Polk State’s courses are delivered through various modes to maximize options and flexibility.
- The traditional face-to-face classroom setting is offered at all campuses and centers.
- A pure Internet option (i.e., online, with no in-person meetings) has no face-to-face component. Instruction is delivered with the same quality as traditional education. The student uses an Internet-connected computer and the College’s online learning management system, Canvas. Some pure Internet classes may require proctored examinations. This may require visiting a testing center and additional costs. The class schedule identifies the delivery method. Each student is advised to log in to the Canvas class site on the first day and read the syllabus carefully to determine proctoring and testing requirements. Information regarding online opportunities is available at online@PolkState.
- A live online option has a required face-to-face online class component. The student is required to attend online during scheduled times and days set by the professor. Attendance online via the Internet is required for these classes.
- A hybrid class includes a blend of Internet and face-to-face course delivery. In a hybrid course, the student attends class at a location for some of the allotted class time, and then participates in the course using the Internet as well.
- Competency-based education is a modularized delivery method that offers the student an open start date and a set number of weeks to complete the required modules. The Engineering Technology Program and some Mathematics course options are delivered using this modularized method.
Note: A student must meet the minimum technology requirements to participate in any Internet-based or hybrid course. Polk State College’s Distance Learning website explains these requirements and provides further details, including a description of the learning management system interface.
Maximum and Minimum Course Load Limits
During Terms 1, 2, and 3 (i.e., fall, spring, and summer), the minimum course load per term for full-time students is 12 semester hours, such that enrollment in fewer than 12 credits is considered a part-time load. To complete a degree according to the traditional schedule (i.e., two years for an associate degree and four years for a baccalaureate degree) a student must average 15 semester hours during Term 1 or Term 2. For example, if a student takes 12 credits in Term 1, and 12 credits in Term 2, he or she should enroll in six credits during the summer term (Term 3) (i.e., totaling 30 credits during the Academic Year) to maintain timely progress toward completion.
The maximum course load for a student during the fall (Term 1) and spring (Term 2) is 20 semester hours, the maximum course load is 15 semester hours for the summer (Term 3); however, the maximum number of credit hours for a given term cannot be taken in one accelerated session (e.g., all 20 hours in a Fastrack session). A student who is maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and who has completed at least 15 semester credits may exceed the credit maximum with the approval of the Dean of Student Services. An individual wishing to appeal this regulation is required to do so prior to the first regular registration day.
Certain situations may further limit the maximum course load for a student, such as dual-enrollment status or issues related to Standards of Academic Progress.
A student who plans to work while attending school (or who has caretaking obligations) is encouraged to plan a lighter schedule that provides for these factors. To maximize scheduling options, the student should register for classes early in the registration period.