Polk State College has canceled its spring commencement ceremonies that were scheduled for May 7, 2020, in correspondence with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guideline to cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 10 people or more due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. This difficult decision comes with the health and safety of students, families, and employees at the forefront.
The College will pursue the possible rescheduling of the ceremonies at a later date. Students are asked to monitor their College email and polk.edu for updates. The cancellation will not impact students graduating and receiving their certificates or diplomas by mail if they meet all graduation requirements.
It is important that students still complete the graduation application, which officially notifies the College of a student’s intent to graduate. Students may submit their graduation applications through PASSPORT under “Advising.”
Please see more information below. The College apologizes for any inconvenience and thanks students for their continued cooperation during this unprecedented time. Please direct questions and concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Graduation application deadline:||Students are encouraged to submit their graduation applications by the previously published Friday, March 27, 2020, deadline. However, applications will be accepted through Tuesday, May 5, at 5 p.m.|
It is important that students complete the graduation application despite the cancellation of the 2020 Spring Commencement Ceremony. The application officially notifies the College of a student’s intent to graduate. This will allow students who meet all graduation requirements to receive their diplomas or certificates by mail. The application process begins by applying online through PASSPORT under Advising. Applications open each term beginning the day after the add/drop deadline.
|Graduation posting:||It takes up to 30 days to post your graduation status on your records. Each student record is carefully reviewed to ensure he or she has met the requirements. We highly recommend that you contact an advisor at email@example.com if you have questions about whether or not you have met all the requirements to graduate.|
|Diplomas:||Diplomas are printed after all requirements for a term have been completed and all the graduates are validated. The address on your Graduation Application will be used. Be sure it is accurate! Diplomas are mailed approximately six to eight weeks after the end of each semester – spring, summer, and fall.|
|Fees:||There are no graduation fees.|
|Account hold:||Check PASSPORT for obligations such as library fines, tickets you received on campus, and other fees. You will not receive your transcript or diploma until all holds are resolved.|
|Graduating with Academic Honors:||Academic Honors are based on grade-point average (GPA) and described in the College catalog under “Regulations.” Honor cords are given to students based on the term preceding the graduation term. If you earn academic honors after the Registrar has certified your final GPA, your transcript will reflect that.|
|Graduating with Honors Program Distinction:||The College is proud of Honors Program students and graduates. If you graduate from the Honors Program, a note will be on your transcript and an Honors seal will be displayed on your diploma based on your final GPA.|
The application process begins by applying online through PASSPORT under [Advising]. Applications open each term beginning the day after the Add/Drop deadline.
The graduation application screens provide many details about graduation. Please read them carefully. You will receive a detailed email at your my.polk.edu address with complete graduation instructions. If you do not qualify to graduate after grades are posted, your application will be removed. You may apply again during your term of completion.
Please complete the graduation survey also found as a link in PASSPORT under [Advising].
Please complete the graduation accolades form at the end of the application online.
Diplomas are printed after all requirements for a term have been completed and all of the graduates are validated. The address on your Graduation Application will be used. Be sure it is accurate! Diplomas are mailed approximately 6-8 weeks after each graduation – spring, summer, and fall.
Certificates are printed after each cohort completion. You will receive them in the mail using the address Polk State has on record within 6-8 weeks of completion.
There is no Graduation fee.
Graduation photographs will be taken the night of the ceremony. The photographer will contact graduates with special photo packages that can be purchased.
Academic Honors are based on GPA and described in the college catalog under the Regulations section. Honor cords are given to students based on the term preceding the graduation term. If you earn academic honors after the Registrar has certified your final GPA, your transcript will reflect that.
Be sure to wear your regalia as an Honors Program Graduate. We are proud of our honors students and honors program graduates. If you graduate from the Honors Program a note will be on your transcript. An honors seal will be displayed on your diploma based on your final GPA.
The Commencement ceremony is a most dignified event. Decorum and courtesy are very important for graduates and their guests.
All graduates and members of the general audience should stand and remove hats following the lead of the stage guests.
No air horns, balloons, bubbles, beach balls, or similar items are allowed in the ceremony. The use of noisemakers may be intended to show one person’s pride in a graduate, but it can also ruin the chance for another family to hear the name of their graduate announced.
If you need to use the restroom, leave your cap on your chair.
You may not leave until the ceremony concludes.
Caps and gowns are purchased from the bookstore in person at either campus. IF YOU WRITE ON OR DECORATE YOUR CAP, you must do so tastefully without vulgarity or inappropriate content. If your mortarboard is deemed excessive or in poor taste by an administrator you may be required to remove the decorations, purchase another cap, or may not be allowed to participate in the ceremony.
Regalia, other than honors regalia, is provided by your clubs or organizations. Regalia must be approved. High School graduation regalia should not be worn. You cannot wear pins, sashes or decorative items outside of college-approved regalia.
Tassels should be worn on the RIGHT side. After you officially have been conferred your degree at the end of the ceremony, you will be directed to move your tassel from the right to the left.
Bachelor graduate regalia includes a tassel and cord in the traditional color of drab representing the discipline.
Many students choose to order personalized announcements or invitations to send to their families and friends. We recommend you order these from the bookstore before the graduation application deadline.
Due to space limitations at the RP Funding Center, student guests will need to obtain an admittance ticket. Students will be limited in the number of guests allowed. See the ticketing information at the top of this page under Graduation Details.
These ceremonies are separate from Commencement. Contact the club sponsor or the nursing program director for details.
Graduates must be attired in full academic regalia to participate in the ceremony. This includes medallions, pins, stoles, and cords if provided to them by an approved organization or club of the College.
Female graduates — Business attire. No flip-flops or beach-type sandals.
Male graduates — Dress shirt and tie with long trousers. No flip-flops or beach-type sandals.
Guests — Business casual.
There is never a rehearsal at Polk State College for commencement. Therefore, it is very important for students to arrive on time to check-in.
Graduation will require tickets. See the ticketing information at the top of this page under Graduation Details.
The ushers will direct you to special seating. One guest may sit with the disabled guest and in some instances more. Seating with the disabled guest is subject to availability and demand on a first-come-first-serve basis.
No reception is provided after the ceremony. We encourage you to celebrate at one of the fine local restaurants with family and friends.
Hyatt Place Lakeland Center (Right by the RP Funding Center)
525 West Orange Street
Lakeland, FL 33815
The Terrace Hotel (Historic Hotels of America)- Downtown Lakeland
329 E Main Street
Lakeland, FL 33801
Hampton Inn & Suites (Approximately 3 miles from the RP Funding Center)
In the Lakeside Village Mall Complex
3630 Lakeside Village Blvd. Lakeland, FL 33803
If you met the deadline with your graduation application, you can choose to participate late. You must complete a graduation application online, and secure a cap and gown. For assistance, contact the Graduation Coordinator at 863.298.6815 or 863.297.1010 extension 5278.
You cannot just “show up” at the ceremony and expect to walk.