Title IX

Polk State College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution committed to excellence through diversity in education and employment. The College complies with all state and federal laws granting rights to students, employees, and applicants for employment or admission to the College. Polk State College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, sex, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, veteran status, genetic information, disability, or pregnancy in its programs, activities, or employment.

Polk State College is firmly committed to maintaining an educational environment in which sexual harassment and sexual assault are not tolerated, and in which persons reporting sexual misconduct are provided support and resolution. When sexual misconduct is brought to the attention of Polk State College, the College will take prompt and appropriate action to end the misconduct, prevent its recurrence, and work to bring resolution to the misconduct.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in higher education. Institutions that receive federal financial assistance are to adhere to the amendments. Sex discrimination includes sexual harassment and sexual assault. Polk State College prohibits the commission of any act of sexual assault, sexual misconduct, sexual battery, and other crimes of violence upon employees, students and prospective students, applicants, volunteers, vendors, contractors, visitors and other affiliates of the College conducting College business, events or activities at Polk State College. To the extent practical, non-employees (applicants, volunteers, vendors, contractors, etc.) on our premises should be made aware of the College’s position relative to Title IX.

Title IX states:

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
–Legal Citation: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and its implementing regulation at 34 C.F.R. Part 106 (Title IX)

Polk State College Rules and Procedures related to Title IX:

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Please visit the Related Rules & Procedures page, to view all rules and procedures related to the Office of Institutional Compliance & Engagement.

Role of the Ombudsman

At Polk State College, the Ombudsman: 

  • Listens to your concern(s) and reviews options.
  • Provides a “safe” place to talk confidentially.
  • Explains campus policies and procedures, rules, and processes.
  • Refers students to other individuals or offices when appropriate.
  • Acts as a neutral resource between a student and a faculty/staff member 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.
  • Take action without your permission.
  • 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.
Ombudsman Contact Information:

Ms. Kimberly Pearsall
Director, Disability and Counseling Services
Lakeland Campus
LTB 1273

Ms. Christina Fullerton
Director, TLCC & Learning Resources
Winter Haven Campus
WLR 356

Title IX Contacts

Title IX is often thought of as a law that applies to athletics programs. Title IX is much broader than athletics and applies to many programs at Polk State College. While compliance with the law is everyone’s responsibility at the College, below is a list of staff members who partner with the Title IX Coordinator to maintain Title IX compliance.

Lonnie Thompson
Chief of Institutional Compliance & Engagement
Title IX Coordinator
999 Avenue H, NE
Winter Haven, FL  33881
WAD  215A
863.297.1000, ext. 5378

Monifia Neal
Director, Institutional Compliance & Engagement
Title IX Deputy Coordinator
863.297.1000 Ext 3605

Lt. Emmett Andrews
Director of Public Safety and Security
Winter Haven Campus
WAD 242
For additional information, please visit Campus Safety & Security.
For community and on-campus resources, please visit the Stop Sexual Violence/Additional Contacts & Resources page.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office – Sergeant
Lakeland Campus
LAC 1185
For additional information, please visit Campus Safety & Security.
For community and on-campus resources, please visit the Stop Sexual Violence/Additional Contacts & Resources page.

Stacey Cary, Vice President
Office of Human Resources
Polk State College
999 Avenue H NE
Winter Haven, FL 33881-4299
WAD 209