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Polk State College

Polk State College, formerly known as Polk Community College, is a public state college located in Winter Haven, Florida, USA. Polk State College is a member institution of the Florida College System.


999 Avenue H NE
Winter Haven

Contact Information


Total Undergrad enrollment
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Out State Tuition Fees
Male Female Ratio
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Student Faculty Ratio

Additional Information

College Type
Religious Affiliation
Campus Housing
Polk State Eagle
Black And Red
FCSAA Suncoast

College History


Polk State College, the first higher education institution in Polk County, began in 1964, in a former World War II Army Air Force Base in Bartow. During its first semester of operation, the College served nearly 1,200 students �twice the number expected � and it has continued to grow ever since. In 1966, ground was broken for Polk State�s first permanent campus, Polk State Winter Haven, located on the shores of Lake Elbert. Within a decade, the campus had expanded to include numerous buildings, accommodating a growing student body and increased program offerings. By 1988, Polk State�s footprint in the county had grown to include its second campus, Polk State Lakeland, located on a former orange grove along U.S. 98 South between Lakeland and Bartow. In the years that followed, Polk State expanded its Lakeland campus and added the Polk State Airside Center, located in South Lakeland. In 2007, Polk State inaugurated its fourth president, Dr. Eileen Holden, who brought to the institution more than two decades of experience in education, both as an instructor and an administrator. Under Holden�s leadership, the College in 2009 grew to encompass its JD Alexander Center in downtown Lake Wales and in 2011 the Polk State Lake Wales Arts Center on State Road 60. Holden also oversaw the College�s addition in 2009 of its first bachelor�s degree, the Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management. To reflect its new status as a baccalaureate institution, the College changed its name to Polk State College; previously it had been known as Polk Community College, and earlier in its history, Polk Junior College. The College�s four-year degrees now also include a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. In 2011, the College underwent a rebranding, adopting the Eagle as its mascot � chosen based on Polk County�s large eagle population � and a red, black and white color scheme. More changes and expansions are in store for the College. By 2014, the College will also include the Polk State Clear Springs Advanced Technology Center, which is currently under construction off State Road 60 in Bartow. The 45,000-square-foot facility will house high-tech degree programs and the Polk State Corporate College, which provides workforce training. Also, the Polk State Center for Public Safety is planned for Winter Haven. The facility will house the Polk State Kenneth C. Thompson Institute for Public Safety, as well as other Public Safety training and degree programs.

College Specialty


The Admission and Registrar�s Office of Polk State College reinforces the core values of the College by maintaining a culture of service in our interactions with students, staff, and faculty. We strive to treat each person with individual attention and continually seek ways to improve our practices and work tools so that we reflect culture of service and value to our students.



Mark Brisker, American-Israeli professional basketball player Denise Grimsley, member of the Florida House of Representatives Lorenzo Williams, former NBA basketball player Lawrence Scarpa, architect