Category Archives: Member Announcements


President Ingle Joins U.S. College and University Presidents in Urging Congress to Protect Dreamers

Southeastern University President Kent Ingle, along with members of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, met in Washington, D.C., today to call on Congress to pass a permanent legislative solution to protect young immigrants known as Dreamers. The event took place at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.

“I am honored to be able to represent our DACA students at the Capitol. These students are integral members of our community, so it is important that we continue to urge Congress to develop legislation that would protect their rights,” said Ingle.

The call to action is in response to the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program last fall. The program protects the deportation and work authorization to individuals who came to the United States under the age of 16, and allows them to attain higher education, serve in the military and work in their communities.

Ingle is one of the founding members of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration. The Alliance was formed by 234 college and university presidents and chancellors from around the nation, including representatives from Harvard University, Princeton University and Georgetown University, in response to the urgent need to increase public understanding of how immigration policies and practices impact students, campuses and communities. The first priority for the Alliance is to advocate for a permanent legislative solution for Dreamers. Last week, the organization urged Congressional leadership to pass legislation immediately in support of Dreamers.


The Forum at SEU Registration

Untitled design (2)The Forum at SEU, a two-day leadership event, will be held on March 15 &16 at Southeastern University. The two-day conference will provide actionable leadership training from premier thought leaders in order to raise the leadership bar in individuals, organizations and communities. This year’s speakers include Daymond John, Brian Kilmeade, Ed Bastian and many more. General admission starts at $149. Register online at For more information, please call 1.877.FORUM2018 or email


Polk State Collegiate High Schools To Host Info Sessions

Polk State Lakeland Collegiate and Polk State Chain of Lakes Collegiate high schools will host informational sessions for current sophomores interested in attending one of Polk State College’s charter schools.

The collegiate high schools are high-performing A-graded schools that serve juniors and seniors. Students fulfill high school requirements while also earning college credits. In many cases, students graduate with both their high school diplomas and associate’s degrees.

In addition to the Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degree programs, the collegiate high schools also offer courses that lead to industry certifications in health sciences and computer programming and infrastructure.

Polk State Chain of Lakes Collegiate High School also offers a pre-teaching academy and curriculum enhanced with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Polk State Lakeland Collegiate High School offers enhanced curriculum programs in community service, leadership, and pre-teaching.

Students attend the collegiate high schools at no cost, and transportation is available for most areas of Polk County.

To be admitted one of the schools, a student must have a minimum 3.0 grade-point average unweighted and cumulative, as well as a passing score on the Postsecondary Education Readiness Test (PERT).

The informational sessions will allow prospective students to learn about the application process, tour the buildings, meet with current students, and receive tips on preparing for the PERT.

Applications will be available Feb. 1 at Informational sessions will be held as follows

Lakeland Collegiate High School

Tuesday, Jan. 30 | Wednesday, Feb. 7 | Thursday, Feb. 15 | 6:30 p.m. Polk State College Lakeland Campus, LTB Auditorium

For more information, 863.669.2322

Chain of Lakes Collegiate High School

Tuesday, February 6 | Thursday, Feb. 15 | 6:30 p.m. Polk Sate College Winter Haven Campus, WST 126 For more information, 863.298.6800


Florida SBDC at USF administers more than $7.5 million in small business Bridge Loans

The Florida SBDC at University of South Florida facilitated 141 State of Florida Emergency Bridge Loans, totaling $7,515,100 in funding.

The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program was activated by Governor Rick Scott on Sept. 14, 2017, as a result of Hurricane Irma.  On October 6, the program was expanded to include Florida’s citrus businesses.

This interest-free loan program was available to small business owners and citrus businesses throughout Florida that experienced physical and/or economic damage as a result of the storm.  Small business owners could qualify for up to $50,000, while citrus growers could apply for up to $150,000.

“We were all very proud to assist small businesses affected by Hurricane Irma,” Eileen Rodriguez, FSBDC at USF Regional Director, said. “It reminds us why we do this on a daily basis – because we love helping businesses.”

Business consultants at the Florida SBDC at USF closed the following for its 10-county region:

County                                                # of Loans                               Total Loan Amount

Desoto County                                     3                                              $335,000

Hardee County                                    8                                              $915,000

Hernando County                                8                                              $300,000

Highlands County                                29                                            $2,393,000

Hillsborough County                           21                                            $715,000

Manatee County                                 6                                              $285,000

Pasco County                                       8                                              $199,000

Pinellas County                                   13                                            $476,400

Polk County                                         25                                            $1,256,200

Sarasota County                                  20                                            $640,500

The Florida SBDC at Florida Gulf Coast University closed an additional $50,000 Bridge loan in Desoto County.

Of the approximate $7.5 million in Bridge loans, nearly $4 million were citrus loans, concentrated in Desoto, Hardee, Highlands and Polk counties.

The Florida SBDC at USF has been processing loans since the week after Hurricane Irma hit, as the State of Florida’s loan administrator.

Additional disaster recovery resources can be found online at


CSX Grant Gives Polk State Students Lifelike Trauma Care Training

At Polk State College, students and first responders receive lifelike trauma care training, which is being enhanced thanks to a recent grant from CSX.

CSX awarded the Polk State College Foundation with $4,485 to purchase Terry Trauma manikins for the Emergency Medical Services Program’s First Responder Field-Based Training Project.

The program will train 1,300 current and future paramedics, emergency medical technicians, and emergency medical responders as part of the project. The Adult Trauma and CPR manikins will provide training scenarios designed to give students simulated real-life trauma care experiences.

“The manikins will allow us to offer superior simulation of realistic experiences public safety personnel are exposed to including lacerations, burns, and broken bones,” Polk State Emergency Medical Services Program Director Don Guillette said. “This will allow public safety personnel to provide better patient care in our community.”

CSX awards grants through its Beyond Our Rails program, which strategically focuses on four areas: safety, community, environment, and wellness. Polk County is home to the CSX Central Florida Intermodal Terminal in Winter Haven, the Winston Yard Tower in Lakeland, and several rail lines.

“Polk State is grateful for CSX’s longstanding commitment to the safety of its communities which, through this grant, will help provide valuable training to our students and first responders,” President Angela Garcia Falconetti said.

Training will take place at the Polk County Center for Public Safety and include rescue, extraction, immobilization, and restraint scenarios, as well as three National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) continuing education courses. The purpose is to improve the quality of trauma care in a broad array of circumstances.

“Polk State’s First Responder Field-Based Training Project illustrates the College’s dedication to providing relevant, cutting-edge workforce training,” Falconetti said. “Our current and future first responders will be well prepared to protect our community through the lifelike experiences they gain in our program.”