Our mission is to transform students’ lives through the power of education by providing access to affordable associate and baccalaureate degree programs, career certificates and workforce employment programs.
Serving Polk County for more than Half a Century
Polk State College is a public state college located in Polk County, Florida. Established in 1964, the College continues to promote excellent teaching practices for students and their future success through innovation, community impact, and engagement. In its more-than-half-a-century history, the College has seen great success through transforming the lives of thousands of graduates by providing robust industry-oriented curriculum delivered by knowledgeable faculty in an advanced learning infrastructure for its students.
Polk State College holds the distinction of being the first public higher education institution in Polk County. During its first semester of operation, the College served nearly 1,200 students —twice the number expected — and has continued to grow ever since. Today, the College serves more than 15,000 students at its six locations: Polk State Winter Haven, Polk State Lakeland, Polk State JD Alexander Center in Lake Wales, Polk State Clear Springs Advanced Technology Center in Bartow, Polk State Airside Center in Lakeland, and Polk State Center for Public Safety in Winter Haven. Polk State offers various associate and baccalaureate degree programs and workforce certificates and prepares students for future success.
Leadership of Polk State College
Dr. Angela M. Garcia Falconetti is the fifth President of Polk State College. She brings over 18 years of experience in higher education to the institution. Falconetti is an advocate for Polk State and its mission to provide access to affordable, quality higher education to Polk County’s residents. By fostering relationships with community and industry leaders, Falconetti ensures that Polk State stays at the forefront of providing the most relevant education and workforce training for its students and local employers. By thinking strategically, evaluating data, and working with the Polk State team and the community, Falconetti plans to achieve the goal of making Polk State the first choice in higher education for Polk County residents.
Lucrative Courses Offered by Polk State College
Polk State College offers a variety of degree programs and workforce certificates. Polk State offers the Associate of Science degree for those who seek to enter the workforce immediately after completing their education, and the Associate in Arts degree for those seeking to continue their studies at a four-year institution. In addition, the College offers six bachelor’s degree programs, which allow students to gain advanced training in Polk County itself. The Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management, Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Sciences, Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education, and Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education offer opportunities for students to continue their education close to home. All of Polk State’s degree programs are designed to meet the needs of its community, positioning students to be hired when they graduate or to succeed at the next level of education. The College also provides workforce certificates to those who want to gain new skills and desire to acquire a competitive edge in the workforce.
Distinctiveness of Polk State College’s Nursing Program
The Polk State College Department of Nursing associate degree program was established in 1965 with a purpose of participating as an active partner in meeting the healthcare needs of the community by educating and preparing entry-level professional nurses to practice in a variety of settings.
In 2011, Polk State College added the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program with the purpose of providing registered nurses who have an associate degree or diploma in nursing the opportunity to advance in their educational and career goals. Polk State’s Nursing graduates are highly respected for their training and workforce readiness across the healthcare community.
Accreditations and Associations
Polk State College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate and bachelor’s degrees. The associate degree program in Nursing is approved by the Florida Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The associate degree program received initial accreditation by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission in 1967 and the most recent accreditation visit by ACEN was in 2009. As a post-licensure program, the baccalaureate program does not require Board of Nursing approval. The program is accredited by the ACEN with initial accreditation in 2012.
Polk State College’s Nursing Program is supported by a knowledgeable advisory board that consists of representatives from the healthcare industry and local and regional hospitals. The advisory board regularly reviews the academic curriculum and provides input based on changing healthcare standards and requirements. Talented educators and advanced infrastructure, along with robust curriculum, have made the Polk State Nursing program an excellent career opportunity for graduates.
Triumph of students in the workforce is the true hallmark of any institute’s success. Polk State Nursing graduates have a distinctive pass rate of 95.74 percent on the National Council Licensing Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). This is well over the average NCLEX-RN pass rates for state university graduates and exceeds the average state and national pass rates as well. In addition, 99 percent of Polk State’s Bachelor in Science in Nursing graduates are employed or are continuing their education one year after graduation.