Jul 14, 2024  
Catalog/Handbook 2022-2023 
Catalog/Handbook 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Student Support, Resources, and Activities

Student Success Advising

Student Success Advisors provide assistance to all prospective and enrolled students These individuals can assist when making educational and career decisions. Polk State College recommends that each degree-seeking student, whether a First-Time-in-College (FTiC), returning, or transfer student, 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. An advisor can help an individual adjust his or her plans and goals at any time, though the student is encouraged to only make changes to an Education Plan after the Drop Deadline and before the start of priority registration for a term (cf. Academic Calendar). Each Polk State student is encouraged to meet with an advisor during every semester to review course progress and select courses.

A required Orientation is provided to students prior to registering for classes. Orientation must be completed during the admission process. Orientation takes about two hours. Additionally, each First-Time-in-College (FTIC) student must complete a pre-advising session prior to registration. More information about pre-advising is available on the College’s website (https://www.polk.edu/first-year-experience/freshman-pre-advising/). 

Student Success Advisors are available through the Student Services offices at both the Winter Haven and Lakeland campuses, the JD Alexander Center, and at satellite centers during regular operating hours. Advising hours are:

Monday - Thursday 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  Note: Hours at centers may vary.

Faculty Office Hours

Polk State College faculty members are available to assist students during regularly scheduled office hours that are posted on the Course Syllabus 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. The Polk State Library webpage provides details about these resources.

Teaching/Learning Computing Centers (TLCC)

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, video equipment, 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, as well as assistance using computers and other education technologies. Each TLCC has supplemental materials such as slides, and microscopes, 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 jumpstart the journey to academic success.  The FYE Program is designed to ease students’ transition, help with building positive relationships on campus, and provide a clear pathway to graduation. 

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

Step 1: Complete the Admissions Steps

Step 2: Attend Freshman Pre-Advising

Step 3: Participate in Guided Pathways and the First Flight Freshmen Welcome

Step 4: Begin the First-Year Seminar Course (SLS 1122)

Step 5: Participate in First-Year Experience Student Activities

Step 6: Complete the Freshmen Read

Step 7: Connect with Classmates through the Student Activities and Leadership Office (SALO)

More information about the FYE Program is available on the College website (https://www.polk.edu/first-year-experience/).

Any student 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 (SALO) 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 leadership skills and the competitive edge necessary for persistence, graduation, and career success. The Student Activities and Leadership Office offers the following resources and services to students: charter forms and procedural information 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. There is a SALO housed in the Student Center on both the Winter Haven and Lakeland campuses, and at the JDA Center in Lake Wales.

Student Government Association (SGA)

The Student Government Association (SGA) is the official representative body 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-level organizations.

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. Any student who is currently in good academic standing at Polk State College can apply to be an SGA member and attend meetings. A student needs 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 (SAB)

The Student Activities Board (SAB) is the programming committee of SGA. The SAB provides quality entertainment, intramural sports, and multicultural programming to encourage involvement with student life at Polk State College. Involvement within the SAB focuses on team building, leadership, and helping one another while having fun. Activities provide social, intellectual, and cultural enhancement of the college experience.

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.

An interested student may contact the Student Activities and Leadership Office (SALO) at the Lakeland Campus, Winter Haven Campus, or the JD Alexander Center for more information about involvement.

Student Centers

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 vending machines, a dining area, a student lounge, activity areas, conference rooms, the Student Activities and Leadership Office (SALO), and the Student Government Association (SGA) Office. On the Winter Haven Campus, the Student Center is located in the WST Building and houses the College bookstore, special event rooms, vending machines, an activity center, a TV lounge, the SALO, and SGA offices.

Student Organizations

Many active clubs and organizations are available at Polk State College. A student who is interested in clubs or organizations should consult an advisor or the Student Activities and Leadership Office (SALO) for membership requirements. For merit-based academic clubs requiring an invitation (i.e., as noted with an asterisk), individuals should refer to the section on Academic Honor Societies or speak with an advisor.

Polk State clubs and organizations include the following:

  • 3 Helping Hands, Inc. (LK)
  • American Chemical Society (LK)
  • Student Chapter Art Club (WH)
  • Association of Engineering Technology Students (Clear Springs)
  • Bass Fishing Team (LK and WH)
  • 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)
  • Flight Team (Airside)
  • Florida Future Educators of America (LK and WH)
  • Florida Nursing Students Association (FNSA) (LK and WH)
  • Free to Be Me (Gay-Straight Alliance) (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)
  • Physical Therapy Assistant Club (PTA)  (WH)
  • Phi Theta Cappa Honor Society* (LK and WH)
  • Quiz Bowl (WH)
  • Respiratory Care Club (LK)
  • Safe Space Club (WH)
  • Student Government Association (SGA) (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 ((Science, Math, Engineering, and Technology) (LK and WH)
  • Student Activities Board (Airside, JDA, LK, and WH)
  • 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 (www.polk.edu). Alternative formats are available in the Student Services offices for students with disabilities.

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

The Music Program

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 who sing or play an instrument. A new student entering the program may be asked to provide a short audition for placement in a large ensemble. 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 are performance classes. A student who signs 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 are courses that provide the opportunity for public performances. A student who plans to pursue a career in music or who demonstrates a high level of performance ability (i.e., vocally or instrumentally) is encouraged to request permission to enroll in the above specialized performance ensemble classes. A student enrolled in an ensemble course can expect to perform more frequently than a student enrolled in the departmental concert options. Ensembles are called on to perform often throughout the semester for both College and community functions.

Any student who is planning to be a Music major or professional musician must enroll in private-study coursework (i.e., Applied Music classes). Professor Don West, Director of Bands (Phone: 863.297.1010 Ext. 5153, Email: dwest@polk.edu), or Professor Michelle Manzi, Director of Women’s Chorus (Phone: 863.297.1010 Ext. 5402; Email: mmanzi@polk.edu), can provide more information about requirements and assist with class placement.

Note: A student considering Music as a major should begin the Music course sequence as soon as possible upon enrolling at Polk State College. Failure to do so can result in additional time requirements for attaining a Music degree.

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. Fundamentals of Stage Craft provides 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 offerings related to singing, acting, and dancing. The Theatre Department’s curriculum emphasizes development of each student’s academic success along with the 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 (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 College System 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 on the Lakeland Campus. The Polk State Baseball Field is built to professional specifications for the Men’s Baseball Team. Polk State’s Softball Team plays at the Diamond Plex.

Any student wishing to participate in an athletic program is encouraged to contact the coach of the sport of interest.

Intramural Program

Polk State College provides an intramural program, including competitive 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 Services

Polk State College’s Career 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. 

More information is available by contacting the Career Services Coordinator on the Winter Haven or Lakeland Campus, or by visiting the College website (https://www.polk.edu/career-services/).

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; therefore, the student is required to assume responsibility for his or her own medical expenses. Each student is 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:

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

For more information or to schedule an appointment, a student can 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.

Healthy Eagles Soar Program

The Healthy Eagles Soar Program seeks to increase student success by decreasing food insecurity while increasing healthy eating and living behaviors. The project expands the mission of Polk State’s My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) student food pantries through strategic partnership with The United Way of Central Florida, Feeding Tampa Bay, and the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences (US-IFAS) Extension Office. This program provides opportunities to learn healthy eating practices, review and apply nutritional information on products, and participate in online and face-to-face events.  While attending these events, students can obtain information from nutritional experts, ask pertinent questions on health and nutrition, and sample items. Additionally, the program offers cooking demonstrations, fresh food days, and free lunch events.  Chances to win gift cards are incorporated during events and activities. A student who completes the program is eligible to receive a digital badge on his or her online profile as well as a certificate.

More information and a calendar of events is available at: healthyeaglessoar@polk.edu.

Role of the Polk State College 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’s 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 for a student and a faculty or staff member by using informal mediation and 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 or her neutral position.

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

Student Bill of Rights 

Polk State College respects the rights of its students. The College outlines students’ 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 (i.e., based on an individual’s needs). A student with a documented disability 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.

A student seeking accommodations or auxiliary aids is encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services (863.669.2309). All information provided is voluntary and kept strictly confidential.

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, an individual must be a first-generation-in-college student (i.e., neither parent has a baccalaureate degree), low income according to federal guidelines, or have a documented physical, mental, or learning disability. Additionally, each participant must be at least a half-time student at Polk State College (i.e., six credit hours per semester) who is seeking to complete an Associate in Arts degree for transfer to a baccalaureate program within Polk State College or at 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.

Lost and Found

Polk State College manages a Lost and Found location in accordance with Florida State Statute 705.18. The Lost and Found area is managed by the Security Department on each campus. All lost items are cataloged and kept in the Security Department 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 IDs 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. The student is 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 Offices (SALO), Student Services, and the TLCCs located on the Winter Haven and Lakeland campuses, as well as the JD Alexander Center.

A student who takes classes online may request a Student ID card via email through the Student Activities and Leadership Office (salo@polk.edu) after registering for classes. To make this request, the student should type the following in the email subject line: Student ID Card Request. To complete the task, the student must include a copy of a photo ID (e.g., driver’s license or passport to verify identity); a digital headshot with no sunglasses, hat, or filters; the student ID number; and the mailing address.

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 directly.