Corporate and Leadership Development

The Office of Corporate and Leadership Development (CLD) supports both internal and external professional learning at Polk State College. Training sessions are designed to promote advancement of both individuals and teams while benefitting the community. Topics include content-specific skills, soft skills, workplace communication, and technology integration. Additionally, custom training seminars can be developed to support other topics as required by the needs of constituents.

Corporate and Leadership Development produces the College’s annual Professional Development Day (PDD), and develops and facilitates the institution’s internal leadership programs: the President’s Leadership Institute and the Empowering Leaders Professional Series (ELPS). These programs emphasize the acquisition of new leadership skills and contribute to the College’s sustainability plans via targeted participant projects and coaching.

In addition to established professional development programs, the Office of Corporate and Leadership Development can develop a variety of customized training opportunities to meet the needs of both internal and external clients. Interested parties can contact  to schedule a consultation to review training needs and request assistance.

Below is information related to the comprehensive programs offered by the Office of Corporate and Leadership Development.

  1. President's Leadership Institute

    This leadership development program is for Polk State faculty and staff and provides participants with the opportunity to expand their learning and experiential skills to develop a deeper understanding of how personal and professional decision-making can drive successful outcomes. Participants take part in site visits to statewide conferences and the Florida Legislature and engage in activities that foster the development of strong interpersonal relationships with classmates and mentors.  The program provides participants with the requisite leadership skills and confidence to excel in the workplace and beyond. A key component of the program is the College Impact Project which requires participants to research, evaluate, and address specific needs within the Polk State College ecosystem by creating targeted solutions via carefully crafted proposals. Over the years, nearly 50 of these proposals have been accepted and implemented, all with the goal of improving the efficiency and dynamics of Polk State College.


  2. Empowering Leaders Professional Series

    The purpose of the Empowering Leaders Professional Series (ELPS) Program is to provide training opportunities and strengthen the skillsets of full-time Polk State employees who have an interest in upward mobility within higher education. The program is aligned with the College’s strategic goals and core values and aims to develop superb and diverse leaders focused on student success.


  3. Professional Development Day (PDD)

    Professional Development Day is an annual College-wide event that showcases exemplary practices, pedagogy, and innovation across all faculty and staff groups. The all-day event takes place on the Lakeland Campus and invites interested faculty, staff, and community leaders to present to the College community. A request for presentation proposals to be published in early spring.

    View the 2023 PDD Program!

    PDD Committee 2022-23

    Dr. Kim Thomas
    Dr. Bert Rivera Marchand
    Melisa LaRock
    Nancy Lozell
    Laura Mansfield
    Kari Sabin
    Tiffany Messerschmidt
    J. Cody Moyer
    Dr. Meesha Downing-Townsend
    Mary Beth Shapiro
    Dr. Larry Pakowski
    Dr. Keith Bonney
    Yulonda Bell
    Chris Fullerton
    Joanne Scharff
    Howard Drake
    Nicara Daniels
    Jeannette Grullon
    Katie Ragsdale
    Carleigh Okwali
    Traci Hamm
    Madison Fantozzi


  4. Association of College and University Educators (ACUE)

    The College celebrated the achievement of faculty who earned the ACUE Certificate in Effective College Instruction on April 14, 2023. Recipients include: Consuela Bonney, Kimberly Hess, Fatin Morris Guirgis, Kari Sabin, Rachelle Selser, Christen Shea.

    Polk State College is excited to offer its faculty the opportunity to pursue a Certificate in Effective College Instruction, the only college teaching credential endorsed by the American Council on Education (ACE). 

    Four microcredentials (offered over the course of an academic year) prepare faculty with evidence-based teaching practices proven to increase student achievement and close equity gaps ( Faculty who complete all four microcredentials will earn a nationally recognized Certificate in Effective College Instruction.

    Additionally, faculty can express interest in the Inclusive Teaching for Equitable Learning course. While not part of the path to earning the certificate, this course provides a deeper dive into some of the topics presented in Creating an Inclusive and Supportive Learning Environment.  It supports the College’s strategic priority to cultivate a climate of inclusion through an intentional commitment to equity and diversity.

    The following are the four micro-credentials required for completion of the certificate: Creating an Inclusive and Supportive Online Learning Environment, Promoting Active Learning, Inspiring Inquiry and Preparing Lifelong Learners, and Designing Learner-Centered and Equitable Courses. More information on the ACUE micro-credential courses is available by visiting

    Faculty can (and are encouraged to) sign up for more than one course. Cohorts typically complete one module per week, requiring two to three hours of activity, and participants are expected to implement and reflect upon the skills learned in each module.

    Click HERE and Reserve Your Seat!

    March 6 – April 30, 2023 (break for Spring Break):
    Inclusive Teaching for Equitable Learning (not part of certificate pathway)

    May 15 – July 2, 2023
    Creating an Inclusive and Supportive Online Learning Environment

    June 26 – August 6, 2023
    Designing Learner-Centered and Equitable Courses

    August 28 – October 8, 2023
    Promoting Active Learning Online

    October 16 – December 3, 2023
    Inspiring Inquiry and Lifelong Learning In Your Online Course

    Please contact Mary Beth Shapiro at for more information.

  5. Customized Training

    The Office of Corporate and Leadership Development offers “just-in-time” training to meet the growing needs of corporate partners and the community.  Conflict resolution, teambuilding, human resources topics, and interdepartmental communication are just a few of the topics that can be customized to create a training program designed specifically to address the knowledge and skills gaps identified through deep-dive discussions and thoughtful communication with clients.

    Please direct inquiries about training to We look forward to serving you!

  6. Leadership Development in Public Administration

    The Leadership Development in Public Administration program was developed in partnership with the City of Winter Haven as the direct result of a deep dive 360-degree review.  This 160-hour program prepares new leaders in municipal government to grow and lead within their departments and community, serving the organization and its citizens.  Participants are exposed to a wide variety of topics, including DISC Assessment, conflict resolution, coaching and mentoring, critical thinking, generational leadership, setting goals, managing priorities, and more.   At the conclusion of the program, participants are expected to present projects to city leaders identifying real-world challenges and opportunities and outlining solutions that will not only improve the organization’s efficiency and function, but also the lives of residents.

    See Cohort 4 Schedule Here!

    Read more about Cohort 4 Here!

  7. New Managers Leadership Program

    This 56-hour management trainee program is a highly interactive experience that promotes teambuilding and leadership while providing opportunities for growth and learning through class activities and dialogue.  Meeting weekly, participants from a wide cross-section of the county and state have the opportunity to engage with their counterparts to learn not only from their incredible facilitators but also from each another.  Topics include leading without authority, personal branding, strategic project management, conflict resolution, and culture of continuous improvement