Polk Education Pathways

Ridge Technical College


Most of the training programs at Ridge Technical College (RTC) have minimum registration or state licensure requirements. Applicants must be at least sixteen (16) years of age, and have the interest, ability, and desire to benefit in career education. In addition, applicants should be academically, physically, and emotionally capable of meeting the essential tasks of the chosen program. Students should provide proof of age and two proofs of residence with picture identification. Assessment is accomplished by completing the Tests of Adult Basic Education (TABE) which is used as a diagnostic tool to determine completion of a program. The College complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1973 in regard to students with disabilities. The College also strictly adheres to the Non-discrimination Policy adopted by the School Board of Polk County and, in accordance with State Vocational Guidelines, the lack of English language skills will not be a barrier for admission and participation in our CTE programs. Reasonable accommodations can be made for special needs students. Qualified students applying for admission are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis during open enrollment periods.

Your career is just ONE YEAR AWAY! Ridge Technical College offers professional training and certification in some of the fastest-growing careers in the nation. With more than 20 pathways within reach, we're here to help you find the path that's right for you.

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30 Years of Service

Ridge Technical College has a long history of service to the students of Polk County... nearly 30 years!


Welcome to Ridge Technical College (RTC). I am elated that you have decided to pursue real world, relevant and skill-based training that is offered at our institution. It is Ridge Technical College's goal to provide all students with practical educational experience that is needed in the society which we live. Regardless of the economy, the education and training received at RTC has helped many individuals experience the American dream.

Career assessment and counseling is available to guide you if there are questions regarding your program choice. Our caring instructional staff is willing and ready to assist you while you develop your employable and leadership skills. You are encouraged to make the most of these valuable resources while enrolled with us.

Ridge Technical College will continue to strive at being one of the best Post-Secondary Institutions that offers Career and Technical education. Come check us out, you will be glad you did.


Paul Garrison

In 1972, the need for a new vocational-technical center was conceived by the General Advisory Committee of Polk Vocational-Technical Center. As a result, Ridge Technical College was born as: Ridge Vocational-Technical Center, 7700 State Road 544, Winter Haven, Florida 33881.

A survey was developed and completed in 1974 establishing student interests, county goals and graduate job opportunities.

The site of approximately 52 acres was selected in 1975. Its location was geographically placed in the Northeast section of Polk County, eight miles northeast of downtown Winter Haven and two miles south of Haines City. The plans were drawn and Mr. Bill Hampton was hired as the Director.

Construction on the facility started in 1977 and staff development began in the summer of 1978 with Dr. William Blank from the University of South Florida. The postsecondary vocational-technical center opened in 1978 in various locations (not at its permanent site) while the present facility was being completed. 

In January of 1979, students and staff moved into the new Center. On May 20,1979, a formal dedication was held with distinguished guests, Governor Bob Graham; Superintendent of Schools; Homer Addair, school board members and friends present. Over the years, several career programs were added to meet the needs of the workforce and the community.


Our basic philosophy at Ridge Technical College is that students will be better prepared to enter the job market if their training closely resembles on-the-job situations. The goal of instructors is to assist students in acquiring the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to gain entry into and advance in an occupation. Therefore, each training program is based on technical knowledge which applies to the chosen occupation, performance of valid job tasks and the cultivation of healthy job related attitudes and values. Students are provided with effective learning experiences designed to help them attain relevant job competencies.

Every effort is made at Ridge Technical College to assist students in reaching an informed decision about entering a career training program best suited to their individual needs and aptitudes. Students are encouraged to choose their programs after exploring their potential choices and discovering their own strengths and weaknesses, aptitudes and interests. Guidance is also available to help students succeed in their chosen program and secure employment when leaving Ridge Technical College.

It is also Ridge's philosophy to accept students at the level of competency they have achieved upon entering the program and provide competencies to give them training for various jobs. At Ridge Technical College, we make it possible for each student to meet both short- and long-range employment goals. We can tailor instruction to the wide variety of student needs through our policy of open-entry and open-exit, self-paced, individualized instruction. Students enter and exit Ridge Technical College when personal employment considerations dictate. Students progress through learning experiences at their own rate and focus on attaining the competencies necessary to meet their personal career goals.

Ridge's philosophy, when put into practice, means that each program resembles as closely as possible the job setting for which training is being offered. Equipment, tools, supplies and environment closely match those on the job. Each program is managed by instructors who are not only skilled workers in their trade or business but are well trained in the professional skills of teaching their business or trade to others. Our instructors exhibit pride in their profession and enthusiasm in teaching it to others.

The mission of Ridge Technical College is to assess, prepare, and place individuals in successful and rewarding careers in an increasingly competitive and changing employment market.












Authorized Testing Center

Ridge Technical College is an authorized testing center for many industry certifications and academic placement tests. Some of these tests are available to individuals who are not enrolled in our career programs. For more information about tests you can take today, click on the tabs below.

Search through our career programs for more certification opportunities.


North American Technician Excellence (NATE) Test

Ridge Technical College is a NATE (North American Technician Excellence) testing center. This is an online knowledge-based test for installation or service technicians. You must pass the CORE Service or Installation test and one Specialty test to become certified.

Test are administered by APPOINTMENT ONLY. Please call to schedule your appointment (863) 419-3060.

NATE Certification Testing Information


Tests of Adult Basic Education (TABE)

The Florida Department of Education requires that students entering a Workforce Education Certificate Program must have recently taken the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE).

  • Exemptions
    • If you have an A.A. or A.S. degree or higher from an accredited institution or you are enrolling in a program less than 450 hours in length.
    • If you graduated after 2006 with a 2.0 GPA from a Florida high school.
    • You are serving as an "active" duty member of any branch of the United States Armed Forces.
    • For more information regarding exceptions to the TABE Assessment test, visit our TABE Assessment Information page

How to Register


  • A paper based test requires prior approval from administration.
Tuesday Registration begins at 7:30am Testing begins approx. 8:00am
Registration begins at 4:00pm Testing begins approx. 4:30pm
Thursday Registration begins at 7:30am, Testing begins approx. 8:00am


  • Testing fee is $20.00 cash, check, or credit card (Testing fees are non-refundable)
    • There is no testing fee for any registered high school student. (Current High School Student ID Required)
  • A photo ID is required
  • No cellular phones permitted!


Without documented instructional time, you must wait 3 months to retest, testing fee waived. You must wait 6 months for a 3rd attempt. Please call (863) 419-3060 for information on retesting and scheduling.

Ridge Technical College holds certification and/or approval from the following organizations:

Ridge Technical College is accredited by:

The Commission of the Council on Occupational Education (COE)

7840 Roswell Road, Building 300, Suite 325; Atlanta, GA 30350
P: (770) 396-3898 | F: (770) 396-3790


9115 Westside Parkway
Alpharetta, GA 30009
P: (888)-413-3669