Polk State College is proud to support Governor Ron DeSantis’s Last Mile Completion Program, which aims to provide scholarships for students who left college before reaching graduation, and who are motivated to complete the “last mile” of their first associate or baccalaureate degrees.
The College identified 54 students in fall 2019 who meet Last Mile criteria and has ensured that the resources and support services are in place to assist these students in persevering on their paths to their degrees.
“The Last Mile Completion Program is one more way that we at Polk State College can transform lives and promote the positive economic development of our community,” Polk State President Angela Garcia Falconetti. “I strongly support Governor DeSantis’s goal to make Florida No. 1 in the nation for its workforce by 2030, and this program will allow students close to the finish line to complete their degrees and move on to meaningful employment.”
The Last Mile has yet to receive funding from the Legislature, but Florida’s state colleges are already implementing the program’s framework, reaching out to students and providing targeted advising to assist them in achieving their educational goals.
Program criteria include Florida residency, good academic standing, attendance at a regionally accredited post-secondary institution within the last eight years, and being within 12 credit hours of completing a first associate or baccalaureate degree.
Through targeted advising, students are guided through the readmission process, provided with the courses they need to successfully complete their degrees, and connected to the financial assistance they may be eligible for.
“Students should not hesitate to return to school – one or two semesters off can easily turn into one or two years. The advisors at Polk State provide the guidance and knowledge that there is more than one avenue to satisfying degree requirements.”
Polk State alum
Amanda Maskell received similar assistance when she returned to Polk State after a traumatic brain injury created a “roadblock” to her degree.
“I struggled to pass math and, after failing algebra twice, I gave up on my brain for two years because I felt defeated,” Maskell said. “I didn’t believe that I had what it would take to graduate when, in reality, I did all along.”
Her 11-year-old son and watching her husband achieve his Polk State degree gave her the motivation to return to college. She just needed some extra support.
“The advisors at Polk State provide the guidance and knowledge that there is more than one avenue to satisfying degree requirements,” said Maskell, who achieved her Polk State Associate in Arts degree in December 2019. She plans to continue her education at the University of South Florida and aspires to become a family therapist. “Students should not hesitate to return to school – one or two semesters off can easily turn into one or two years.”
Students who are interested in the Last Mile Completion Program may call Polk State at 863.297.1000 for more information.