All posts by Cory Skeates


SEU Releases Learning Series to Assist Parents During COVID-19 Pandemic

LAKELAND, Fla. – Today Southeastern University released “Going Remote,” a five-part learning series to help the millions of parents across the nation who are now faced with helping their school-aged children with learning from home. 

The free videos provide tips and encouragement from two SEU professors of education, Dr. Janet Deck and Dr. Sarah Yates. Together, the professors have more than 30 years of teaching experience. They have not only homeschooled their own children, but they have taught in the public school system in addition to currently teaching in the College of Education at SEU.

Each episode addresses helpful anecdotes and learning strategies to incorporate at home for each level of learning, from pre-K through high school. 

Professors in the College of Education wanted to provide assistance and encouragement to families navigating this uncertain time.

Deck assures parents, “You can do it! You have been teaching your kids since the day they were born. You may not have experience teaching in a formal educational setting, but natural learning is the best kind.”

The videos can be accessed at

To arrange an interview with Dr. Deck or Dr. Yates, contact Dana Davis, chief communications officer, at or 863.712.1997.




Polk State College to continue all classes online through summer 2020

Friday, March 27, 2020 — Polk State College will continue all classes online through the Summer 2020 Semester to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The College suspended instruction on March 16 and will resume all classes, including dual enrollment and Polk State’s three collegiate high schools, online on Monday, March 30, for the remainder of the Spring 2020 Semester. Due to the evolving public health emergency, faculty and staff are also preparing for a fully online summer semester.

“Polk State College is committed to ensuring our students have the opportunity and the resources they need to continue toward their educational goals during these challenging times,” Polk State President Angela Garcia Falconetti said. “Faculty and staff are working diligently to make the transition to the online learning environment as smooth as possible for students so that they may be successful in their academic endeavors while remaining safe and healthy.”

The College has postponed summer registration dates to allow more time for students and prospective students to receive advising services.

  • Priority and dual-enrollment registration that was scheduled to start on March 30 will now begin on April 6.
  • Open enrollment that was scheduled to start on April 6 will now begin on April 13.
  • Summer classes will start online on May 6.

Prospective students must submit a free online application at Current students may register for classes through PASSPORT.

Advisors are available to assist students and prospective students with setting their academic goals, accessing information and services, and making responsible decisions consistent with their goals and degree requirements. Students may email or call 863.297.1000.

Starting on April 1, students and prospective students will also be able to connect with advisors and other members of Student Services staff through Zoom, a remote-conferencing software program. They can easily access Zoom once a Polk State staff member provides a link via email. They can then use Zoom to video chat through a computer or through the Zoom app available for download on iOS and Android devices. A voice call option is also available.

“Although our students are not able to visit our campuses and centers to help prevent the spread of COIVD-19, they will still receive excellent service,” said Sylvester Little, Dean of Student Services on the Lakeland Campus. “We are doing everything we can to help our students through multiple means of communication.”

Students are also encouraged to begin the financial aid process as soon as possible. The first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students who need assistance may email, call 863.297.1000, or view the College’s online FAFSA tutorial here.

Additionally, a list of resources for taking online classes is available here.

Throughout the registration and financial aid process, students should regularly check PASSPORT and their College email for important information. Students are also asked to monitor and Polk State’s social media for updates related to COVID-19.


About Polk State College

Located in Winter Haven, Florida, and established in 1964, Polk State College is a multi-campus institution serving more than 16,000 students with Bachelor of Applied Science, Bachelor of Science, Associate in Arts, and Associate in Science degrees, as well as a wide range of certificate and workforce training options. The College also operates three charter high schools.

Polk State’s advantages include small class sizes; hands-on learning; dedicated faculty; day and night classes; online options; affordable tuition; excellent financial aid; and a diverse community and vibrant student life, including fine arts opportunities, clubs, and intercollegiate athletics.


Florida SBDC Network Announces Changes to Bridge Loan Application Process

Applications must be submitted via online or by mail

TAMPA (March 26, 2020) – Due to the widespread impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), the application process for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program changed this week.

Effective immediately, eligible small businesses interested in applying for the Bridge Loan program, a short-term loan designed to help business owners bridge the gap between the time of impact and when the business has secured long-term assistance, should apply for the program through one of two ways:

Small businesses that already applied should not submit an additional application.

To qualify, applicants must be for-profit, privately held small businesses that maintain a place of business in Florida. Businesses must also be an employer with 2 to 100 employees. Loans are interest-free for one year. Businesses can qualify for up to $50,000 in most instances. Applications will be accepted through May 8.

The Florida SBDC at USF is currently working through hundreds of applications received before the change in process and continues to field new inquiries daily. Loan decisions are made by an independent committee made up of economic development and finance professionals from within the region. Financing is provided by the state of Florida using public funds.

For additional updates and to find information on other available programs and resources, please visit us online at Small business owners with questions regarding the loan program should contact DEO toll-free at 833-832-4494 or email Applications must be completed by May 8, 2020.

About the Florida SBDC Network: 

For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy. Since 2011, Florida SBDCs have provided 624,331 hours of professional business consulting to 58,975 client businesses, resulting in 281,831 jobs impacted; $36.7 billion in sales generated; $2.7 billion in government contracts acquired; $1.6 billion in capital accessed; and 4,520 new businesses started. A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a 2016 recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit


Girl Scouts of West Central Florida Launches Girl Scouts at Home

Girl Scouts of West Central Florida (GSWCF) is proud to introduce Girl Scouts at Home – a virtual programming option available to all families through our website. This collection of online programs, activities and challenges is designed to keep girls engaged in the Girl Scout Leadership Experience during this time of social distancing. There are also free resources for parents/guardians and troop leaders.

Girl Scouts at Home is the product of a collaborative effort across multiple departments within the GSWCF council. It demonstrates that even as we navigate this time of uncertainty, GSWCF remains committed to serving not just our members, but the community at large.

Participants will find activities that align with GSWCF’s four program pillars (STEM, Outdoors, Life Skills and Entrepreneurship) along with ways to engage in community service. Examples of programming include virtual tours, interactive worksheets and engaging educational videos. New content will be provided every week by GSWCF’s Outreach Team. This initiative, called “Rising Diamonds”, ensures that every girl, regardless of her family’s socioeconomic status, has the opportunity to participate in Girl Scouting in order to develop successful leadership and life skills. These staff members serve more than 3,000 girls in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Polk Counties through generous grant-funded opportunities.

Families are invited to engage in Girl Scouts at Home by visiting


About Girls Scouts of West Central Florida

Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls with nearly 2.5 million girl and adult members worldwide. Girl Scouts is the leading authority on girls’ healthy development and building courage, confidence and character to make the world a better place. Girl Scouts of West Central Florida (GSWCF) serves nearly 28,000 total members. This includes more than 19,000 girls and more than 8,500 adult members in Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sumter counties. GSWCF offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, skill-building, community service and personal success. GSWCF receives funding from the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners and area United Way agencies. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit or call 800-881-GIRL.