Dr. William B. Eisenhardt
, provost of Maine Maritime Academy
(MMA) announced the college has recently received approval from the USCG to offer a 500-ton, STCW 95-compliant mate's license prepatory program.
According to Eisenhardt, MMA is believed to be the first organization in the U.S. to offer this license program under the new IMO standards for training, certification and watchkeeping (STCW 95).
The program augments other deck officers' preparation programs offered by the college which qualify students to test for a traditional merchant marine third mate's license for unlimited tonnage vessels on any ocean, and a 200-ton, near coastal waters, mate's license.
The 500-ton mate's license program is offered in conjunction with a four-year bachelor of science degree curriculum in Small Vessel Operations. Students enrolled in this major receive instruction in vessel operations, navigation, meteorology, and other professional courses in preparation for maritime careers.
Many courses involve at-sea experience on MMA's training vessels. In addition to professional studies, students are required to successfully complete traditional college courses, leading to an accredited B.S. degree.
USCG approval provides for training and education to substitute for up to two-thirds of the required sea service, or normal work experience required aboard a vessel. In this way, a student may qualify to test for limited tonnage mate's license and receive a college degree in approximately the same time it would take to qualify for the license examination through at-sea work.