Polk State College

Winter Haven, FL 33881-4299
United States


For nearly 50 years, Polk State College has provided affordable, accessible, workforce-specific degree options to its community.

The College was founded in 1964 on an airbase in Bartow, located in the heart of Florida, about an hour from both Orlando and Tampa.

Through the decades, the College has grown to include campuses and centers that serve the farthest reaches of Polk County, an area nearly twice as large as Rhode Island. The College has campuses in Lakeland and Winter Haven, and centers in Lakeland and Lake Wales. In a bit of coming-full-circle growth, the College’s footprint will also soon include the Polk State Clear Springs Advanced Technology Center in Bartow.


The College also offers courses at Ridge Community High School in Davenport, located in Northeast Polk County, just across the county line from Walt Disney World.

In addition to its campuses and centers, Polk State also operates three public, charter high schools, which allow high school students to simultaneously earn high school and college credits. Many students at the collegiate high schools graduate with both their diplomas and associate’s degrees.

Polk State offers the Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees, as well as a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Supervision and Management, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice.

All of Polk State’s degrees address specific workforce needs in the community. Numerous workforce-training certificates — each also carefully developed with input from local employers — are also available.

Annually, Polk State serves more than 20,000 students, helping them to begin, switch or advance careers in fields as diverse as nursing, advanced manufacturing and criminal justice.

Polk State’s central mission is helping its students succeed — both in the workforce and at higher levels of education.  A recent report showed Polk State graduates secure employment at higher rates than graduates of any of the other 27 Florida College System institutions. Also, recent data showed that Polk State students earn higher GPAs when they transfer to Florida’s State University System than students from any other FCS institution.

In addition to solid academics, Polk State also offers intercollegiate athletics, a rigorous Honors Program, and dynamic student life opportunities — all while also being Polk County’s most affordable higher-education option.


Polk State College, a quality-driven institution, transforms lives through the power of education by providing access to affordable associate and baccalaureate degrees, career certificates and workforce employment programs, delivered by diverse, qualified faculty and staff.

Polk State President
Dr. Eileen Holden
Polk State College
District Board of Trustees
Mark G. Turner — chair
Linda Pilkington — vice chair
Dan Dorrell
Ricardo Garcia
Gregory Littleton
Teresa Martinez
E.S. “Ernie” Pinner
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