor Society (LK)
  • Honors Program Student Council (LK and WH)
  • International Circle (LK and WH)
  • Intervarsity Council (LK)
  • Intramural Sports (WH)
  • Math Club (LK and WH)
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant Club (WH)
  • Pearl of a Nation (WH)
  • Polk State HOSA-Future Health Professional (LK)
  • PTA (Physical Therapy Assistant) (WH)
  • Quiz Bowl (WH)
  • Radiography Club (Airside
  • Respiratory Care Club (Airside)
  • Safe Space Club (WH)
  • SGA (Student Government Association) (LK, WH, and JDA)
  • SISTERS (Strong Independent Sisters That Encourage Respect and Survive) (LK and WH)
  • Sonography Club (Airside)
  • Speech and Debate Team (LK)
  • Stem Club (LK and WH)
  • Student Activities Board (Airside, JDA, LK, and WH)
  • Tabletop Gaming Club (LK)
  • The Chess Club (LK)
  • Unete Club-Hispanic Club (LK and WH)
  • Visual Arts Society of Polk State College (WH)
  • Wellness Club (WH and LK)

Academic Honor Societies

Phi Theta Kappa

Polk State College sponsors two chapters of Phi Theta Kappa, the official International Honor Society for community and state college students. Both Polk State College Chapters, Xi Pi (Winter Haven Campus) and Beta Upsilon Upsilon (Lakeland Campus), are active student organizations that encourage scholarship, leadership, service to the College, and fellowship among members. Membership is by invitation only. A student must have at least a 3.50 GPA and a minimum of 12 college-level credits at Polk State College.

Golden Key

Polk State College sponsors a chapter of the Golden Key International Honor Society. Membership in Golden Key is eligible to baccalaureate degree candidates with a minimum overall GPA of 3.5. The Golden Key Society consists of over 400 chapters at colleges and universities in nine countries and promotes the pillars of academics, leadership, and service. Membership is by invitation only to qualified students.



Catalogs and other College publications are produced when appropriate. These publications are available on the Polk State College website at www.polk.edu. Alternative formats are available in the Student Services offices for students with disabilities.

The Student Handbook is incorporated into the Polk Sate College Catalog. This document provides all student rights and privileges, as well as the College’s policies, rules, and procedures.



Polk State College provides a wide variety of opportunities for students who wish to participate in the Music Program. There are five ensembles that are open to individuals that sing or play an instrument. New students to the program may be asked to provide a short audition for placement in the large ensembles. The Music Department also offers classes in beginning and intermediate piano, guitar, and voice. These classes are open to all students.

The Concert Band, Concert Choir, Women’s Chorus, Men’s Chorus, and Strings Ensemble
These are performance classes, and students who sign up for these classes should anticipate a minimum of two weekends of required performances each semester.

Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Band, Jazz Combo, Brass Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, and Woodwind Ensemble
Students who plan to pursue a career in music or who demonstrate a high level of performance ability, vocally or instrumentally, are encouraged to request permission to enroll in the above specialized performance ensemble classes. Students in these ensembles can expect to perform more frequently than those in the departmental concerts. They are called on to perform often throughout the semester for both College and community functions.

All students who are planning to be music majors or professional musicians must enroll in private study coursework (i.e., Applied Music classes). Students who wish to enroll in these classes should contact Professor John Anderson for assistance with proper placement in these classes.

Note: For those considering Music as a Major: It is essential that you begin the music sequence of course as soon as possible upon enrolling Polk State College. Failure to do so can result in additional time requirements for attaining a music degree.

For further information, students should contact Professor Michelle Manzi, Music Department Coordinator, at 863.297.1010 ext. 5402, or via mmanzi@polk.edu.

Polk State College Theatre

The Theatre Department offers courses that address the academic, production, and performance aspects of the discipline. The academic classes are Theatre Appreciation (which fulfills the second Humanities General Education requirement) and Dramatic Literature. The production courses are Fundamentals of Stage Craft for scenery and lighting, scenic painting, and technical workshops that support the College’s Main Stage and Black Box productions. The performance courses are Acting Fundamentals I and Acting Fundamentals II, Stage Voice Techniques, Stage-Combat and Movement, and Oral Interpretation. There are also musical theatre disciplines of singing, acting, and dancing. The Theatre Department’s curriculum emphasizes development of students’ academic success and their capacity for artistic collaboration.

Polk State College Theatre presents three types of theatrical events:

  • Classic musicals, comedies, and dramas in the 500-seat Main Stage Theatre
  • Contemporary and avant-garde plays in the 90-seat Black Box Theatre
  • Staged Readings and Cabarets

Additional information is available through the Theatre Department at 863.292.3831.

Athletic Programs

Polk State College is a member in good standing of the National Junior College Athletic Association (Region VIII) and the Florida Community College Activities Association (Suncoast Conference). Athletes compete in men’s baseball, men’s basketball, women’s volleyball, women’s softball, and women’s soccer. A limited number of scholarships are available for student athletes.

Polk State College has excellent sports facilities that serve as models for other schools in Florida. The Health Center on the Winter Haven Campus seats 2,600 adults and houses the Polk State Women’s Volleyball Team and the Men’s Basketball Team. Polk State College’s Soccer Team plays at Lake Myrtle Park in Auburndale. The Polk State Baseball Field is built to professional specifications for the Men’s Baseball Team. Polk State’s Softball Team plays at the Diamondplex.

Students wishing to participate in an athletic program are encouraged to contact the coach of the varsity sport of interest.


Polk State College provides an intramurals program including competition in events such as flag football, soccer, basketball, volleyball, bowling, and more. Students who would like to get involved in these activities, or those who have ideas for other activities, should contact the Student Activities and Leadership Office (SALO) on the Lakeland or Winter Haven campus. Students must be currently enrolled at Polk State College to participate in intramural and extramural activities on and off campus.

Career Centers

Polk State College’s Career Development Services offices are located on the Lakeland and Winter Haven campuses. A variety of services are offered to assist students with developing career plans, choosing majors, preparing for job searches, attending workshops, and viewing reference materials and other website resources. 

For more information, students should visit https://www.polk.edu/career-development-services/ or contact the Career Coordinator on the Winter Haven or Lakeland campus.


Health Services

No hospital or clinic facilities are provided by the College.

NOTE: The College has no express or implied responsibility for accidents or expenses incurred resulting from accidents; therefore, students are required to assume responsibility for their own medical expenses. Students are encouraged to purchase health insurance while attending Polk State College. Information on various insurance plans is available in the Academic Advising offices.


BayCare Student Assistance Program

The College contracts with BayCare’s Student Assistance Program to provide help for a number of issues, including:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger management
  • Relationship issues
  • Work, school, and life balance management
  • Alcohol and drug use

For more information or to schedule an appointment, students should call the toll-free confidential helpline available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year (1.800.878.5470). Credentialed counselors are on the Lakeland and Winter Haven campuses for limited hours each week. The counselor on the Winter Haven Campus is in room WAD 159. The counselor on the Lakeland Campus is in room LTB 1274.

 Role of the Ombudsman

Polk State College has an Ombudsman on each campus who facilitates understanding, communication, and conflict resolution among students, faculty, and staff. The office provides a prompt, impartial, and confidential means of facilitating dialogue and resolving differences between parties apart from formal grievance procedures.  

At Polk State College, the Ombudsman: 

  • Listens to the individual’ concern(s).
  • Provides a safe place to talk confidentially.
  • Explains campus policies, procedures, rules, and processes.
  • Analyzes the situation and identifies and evaluates possible options.
  • Refers students to other individuals or offices when appropriate.
  • Acts as a neutral resource between a student and a faculty or staff member by using informal mediation and/or other problem-solving techniques.
  • Facilitates communication between and among individuals.
  • Explains the grade appeal process and provides information on formal grievance processes.


At Polk State College, the Ombudsman does not:

  • Take sides.
  • Change grades or other College policies.
  • Identify individuals without permission, except as required by law.
  • Give legal advice.
  • Act as a witness or later testify in a formal grievance or legal proceeding.
  • Fill other College roles that could create conflicts of interest in maintaining his/her neutral position.

More information regarding the role of the Ombudsman and conflict resolution can be found in the Resources and Activities section.

 Student Bill of Rights 

Polk State College respects the rights of its students. The College outlines student rights under several of the College’s rules and procedures. These rights cover academic, policy-related, behavioral, and state-legislated matters.

Services for Students with Disabilities

Polk State College adheres to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. All services, degree programs, and classes are open to eligible students with disabilities. Reasonable accommodations are provided, based on individual needs. Students with documented disabilities may be eligible for extended testing time, special computer equipment, recorded texts, note-taker services, interpreters, course substitutions, and other necessary and reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access.

The Office of Disability Services works with rehabilitation agencies, such as the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation or the Division of Blind Services, to coordinate student services for students with disabilities. Designated parking spaces are available for students with disabilities who hold state-approved permits; additional parking permits are not required.

Students are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services to request special accommodations or auxiliary aids. All information provided is voluntary and kept strictly confidential. If you have any questions, please contact the Director of Disability and Counseling Services at 863.669.2309.

NOTE: The College does not provide personal attendant care, transportation, or housing assistance.

TRiO Student Support Services

TRiO Student Support Services is a federally funded program designed to offer free individual, academic, and personal support to qualified students. To qualify, students must be first-generation college students (i.e., neither parent has a baccalaureate degree), low income according to federal guidelines, and/or have a documented physical, mental, or learning disability. Additionally, participants must be at least half-time students at Polk State College who are seeking to complete an Associate in Arts degree that transfers to a baccalaureate program at Polk State College or another four-year college or university. Services include academic and career guidance, mentoring, textbook lending, transfer counseling, and exploratory visits to local four-year colleges and universities. TRiO Student Support Services are available to students on the Winter Haven Campus in WAD 167, the Lakeland Campus in LTB 1293, and the JD Alexander Center in JDA 103.





Polk State College manages a Lost and Found location in accordance with Florida State Statute 705.18. Lost and Found is managed by the Security Department on each campus. All lost items are cataloged and kept in the Security area for 30 days. The standard Lost and Found operating procedures are as follows:

  1. All items received are logged into a record book.

  2. The Security Captain does a visual inspection and attempts to locate the owner of the item.

  3. When a claim is made, the claimant must be able to provide a brief description of the item.

  4. If the description matches the item, the claimant is then asked for a photo ID and must complete a receipt form before the item is released.

  5. Items that are not claimed within 30 days are disposed of in the following ways:

    • Items deemed valuable are donated to the Association of Florida Colleges (AFC) for auction.

      Note: Jump drives are reformatted, removing any identifiable information.
    • Student ID’s are given to the appropriate Student Services office.

    • Driver’s licenses are returned to the owner via the United States Postal Service.

    • Books are distributed to the Collegiate High Schools, Student Services offices, or the bookstore.

    • Bank cards, debit cards, credit cards, or similar items are shredded.

    • Clothing is given to a Good Will agency.

Student Housing

The College does not provide dormitories, housing, or housing referrals.


Student Identification Cards

Polk State College identification cards are issued to all enrolled students. Students are required to show this ID when using College services or when attending College-sponsored events. Cards that are lost, stolen, or damaged may be replaced for a $5.00 fee that can be paid at the Cashier’s office or online through PASSPORT. The photo ID offices are located in the Student Activities and Leadership Office (SALO), Student Services, and TLCC located on both the Winter Haven and Lakeland campuses and SALO at the JD Alexander Center in Lake Wales.

Students who take their classes online (at least 75% of your classes taken online) may request their Student ID card via email after they have registered for classes. In the subject line type, “Student ID Card Request. “Email a copy of a photo ID (driver’s license, passport, etc.) and your mailing address to salo@polk.edu.

Note: The student should be sure not to include sensitive personal information (e.g., the Social Security number) in this email. If additional information is needed a SALO representative contacts the student to provide further instructions.