Saint Leo Expands Options for Florida‘s Polk County Student and Residents

July 31, 2014

Saint Leo University has signed an articulation agreement with central Florida’s Polk State College smoothing the path to advanced education for Polk graduates interested in pursuing graduate work in criminal justice or business administration at Saint Leo.

The agreement also helps associate degree holders from Polk who wish to enroll at Saint Leo for the upper-level undergraduate courses leading to a bachelor’s degree in psychology or accounting. Polk State College, established in 1964, confers the Bachelor of Applied Science, Bachelor of Science, Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees.

Articulation agreements between colleges and universities clearly define what courses from one institution will be accepted by the second institution for transfer credit at the undergraduate level, or as adequate preparation for study at the graduate level. This practical knowledge helps students, working with their academic advisors, plan their semesters and select their courses knowledgably. Some undergraduate courses from Saint Leo University may still be required for admission to graduate programs.

The traditional application fees to Saint Leo will be waived for Polk students who enroll under terms of the agreement. The application fee is $40 at the undergraduate level and $80 at the graduate level.

“Saint Leo has always brought new educational options to those who might not have the opportunity to attend a regionally accredited university, and in the 21st century, we do that by providing more degree options at our education centers that are convenient to students’ homes and workplaces, and by making more online study options available,” said Dr. Beth Carter, associate vice president for continuing education. “We are excited at the prospects of having more Polk graduates study at Saint Leo.”

“This is great news for our students,” said Polk State President Eileen Holden about the agreement with Saint Leo.

“Polk State is committed to helping our students succeed—whether that’s in our classrooms, or after they’ve taken their credits and transferred to another institution. This agreement with Saint Leo opens up another door for our students. It gives them another opportunity for applying their Polk State credits to their ultimate professional and educational goals. It gives them another chance to succeed, even after they’ve left Polk, and that¹s what Polk State is all about,” President Holden concluded.

Administrators at Polk and Saint Leo focused on degree programs at Saint Leo that are likely to be the ones of greatest interest to Polk State students.

  • The Saint Leo Master of Science in criminal justice is offered online and at the Saint Leo University Lakeland Education Center at 1044 West Griffin Road (at SYKES Enterprises Inc.). The degree requires 36 hours of graduate study. In Lakeland, it is available with a specialization in legal studies. Students who enroll online have additional specialization options available: corrections, critical incident management, and forensic science. Saint Leo agreed to accept Polk grads with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4-point scale) in the last 60 credits of their undergraduate work. 
  • The Master of Business Administration at Saint Leo is available with many specialization options. Admission to MBA programs require a minimum of two years of professional work experience, except in the case of the One-Year International and Experiential MBA, which is designed specifically for recent undergraduates who want to continue their studies, and want to gain travel-study experience and internship experience while in school.
  • Bachelor of Arts degree programs in psychology and in accounting are available at the Lakeland Education Center and online. To graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Saint Leo University, students must meet the requirements of the core liberal arts program, or complete courses that are accepted substitutes.

Prospective students will be able to apply to Saint Leo immediately, and could start taking courses as soon as the fall. In addition, students may have the option of selecting accelerated eight-week course terms, rather than a 15-week semester.