Tag Archives: college


Polk State College, United Way of Central Florida Launch Program to Assist Students on Path to Graduation


Winter Haven, August 27, 2018 — Polk State College and United Way of Central Florida have launched a pilot program to assist students on their path to graduation by connecting them to resources they need to stay in school – from financial and housing assistance, to food and transportation.

Destination: Graduation will target low-income students who show an increased risk of dropping out for non-academic reasons but have demonstrated positive academic progression and promise of graduating.

“We understand that life happens, and we want to assist students when emergencies interfere with their ability to come to class or focus on their studies,” Polk State President Angela Garcia Falconetti said.

The College serves about 16,000 degree-seeking students each academic year, with an average student age of 24.8 and 75 percent of students enrolled part time.

“This program will allow us to provide extra support for our students – many who juggle responsibilities including full-time jobs and raising families while working hard toward their college degrees,” Falconetti said. “Destination: Graduation will make the path to a degree easier to navigate for those faced with unexpected challenges.”

Polk State students now have the opportunity to meet with a United Way 2-1-1 specialist on the Winter Haven and Lakeland campuses. The specialist will identify eligible students and leverage United Way’s 2-1-1 Information and Referral System, as well as the College’s support staff, to connect those students with campus and community resources.

“Destination: Graduation will help the student who has a flat tire that prevents them from coming to campus; the student who can’t focus on their studies because they’re hungry and don’t have food; or the student who can’t pay their electric bill because they were sick and out of work,” United Way of Central Florida President & CEO Alan H. Turner II said. “Students consider dropping out of college when difficult life events happen. We want to give them the support they need to stay in school, achieve their degrees, and go on to enjoy employment and financial stability.”

Casmore Shaw, Polk State’s Destination: Graduation case manager, is available to assist students at the Winter Haven Campus on Mondays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the My Brother’s Keeper Office in WHC 144B. He is also available at the Lakeland Campus on Tuesdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in LTB 1272.

Students may contact Shaw by emailing cshaw@polk.edu or by calling 863.297.1000 and entering extension 3423 for the Winter Haven Campus office, or extension 6384 for the Lakeland Campus office.

“Polk State is proud to partner with United Way of Central Florida to open up a world of resources for our students,” Falconetti said. “I encourage students to take advantage of Destination: Graduation and all of the support systems available at the College to ensure they stay on a successful path to achieving their goals and degrees.”

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.

About United Way of Central Florida

A philanthropic leader locally and regionally, United Way of Central Florida works to improve lives and strengthen our communities.  They focus in the areas of education, income and health because these are the building blocks for a good quality of life and to bring people and organizations together from all across the community. United Way of Central Florida leads and works collectively on solutions to our most pressing community needs. To learn more visit www.uwcf.org.


Southeastern University Partners with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

seu news

LAKELAND, Fla. – Starting in the fall, freshman and sophomore students at Southeastern University who are planning to pursue a health professions career will be given a chance to secure a seat at the nation’s largest medical school. The College of Natural and Health Sciences at Southeastern University (SEU) is partnering with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) to guarantee the acceptance of 15 SEU students yearly into their medical, pharmacy and dental schools. Five students can be admitted to each of the three schools on a yearly basis.

A committee in the science department at SEU will identify high achievers who are freshmen or sophomores for consideration in the program. Students will then be interviewed by the committee before they are offered the chance to apply. The students will then go through the application process of LECOM. Those who are admitted will be guaranteed a spot at the school, even before taking the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test).

“The main thing incoming students majoring in the sciences want to know is that Southeastern University offers a quality, competitive program that will prepare them for entrance to graduate and medical school,” said Megan Wagner, assistant professor of biology at SEU. “Participation in this program will allow us to recruit, retain and advance high achievers in the sciences at SEU.”

Students are required to complete all four years at SEU prior to entering their program of their choice at LECOM. Failure to do so would forfeit their seat at the school. Students who are accepted into the program must maintain a GPA of 3.4 or higher.

To further prepare students for medical school, SEU will introduce Problem Based Learning (PBL) courses starting in the fall of 2018. These courses give students the opportunity to use critical thinking skills to solve real-world problems. The PBL model is the pedagogy used by medical schools to apply and advance learning.

“At Southeastern, we will offer PBL and hands-on innovate research opportunities to all of our high-achieving students. When LECOM became aware of the development of our PBL program, they recognized recruiting our students would increase long-term graduate success within their own programs,” said Wagner.

The college also has a new technological addition — an Anatomage Table, a digital cadaver table. The three-dimensional table provides students with life-size images of cadaver samples often seen in medical schools.

“The 3D, interactive images available in the Anatomage will allow students to view, engage and interact with medical school-level cadavers. The table will be used in multiple courses mirroring graduate school dissections and diagnostic learning experiences,” said Wagner.

For more information on the partnership, visit https://www.seu.edu/medical-school-early-acceptance/ or contact Megan Wagner at mmwagner@seu.edu.


Southeastern Starts Faith-Based Post-Secondary Transition Program

LAKELAND, Fla. — This coming August, not only will Southeastern University welcome new and returning college students, it will also welcome students to a new program — one of the only faith-based post-secondary transition programs in the United States. The program, SEU Link, is designed to assist students with mild intellectual disabilities in making the transition from high school to adulthood.

“Our associate provost, Dr. Amy Bratten, presented this idea of starting a post-secondary transition program for college-aged students with disabilities,” said Dr. David Grant, associate professor of education at Southeastern University. Grant jumped at the chance to be a part of the new program.

Through this post-secondary transition program, students can receive a certificate of accomplishment and an industry credential in one of three fields — hospitality, healthcare or technology — over a four-year period on Southeastern’s campus. The program is based upon giving students the tools necessary for them to take college classes, obtain gainful employment and to live independently.

During their first year, the program of study for the students includes Link-specific courses in employability and independent living. Students will also be able to audit existing SEU courses, such as personal financial stewardship, history, English, social work, education and many more. During their junior and senior years, they will be able to put their classes into practice through working in jobs on and off campus.

Students enrolled in the program will live in dorms at the university with a trained student mentor who will assist in guiding them through the daily aspects of independent living. Not only will students have the opportunity to experience living on a college campus, but they will also build relationships and gain skills with non-disabled peers both inside and outside of the classroom setting.

“The post-secondary transition program could be the first time students spend time outside of their families and with peers who have disabilities,” said Grant. “Students will be exposed to a completely different dynamic and receive the full collegiate experience. It will be a positive experience for everyone involved.”

The program has garnered interest from people around the nation and even other countries, with some looking to enroll within the next few years. While the program is still in the developmental stages, Grant is excited for the opportunities the program will offer to families.

“I am excited about how the program will fulfill a need that many families have. When you think about it, for a parent of a child with a disability, the child has been in school most of their life, and now all of a sudden school is completed and the parents do not have other options. This program will be providing for this need, giving families and students opportunities to make the successful transition into adulthood,” said Grant.

Tuition costs $16,700 a year. Students planning to live on campus will pay for housing and a meal plan in addition to tuition costs.

For more information, please contact Dr. David Grant at dggrant@seu.edu.