COVID-19

Polk State College is thrilled to welcome the College community back to campus. Throughout this unprecedented global public health emergency, Polk State College has been open and operational in a variety of modalities, following the framework of the phased Be the Solution: Polk State College’s Return to Campus Plan.

Based on extensive analysis and discussion of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, health care guidance from the state and metrics for our area, and the positive progress of local vaccination efforts, the College is transitioning to Phase III which is a return to on-campus operations.

Please review the Return to Campus Plan and supplemental documentation for more information about changes in operations and ongoing safety measures on campus.

Polk State is committed to the health and safety of the College and community and is driven to provide the best possible teaching and learning environment for faculty, staff, and students. The College’s continued progress toward a return to normal operations is critical to the success of our students.

Dr. Angela Garcia Falconetti, CFRE
President, Polk State College

Return to Campus Overview

PHASE I – May 4 – August 16, 2020

The College is fully functional, and the majority of essential operations are occurring remotely.

PHASE II – AUGUST 17, 2020 – AUGUST 1, 2021

The College is fully functional, with some essential functions returning to campus and most operations occurring remotely.

The Lakeland Technology Building (LTB) on the Lakeland Campus and the Winter Haven Administration Building (WAD) on the Winter Haven Campus are open to students and visitors. Additional facilities will be open to a limited number of students in workforce training programs. Those students will receive instructions from their program directors and instructors.

*PHASE III – AUGUST 2, 2021

The College is fully functional, and some operations are occurring remotely.

*Polk State College understands that the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, and the College will modify its plan and response as appropriate (and as more information becomes available).

Vaccinations

Polk State College strongly encourages all individuals who are age 12 and older to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Individuals can be vaccinated by appointment at any of the following locations:

Individuals can also use the Florida Department of Health’s vaccine locator which can be accessed here: floridahealthcovid19.gov/vaccines/vaccine-locator.

What’s available on campus and remotely in Phase III?

RemotelyOn campus
Admissions & AdvisingMonday – Thursday
8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Friday
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
863.297.1000
registrar@polk.edu
www.polk.edu/admission-aid webchat
Winter Haven Administration Building (WAD)

Lakeland Technology Building (LTB)

Monday – Thursday
8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Friday
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Financial AidMonday – Thursday
8 a.m. – 6 p.m.Friday
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.863.297.1004 financialaid@polk.edu
www.polk.edu/admission-aid webchat
Winter Haven Administration Building (WAD)

Lakeland Technology Building (LTB)

Monday – Thursday
8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Friday
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Cash Management DepartmentMonday – Friday
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.Winter Haven Cashier863.297.1010 x5536 whcashmgmt@polk.eduLakeland Cashier863.297.1010 x6146 lkcashmgmt@polk.edu
Winter Haven Administration Building (WAD)

Lakeland Technology Building (LTB)

Monday – Friday
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Collegiate high schoolsPolk State Chain of Lakes Collegiate High School: 863.298.6800 or kbonney@polk.edu

Polk State Lakeland Collegiate High School: 863.669.2322 or rjeffries@polk.edu

Polk State Lakeland Gateway to College Collegiate High School: 863.669.2923 or cbarnes@polk.edu

Chain of Lakes Collegiate
Monday – Friday
7 a.m. – 4 p.m.Lakeland Collegiate
Monday – Friday
7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.Gateway
Monday – Friday
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Bookstorespolk.bncollege.com

Winter Haven Campus Bookstore 863.299.3325 and sm8126@bncollege.com

Lakeland Campus Bookstore 863.665.8431 and sm8125@bncollege.com

More information is available on the bookstore page.

The bookstores are operating on the Winter Haven and Lakeland campuses and by phone, email, online ordering, delivery, and curbside pickup during the below hours.

August 30 – November 23 | Monday – Friday | 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Closed weekends

November 29 – December 10 | 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Closed weekends

LibrariesWinter Haven Campus Library 863.297.1040

Lakeland Campus Library 863.297.1042

Polk State Virtual Library: canvas.polk.edu/courses/15942

Online library resources: libguides.polk.edu/covid19

Ask A Librarian: www.askalibrarian.org/psc

Winter Haven Campus (WLR 300)

Lakeland Campus (LLC 2160)

Monday – Thursday
8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Friday
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Teaching Learning Computing Centers (TLCC)Online TLCC resources: libguides.polk.edu/covid19

Online tutoring: canvas.polk.edu/enroll/ENYJRB

Tutoring

Winter Haven 863.297.1033

Lakeland 863.297.1044

Testing

Winter Haven 863.292.3674 whtlcctesting@polk.edu

Lakeland 863.297.1044 lakelandtlcc@polk.edu

Winter Haven Campus (WLR 203)

Lakeland Campus (LLC 2160)

Monday – Thursday
8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Friday
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

 

Student Activities and Leadership Office (SALO)Enroll in the Virtual Student Center on Canvas at canvas.polk.edu/enroll/M3NAHT

salo@polk.edu

863.297.1000

Winter Haven Campus (WST 136)

Lakeland Campus (LAC 1239)

Monday – Thursday
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.*

Friday by appointment

9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Metz food and vending servicesNot availableNot available
Gyms and weight roomsNot availableOnly available for student-athletes in organized workouts.
Security863.297.1059Winter Haven Campus WMS 134

Lakeland Campus LME 102

Monday – Friday
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

  1. Screening

    Students, faculty, and staff who are returning to campus during any of the phases are encouraged to actively monitor their health. Students, faculty, and staff should self-screen daily for COVID-19 symptoms including cough, fever (100.4F), shortness of breath, or loss of taste or smell.

    If an individual is sick, or has COVID-19 symptoms, they should not come to campus.

  2. Face coverings

    As of July 29, 2021, masks or cloth face coverings are strongly recommended for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors, whether vaccinated or not, while indoors on campus.

    When using a face covering, it is important to:

    • Wear it correctly.
    • Take off the covering carefully.
    • Care for, store, and launder the covering properly.
  3. Social distancing

    Social distancing, or physical distancing, means keeping space of at least 6 feet between individuals when in public. Social distancing, combined with face coverings, has been shown to slow the spread of COVID-19. When on campus, individuals are encouraged to practice social distancing by doing the following:

    • Remaining at least 6 feet from other people.
    • Avoiding groups or gatherings of more than 10 people, including crowds and mass gatherings.
    • Paying attention to directional signage regarding how to move through spaces on campus.
    • Using elevators one person at a time and using the stairs when possible. When using stairs, 6 feet should be maintained between passing individuals (or pause to allow individuals to complete usage before beginning use of a narrow staircase).
    • Limiting the number of people in the restrooms based on the size of the restroom. Individuals should look for directions, limitations, and signage before entering any room or area.
    • Holding meetings by telephone or through video chat when possible.
    • Taking breaks outside or at their workstations. Common areas and break rooms will be closed.
  4. Cleaning

    Polk State recommends that College community members follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

    The College continues to clean offices, classrooms, and laboratory spaces based on CDC guidelines. Hand-sanitizing stations are also provided and maintained.

    Building occupants are encouraged to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily with products that meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s criteria for use against COVID-19 and that are appropriate for the surface. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, counter tops, handles, desks, phones, and keyboards.

    CDC guidance includes:

    • Washing hands often
    • Avoiding close contact
    • Covering the mouth and nose with a cloth face covering when around others
    • Covering coughs and sneezes
    • Cleaning and disinfecting areas
    • Maintaining mental and emotional well-being
  5. Past updates

    6.8.21 Polk State strongly recommending mask usage
    5.19.21 Walk-up vaccines available to the public May 26 at Polk State Winter Haven
    5.14.21 Polk State students, employees can benefit from Emergency Broadband Benefit Program
    4.23.21 Polk State College to host COVID-19 vaccination event April 30
    4.19.21 Polk State faculty put in time, creativity & flexibility to help students succeed in math online
    4.14.21 Polk State College to host 3 graduation ceremonies May 6 & 7
    4.6.21 Polk State bookstores to provide in-person services just in time for summer
    4.6.21 Polk State to host virtual open house events in April and May
    3.30.21 Polk State Phi Theta Kappa Xi Pi students launch award-winning COVID-19 resources guide
    3.16.21 Students now have access to expanded SNAP benefits
    3.8.21 Polk State EMS overcomes challenges of pandemic to keep students and first responders on track to achieving their goals
    3.2.21 Polk State professors bring science back to the labs safely for students during pandemic
    2.22.21 What do classes look like during the pandemic at Polk State? Digital Media explains
    1.18.21 Virtual Student Center kicks off Spring 2021 Semester fun
    1.13.21 Polk State College partners with Florida Department of Health of Polk County and Polk County Board of County Commissioners to bring drive-thru vaccinations to the community
    1.12.21 Polk State 2020 grads: Complete this survey for in-person graduation
    1.4.21 Guidelines for students & employees returning to campus
    12.15.20 Polk State provides counseling services and mental health resources
    12.14.20 Polk State students have access to resources to support successful spring semester
    12.11.20 Polk State offers more hybrid classes for Spring 2021 Semester
    11.5.20 Polk State to remain in Phase II at start of Spring 2021 Semester
    11.2.20 Polk State bookstores to offer in-person services
    10.16.20 Polk State remains in Phase II of Return to Campus Plan
    8.13.20 Polk State reinforces important guidelines for students, employees returning to campuses
    8.12.20 Polk State’s guide to online learning
    8.10.20 Polk State reminds students of resources to help in remote environment
    8.6.20 Polk State Bookstores offer convenient online ordering, delivery & curbside pickup
    8.3.20 Polk State reminds students of mental health and support resources
    7.28.20 Polk State takes care of College community during COVID-19
    7.27.20 Polk State delays Phase II of Return to Campus to August 17
    7.20.20 Polk State extends hours for student inquiries by phone, email & webchat
    7.14.20 Polk State delays Phase II of Return to Campus Plan
    6.3.20 Polk State announces phased return to campus
    5.6.20 CARES Act emergency financial aid grants available for students
    4.28.20 Guide to online tutoring at Polk State
    4.27.20 Guide to accessing books and course materials online
    4.23.20 Guide to online learning at Polk State
    4.17.20 Polk State’s spring 2020 graduates invited to December ceremony
    4.15.20 Important information about remote PERT testing
    4.13.20 Polk State SALO keeps students engaged through Virtual Student Center
    4.2.20 Polk State provides resources to cope with stress and barriers to learning
    4.1.20 Polk State College operations to continue remotely through safer-at-home order
    4.1.20 College provides remote test proctoring to all Polk State students
    3.30.20 Classes resume online at Polk State College
    3.27.20 Polk State College to continue all classes online through summer 2020
    3.23.20 Important updates and resources for moving to online classes 
    3.22.20 Summer registration dates pushed back at Polk State College
    3.20.20 Polk State College’s spring commencement ceremonies are canceled
    3.18.20 Polk State College responding to case of COVID-19
    3.17.20: Polk State to move to online learning environment for remainder of spring
    3.16.20: Polk State College to suspend operations 5 p.m. March 16 – March 29
    3.13.20: Polk State College closing to students March 16 – March 29
    3.12.20: Polk State College COVID-19 update: travel, events, and more
    3.11.20: Polk State College remains open, continues to monitor coronavirus
    3.6.20: Polk State College exercises preparedness, continues to monitor coronavirus
    2.28.20: Polk State College is monitoring news and information about coronavirus

Frequently asked Q&As

General

  1. Can students register for Fall 2021 Semester classes?

    Yes. Enrollment is open for the Fall 2021 Semester which will begin on August 16, 2021.

    Currently enrolled students can register for classes through their Passport accounts.

    Dual enrollment students should work with their high school advisors and email deregistration@polk.edu for additional assistance.

    Prospective students must submit a free online application to the College at www.polk.edu. More information about the application, orientation, and registration processes is available online at www.polk.edu/admission-aid/admissionsteps.

    For assistance with applying to the College, advising, and registering for classes, students may call 863.297.1000, email registrar@polk.edu, or send a message in the webchat feature located in the bottom right corner of the www.polk.edu/admission-aid page.

    For assistance with financial aid, students may call 863.297.1004, email financialaid@polk.edu, or visit www.polk.edu/admission-aid/financial-aid.

    Students with technological needs may call the College’s Academic Support Line at 863.669.2833, which operates Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  2. Who is allowed on campus during Phase III of the Return to Campus Plan?

    Phase III of Polk State’s Return to Campus Plan began on August 2, 2021, with all staff and administrators on campus. Students can visit the Winter Haven Administration (WAD) Building and Lakeland Technology Building (LTB) to access Student Services, including advising, admissions, and financial aid. Students are also encouraged to use remote services by calling 863.297.1000 or emailing registrar@polk.edu and financialaid@polk.edu for assistance.

    Masks or cloth face coverings are strongly recommended for all individuals on campus, whether vaccinated or not, during Phase II and Phase III of the College’s Return to Campus Plan.

    In Phase III, all College staff and administrators will return to campus by August 2, 2021, and resume pre-pandemic operations. Unvaccinated employees should coordinate with their supervisors and Human Resources for special seating arrangements or accommodations to maintain 6 feet of social distancing in their workspaces. Faculty are to continue instruction as set by the established Fall 2021 Semester schedule and should notify their deans if interested in teaching more face-to-face courses. Faculty should be prepared to resume pre-pandemic operations during the Spring 2022 Semester.

    Additional face-to-face course options are being added to the Fall 2021 Semester schedule and the following resources will be reopened for in-person services per CDC guidance:

    • Libraries
    • Teaching Learning Computing Centers
    • Computer Labs
    • Student Centers
    • Bookstores
    • Vending
    • Gyms

    Students, faculty, and staff will continue to have access to, and be encouraged to use, technology tools including remote tutoring, video conferencing, email, and web chat to facilitate their work and learning.

    Unvaccinated students who wish to maintain 6 feet of social distance in classroom or lab settings will be asked to work with their instructors for special seating arrangements or accommodations.

  3. Am I required to wear a mask when visiting campus?

    As of June 29, 2021, masks or cloth face coverings  are strongly recommended for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors, whether vaccinated or not, while indoors on campus.

  4. How is Polk State College preventing the spread of COVID-19?

    Per the Florida Department of Education, as COVID-19 evolves, the most important thing for schools to do is to plan and prepare. The College is doing the following actions as recommended by the state:

    • Reviewing, updating, and implementing emergency operations plans in collaboration with the local health department.
    • Developing and sharing information with students, employees, and the community.
    • Performing routine cleaning of all locations, especially high-touch areas.
    • Ensuring handwashing strategies include washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

    The College’s custodial staff members are cleaning and sanitizing with Environmental Protection Agency-approved cleaners daily across the College’s six locations. High-touch areas including doorknobs, handrails, push bars, soap dispensers, toilet handles, water faucets, water fountains, and elevator buttons are being sanitized throughout the day and evening, and classroom desks, office desks, reference desks, counters, chair arms and backs, light switches, and telephones are being sanitized each evening to accommodate daily activity and occupancy.

    Additionally, alcohol-based hand sanitizer is available in dispensers throughout all College sites. However, the College highly encourages individuals to also practice consistent hand washing  per flu season guidelines outlined by the CDC.

  5. Has there been a case of COVID-19 connected to the College?

    COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the community. Polk State College is providing regular updates of active cases – those reported within the last 14 days. These are the number of individuals who are members of the College community, who have self-reported presumptive positive COVID-19 test results, and who have been on campus during the exposure period. The College has notified anyone who may have come into close contact with these individuals during their time on campus.

    POLK STATE COLLEGE DATA

    ACTIVE CASES – those reported between September 8, 2021 – September 21, 2021
    LocationStudentsEmployeesOther
    Lakeland Campus420
    Winter Haven Campus330
    Clear Springs Advanced Technology Center010
    Center for Public Safety100
    Airside100
        
    TOTAL CASES SINCE MARCH 2020 – inclusive of the Active Cases listed above
    LocationStudentsEmployeesOther
    Center for Public Safety2761
    Clear Springs Advanced Technology Center610
    Lakeland Campus44141
    Winter Haven Campus31114
    Airside West601
    Lake Wales010
    TOTAL114337

     

    POLK COUNTY DATA

    As of September 20, 2021, 402,701 people (55.6%) in Polk County have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 337,727 (46.6%) are fully vaccinated. Fewer than 0.001% of people who have received a dose experienced an adverse reaction. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

    As of September 16, 2021, Polk County has reported having 98 staffed adult Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds. 50 are filled by non-COVID patients and 45 are filled by COVID patients – overall 95 out of 98 beds are filled. (Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

  6. What if I am experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have come in contact with someone with COVID-19?

    Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to actively monitor their health and should self-screen daily for COVID-19 symptoms before coming to campus. If an individual is sick, or has COVID-19 symptoms, they should not come to campus. They should contact their healthcare provider and their supervisor or professor(s) and complete the College’s COVID-19 self-reporting tool.

    As cases of COVID-19 affecting College community members are reported, representatives of the COVID Response Team conduct contact tracing to assist with informing individuals who may be at risk of infection. Additionally, representatives maintain communication with those who have contracted COVID-19 and those who are in self-quarantine due to potential exposure. A team member is designated to work one-on-one with each individual to assist with access to healthcare resources (including testing) and to provide answers to any questions related to telework, compensation, and benefits. For affected students, the team helps facilitate communication and connection to any available resources to maintain academic pathways to the greatest extent possible.

  7. I’ve received a call or email from the College that says I have to quarantine. What does that mean?

    In an abundance of caution and per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocol and recommendations from the Florida Department of Health, Polk State is instructing individuals who may have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 to quarantine for 10 days following exposure and monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19.

    While in quarantine, individuals are instructed to remain at home; watch for fever (100.4˚F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19; and if possible, stay away from people they live with, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.

    Please note that CDC protocols regarding quarantine differ based on vaccination status and previous COVID-19 illness and recovery:

    • Individuals who are fully vaccinated and are not exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 are not required to quarantine and can return to campus. However, they should monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19.
    • Individuals who have had COVID-19 illness within the previous 3 months, recovered, and are not exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms are not required to quarantine and can return to campus. However, they should monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19.
    • Individuals who are fully vaccinated but who are showing signs or symptoms of COVID-19 are instructed to quarantine at home and to report through the College’s COVID Reporting Tool.

    More information about quarantine can be found on the CDC’s webpage: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html.

  8. I’ve tested positive for COVID-19. What am I supposed to do next?

    Polk State College is instructing all members of the College community to complete the COVID Reporting Tool if they have been confirmed positive for COVID-19, exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, or believe that they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

    Information collected through the COVID Reporting Tool allows the College’s COVID Response Team to reach out to individuals who are ill with COVID-19 or believe that they may have been exposed to someone with the illness. Members of the team maintain communication with those who have contracted COVID-19 to assist with access to healthcare and academic resources. Additionally, they conduct contact tracing to information individuals who may have been exposed.

  9. How do I continue to attend classes if I have COVID-19 or if I am in quarantine?

    Students who are ill with COVID-19 or are in quarantine are responsible for communicating their status to their professors. Professors will assist in facilitating continuity of instruction. Students who need technology to attend courses remotely should contact the Academic Support Line at 863.669.2833 Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m..

  10. How can I receive assistance with advising, registration, and financial aid?

    For assistance with applying to the College, advising, and registering for classes, students may call 863.297.1000, email registrar@polk.edu, or send a message in the webchat feature located in the bottom right corner of the College’s website, www.polk.edu.

    For assistance with financial aid, students may call 863.297.1004, email financialaid@polk.edu, or visit www.polk.edu/admission-aid/financial-aid.

    Students with technology needs may call the College’s Academic Support Line at 863.669.2833, which operates Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    During Phase II of the Return to Campus Plan, students may also access limited Student Services, including advising, registration, and financial aid in the Winter Haven Administration (WAD) Building and Lakeland Technology Building (LTB) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    As of June 29, 2021, masks or cloth face coverings are no longer required, but are strongly recommended for students, faculty, staff, and visitors while indoors on campus. Individuals who are meeting one-on-one with students, colleagues, or members of the community in small offices or cubicles are still strongly encouraged to wear a mask due to the close confines of the space.

  11. How do I apply for student COVID Relief Funds?

    Polk State College is currently accepting applications for COVID Relief Funds. These are Student Emergency Aid funds that are part of the federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).  These funds are referred to as HEERF Emergency Grant Funds.

    ELIGIBILITY

    An individual eligible for these funds must be a Polk State College student who:

    • Possesses a high school diploma/high school equivalency and who is enrolled as degree-seeking student, or
    • Is enrolled in a Polk State College short-term training program.

    To apply for HEERF Emergency Grant Funds, individuals must:

    For more information about eligibility and the application process, visit www.polk.edu/cares.

  12. Will I still receive my financial aid disbursement?

    Yes, you will.

    Disbursements for summer will begin on May 24, 2021. Disbursements for fall will begin on August 30, 2021, for the 16-week and Fastrack 1 sessions. 

    Disbursements will continue weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the semesters.

  13. Where can I find resources for online learning?

    Polk State has compiled the following list of resources for students. This list will continue to be updated.

    Polk State’s Academic Support Line is available by calling 863.669.2833 for students with technology needs, including laptops and webcams to complete their courses.

    Polk State’s Canvas Orientation is available online. Classes are available and accessible through Canvas, which has an easy-to-use interface and mobile-friendly app on Android and iOS. Students can receive course updates, submit assignments, communicate with professors, and more through Canvas.

    Canvas support is available 24-7 by calling 1.844.880.9814.

    The College has Guidelines for Students in the Online Environment.

    Books and course materials are available through online ordering and convenient shipping or curbside pickup options.

    Office 365, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, is available online.

    Free Wi-Fi hotspots are available in public via the City of Lakeland’s SurfLakeland downtown and in select areas throughout the city; the City of Winter Haven’s MyWinterHaven in the downtown parking garage and library parking lot; Haines City’s PSCHainesCity at Haines City Park; and the City of Lake Wales’s CityNet throughout Lake Wales.

    Technical support for students having trouble with accessing my.polk.edu email accounts is available by calling 863.837.5971 or emailing jthompson@polk.edu.

    Online tutoring is available through Canvas with Polk State tutors.

    Online help with writing is available from Polk State English professors in The Writing Studio. 

    Online library services, including electronic books and databases, are available at polk.edu/library. Ask A Librarian is also available on Canvas.

    Online test-taking is available through proctoring services provided by Honorlock, which requires students to use Google Chrome and download the Honorlock Chrome extension. Honorlock support is available 24-7 by emailing support@honorlock.com and through live chat support online at honorlock.com/support.

    Advising and registration assistance is available by emailing registrar@polk.edu, calling 863.297.1000, or using the webchat feature in the bottom right corner of the polk.edu/admission-aid page.

    Financial aid assistance is available by emailing financialaid@polk.edu, calling 863.297.1004, or using the webchat feature in the bottom right corner of the polk.edu/admission-aid page.

    The BayCare Student Assistance Program offers immediate counseling assistance from licensed professionals. All services are available 24-7 for free and are confidential, providing support from managing classes to managing stress. Students can call 800.878.5470 or access services online at BayCare’s Personal Advantage.

    United Way’s 2-1-1 is a comprehensive source of human and social services information. Specialists are available 24-7 to connect individuals with services in Polk, Hardee, and Highlands counties online, by phone at 888.370.7188, by texting your zip code to 898-211, or by emailing uw211help@gmail.com.

  14. How do I get my textbooks and course materials?

    The Polk State bookstores continue to offer online ordering, delivery by mail, and curbside pickup. Additionally, the bookstores are offering free rental textbook returns by mail. Students should visit the Rental Return page on the online bookstore site to create a free UPS label. Students will need their order ID to complete the transaction.

    To retrieve an order ID or for questions, email the Lakeland Campus Bookstore at sm8125@bncollege.com or the Winter Haven Campus Bookstore at sm8126@bncollege.com.

    A step-by-step guide that explains how to buy or rent course material online is available here. Dual-enrollment students who are enrolled in courses that are scheduled as hybrid classes on a Polk State campus or online with Polk State instructors should follow these instructions:

    Dual enrollment students who are enrolled in courses that are scheduled as hybrid classes at their high schools or online with teachers from their high schools will receive their books from their high schools.

    Students will receive an email when their orders are ready to be shipped or picked up curbside. With curbside pickup, students can park in designated spaces, call the bookstore, and receive their order in the parking lot. Maps of the parking areas and more information about curbside pickup are available on the bookstore page. When picking up books, students must have a photo ID.

Online Resources

  1. How can I gain internet access if I do not have it?

    Free Wi-Fi hotspots are available in public via the City of Lakeland’s SurfLakeland downtown and in select areas throughout the city; the City of Winter Haven’s MyWinterHaven in the downtown parking garage and library parking lot; Haines City’s PSCHainesCity at Haines City Park; and the City of Lake Wales’s CityNet throughout Lake Wales. Click here for more information.

    The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is also offering low-income households, including those on SNAP or Medicaid, recipients of Pell grants, and families with children on free and reduced-price lunch plans discounted broadband service. Click here for more information.

  2. How can I access my courses online?

    Online courses can be accessed through the College’s learning management system, Canvas, which has an easy-to-use interface, a mobile-friendly app on both Android and iOS, and a 24-7 help desk at 1.844.880.9814. More information including a Canvas orientation is available on the Distance Learning web page.

  3. How do I access my books and course materials online?

    The Polk State bookstores continue to offer online ordering, delivery by mail, and curbside pickup. Additionally, the bookstores are offering free rental textbook returns by mail. Students should visit the Rental Return page on the online bookstore site to create a free UPS label. Students will need their order ID to complete the transaction.

    To retrieve an order ID or for questions, email the Lakeland Campus Bookstore at sm8125@bncollege.com or the Winter Haven Campus Bookstore at sm8126@bncollege.com.

    A step-by-step guide that explains how to buy or rent course material online is available here. Dual-enrollment students who are enrolled in courses that are scheduled as hybrid classes on a Polk State campus or online with Polk State instructors should follow these instructions:

    Dual enrollment students who are enrolled in courses that are scheduled as hybrid classes at their high schools or online with teachers from their high schools will receive their books from their high schools.

    Students will receive an email when their orders are ready to be shipped or picked up curbside. With curbside pickup, students can park in designated spaces, call the bookstore, and receive their order in the parking lot. Maps of the parking areas and more information about curbside pickup are available on the bookstore page. When picking up books, students must have a photo ID.

  4. What are the guidelines for students in the online environment?

  5. Where can I find information about Canvas?

    • Polk State’s Canvas Orientation is available online and the College recommends students complete this orientation before instruction resumes online on March 30. Courses will be available and accessible through Canvas, which has an easy-to-use interface and mobile-friendly app on Android and iOS. Students can receive course updates, submit assignments, communicate with professors, and more through Canvas.
    • Canvas support is available 24-7 by calling 1.844.880.9814.
  6. Where can I gain access to Office 365 including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint?

    Office 365 including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint is available online

  7. Where can I receive online tutoring?

    Polk State students have the advantage of online tutoring and support services.

    Through Canvas, students can directly connect with tutors from Polk State’s Lakeland and  Winter Haven campuses and JD Alexander Center Teaching Learning Computing Centers (TLCCs).

    Students do not need to make appointments to access tutoring in a variety of subject areas including:

    • Writing
    • Math
    • Science
    • Languages
    • Accounting
    • Computers

    Online tutoring is available through Canvas with Polk State tutors.

    Online assistance with writing is available from Polk State English professors in The Writing Studio.

  8. Where can I find library resources?

    Online library services are available at polk.edu/library, including electronic books and databases. Ask A Librarian is also available on Canvas.

  9. What if I need help accessing my student email?

    Students who have trouble accessing their my.polk.edu email accounts may call 863.837.5971 or email jthompson@polk.edu for assistance. Students can also call the College’s information desk at 863.297.1000 for assistance.

  10. What if I am having trouble accessing a computer or equipment to complete assignments or online testing?

    The College has established the Academic Support Line for students who have equipment and internet needs. Students may call the line at 863.669.2833 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for assistance.

  11. How can I keep connected to my peers in the online college environment?

    Students quickly brainstormed creative ways to keep their peers connected in the online college environment. With the support of Student Activities and Leadership Office (SALO) Director Melvin Thompson, student leaders launched the Virtual Student Center, which is accessible on SALO’s Facebook (@polkstatesalo), Instagram (@polkstatesalolk and @pscwhsalo), and Twitter (@wearesalo) pages as well as on CanvasClick here for more information.

Testing

  1. What if I am having trouble with online test taking?

    The College has purchased Honorlock to provide remote proctoring services for testing to all Polk State students. Honorlock is accessed through Canvas and is an online test proctoring service that has a number of tools to ensure academic integrity. Honorlock has equipment and technical requirements, and students are encouraged to become familiar with the program as soon as possible.

    Students will need:

    • To use Google Chrome and download the Honorlock Chrome Extension.
    • To log in to Canvas, go to their course, and click on their exam. When they click on “Take Your Exam,” they will start the authentication process before beginning the exam.

    If there is a page asking for an access code, it means that the student has not installed the Honorlock Chrome Extension or is using an incompatible internet browser. Students must use Google Chrome.

    Students should:

    • Be aware of specific exam dates and times and allow adequate time to take the exams. Do not procrastinate.
    • Become familiar with and comply with Honorlock’s technical requirements.
    • Anticipate technical issues with completing any exams. Students should notify Honorlock support first for assistance.

    Honorlock support is available 24-7 by emailing support@honorlock.com and through live chat support online at honorlock.com/support.

    Canvas support is available 24-7 by calling 1.844.880.9814.

  2. What about TEAS testing?

    Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) proctored testing is available remotely for individuals applying for the Polk State Nursing Program. Applicants can take the test online. A computer with a webcam and microphone is required, as well as a stable internet connection and private space. Testing time is four-and-a-half hours.

    Available remote proctored testing sessions and registration are available by clicking here.

    Individuals who cannot meet the technology requirements for remotely proctored testing should email dimmel@polk.edu to discuss potential alternative testing solutions. Individuals who have questions about the TEAS registration process should call 863.292.3674.

    Additional TEAS testing sessions will be available at later dates for prospective students applying for later admission cycles.

  3. Do I still need to take the PERT test?

    Students are required to take the PERT test if they plan to pursue dual enrollment, early admission, or would like to apply to any of the College’s three collegiate high schools. Please note that Polk State Lakeland Gateway to College Collegiate High School is waiving the PERT requirement.

    The PERT is also required for some new non-dual enrolled students who graduated before 2007, graduated from a non-Florida high school, graduated without a standard high school diploma, or are not active-duty military. A representative from Student Services will be contacting these students directly via email during the enrollment process to coordinate PERT testing dates.

    More information about taking the PERT remotely and a video about how to take the test using Honorlock in Canvas can be accessed here: www.polk.edu/admission-aid/remote-pert-testing.

  4. How do I arrange to take the PERT test?

    To comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance during the coronavirus public health emergency, Polk State is offering remote PERT testing.

    New students must submit a free online application to the College at www.polk.edu. Students must complete and submit the application at least three workdays prior to their PERT session. After completing the College application, students will receive a welcome letter from the College via email. The letter will provide directions for how to access the PERT test, including the requirement to email advising@polk.edu to begin the process.

    More information about taking the PERT remotely and a video about how to take the test using Honorlock in Canvas can be accessed here: www.polk.edu/admission-aid/remote-pert-testing. For any questions about the online PERT testing process, please email PERT@polk.edu or call 863.297.1033 or 863.297.1044 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  5. What are the minimum technology requirements for taking the PERT test remotely?

    To take the PERT online, students must have access to the following:

    • Desktop or laptop computer
    • Webcam and microphone
    • Google Chrome internet browser
    • Internet access

    Polk County Public School students who do not have access to the internet or the computer equipment necessary to take the test should contact their high school principal or counselor for assistance. Polk State students who do not have access to the internet or computer equipment can contact the Academic Support Line at 863.669.2833 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    More information about taking the PERT remotely and a video about how to take the test using Honorlock in Canvas can be accessed here: www.polk.edu/admission-aid/remote-pert-testing. For any questions about the online PERT testing process, please email PERT@polk.edu or call 863.297.1033 or 863.297.1044 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Campus Life and Facilities

  1. Are Polk State College events canceled?

    The College is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guideline for large events and mass gatherings, which recommends canceling or postponing in-person events that consist of 10 people or more. Please continue to monitor www.polk.edu for further scheduling and event information.

Travel and Study Abroad

  1. Are field trips, study abroad trips, and work-related trips canceled?

    The College continues to stress the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s travel advisories, including the recommendation to avoid all nonessential travel to countries with Level 3 health notices. The College has suspended Study Abroad trips until further notice. All domestic and international travel is limited and subject to approval by the College President.

  2. What if I am traveling outside of school or work?

    The College stresses the following guidelines provided by the Florida Department of Health:

    • Anyone (students, faculty, staff, etc.) who travels to any foreign country is advised to self-isolate for 14 days upon return.
    • Anyone (students, faculty, staff, etc.) who goes on a cruise anywhere is advised to self-isolate for 14 days upon return.
  3. Do I have to notify someone at the College about a personal (NON-COLLEGE-RELATED) international and/or domestic travel plans?

    Polk State College strongly encourages everyone to apply the same abundance of caution to personal travel. Individuals should keep in mind the possibility of quarantine measures being introduced while they are traveling. Students, faculty, or staff planning to travel on personal trips are advised to have contingency plans in the event of major disruptions that could affect both outbound and return travel. Please carefully weigh the risks and benefits of any international travel, and review Centers for Disease Control and Prevention information on COVID-19 to learn more.

    If a student, faculty, or staff member is experiencing any COVID-like symptoms, they should not come to campus but should contact their healthcare provider and their supervisor or professor(s) and complete the College’s COVID-19 self-reporting tool.

Health Resources

  1. I am anxious about the situation unfolding. Are there resources or support for my wellbeing?

    We understand that some community members are concerned and that this is a stressful time.  If you would like to talk with someone, support is available to students and employees.

    For students:

    • The BayCare Student Assistance Program offers immediate counseling assistance from licensed professionals. All services are 24-7, free, and confidential, providing support from managing classes, to managing stress. Students can call 800.878.5470 or access services online at BayCare’s Personal Advantage.
    • United Way’s 2-1-1 is a comprehensive source of human and social services information. Specialists are available 24-7 to connect individuals with services in Polk, Hardee, and Highland counties online, by phone at 888.370.7188, by texting your zip code to 898-211, or by emailing uw211help@gmail.com.
  2. What is the novel coronavirus, COVID-19?

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

    The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:

    • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
    • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

    These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

    Additionally, COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably through “community spread” in some geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

    Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure (this is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses):

    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
  3. How does COVID-19 spread?

    The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

    • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
    • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

    These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

    People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

    It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

    How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

    The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas.

    Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

  4. How can I protect myself from COVID-19?

    The CDC’s guidelines include:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home.
    • Wear a mask or cloth face cover when you have to go out in public.
    • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
    • Stay home if you are sick.

    Also, avoid close contact with people who are sick. Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick, including older adults and people with chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes.

  5. What if I am sick and need to miss class or work?

    The College is exercising the CDC’s guidelines and encourages students and employees who are sick to stay home and complete the COVID Reporting Tool.

    Students who are ill with COVID-19 or are in quarantine are responsible for communicating their status to their professors. Professors will assist in facilitating continuity of instruction.

    Employees should communicate with their supervisors. Additionally, employees who have any questions or concerns are asked to contact Human Resources at 863.297.1070 or HR@polk.edu.

  6. What should I do if I have close contact with someone who has COVID-19?

    If you have come in contact with an individual who has recently traveled to countries with Level 3 or Level 2 travel advisories per the CDC, or if  you have traveled to these locations yourself, and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should:

    • Call your local county health department.
    • Seek medical care. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
    • Avoid contact with others.
    • Do not travel while sick.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to avoid spreading the virus to others. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
    • CDC has additional specific guidance for travelers available online.
  7. Where can I get more information about COVID-19?

    Polk State continues to stress the importance of preparedness and encourages students, faculty, staff, and community members to access up-to-date information and resources through the Florida Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, the Florida Department of Health has a dedicated COVID-19 call center that can be reached at 1.866.779.6121. The call center is available 24-7. Inquiries may also be emailed to COVID-19@flhealth.gov.