Guide to Polk  

Polk State College

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Polk State College takes pride in its track record of lower-cost degrees and graduates who do not have student loans.

About 95 percent of the school's students are residents of Polk County -- "We are Polk" is a slogan used often.

The college was established in 1964, and it has several campus locations.

The school has experienced regular enrollment growth, even as other state colleges have had declines in recent years, according to the Division of Florida Colleges.

Its enrollment, expressed as full-time equivalency headcounts, was nearing 8,000 in fall 2013.

But the college, with its various satellite campuses, many "nontraditional" students and flexible class offerings, had about 17,415 total students in 2012-13. That didn't count Polk State Corporate College students. With those in the mix, the total number of students each year is about 25,000 -- or it was for 2011-12, the most recent number available.

Studies are offered for Bachelor of Applied Science, Bachelor of Science, Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees, along with many certificate and workforce training options.

Polk also operates three charter high schools. A bachelor's in aerospace will be offered starting in the fall of 2014.

In early 2014, college officials celebrated the official grand opening of the 47,000-square-foot Polk State College Clear Springs Advanced Technology Center in Bartow.

The Polk State Aerospace Program also relocated from Winter Haven and is now at Lakeland's Airside Center. The school's Aerospace Program is growing. It began with two-year degree offerings in professional pilot science and aerospace administration. Polk then announced its fourth baccalaureate degree -- Aerospace Sciences -- would begin in the fall of 2014. Polk State will become the first public college or university in Florida to offer the degree. A recently established agreement with Embry-Riddle Worldwide/Online will give students from both schools more options and flexibility when planning their education.

In addition, the college offers a bachelor of applied science in supervision and management, bachelor of science in nursing and a bachelor of science in criminal justice.

Students can obtain bachelor's degrees for less than $14,000.

More than 80 percent of PSC's graduates are free of student loan debt, officials say.

Administrators boast that the college offers small class sizes, hands-on learning and classes that are offered at night and during the day, as well as online.

The community at the college is diverse, and the school has fine arts opportunities, clubs, and intercollegiate athletics.


Phone: 863-297-1000

Address: 3425 Winter Lake Road, Lakeland, FL 33803

Mission statement: "Polk State College, a quality driven institution, transforms lives through the power of education by providing access to affordable associate and baccalaureate degrees, career certificates and workforce employment programs, delivered by diverse, qualified faculty and staff."

Created: April 20, 2013 11:59 p.m.
Modified: April 17, 2014 12:40 p.m.
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