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An integral part of all Maine Maritime majors is the practical knowledge that students gain by actual work experience. A major component of all MMA programs is learning by doing. The approach to experiential learning or cooperative education varies from major to major and may include at-sea experience on training or commercial ships, Ocean Studies cruises aboard research vessels, VOT/SVO training aboard the tug Pentagoet and the schooner Bowdoin, Power Engineering Technology training in operating power plants, International Business and Logistics experience in businesses, companies and logistics providers, and design engineering experience for Marine Systems Engineering students.
The following guidelines apply to all MMA students seeking work experience related to their studies:
Marine Practical Training Programs
Candidates for a Third Officer U. S. Coast Guard unlimited license are required to complete the following practical training programs to be eligible for graduation. They must be in training a minimum of three years according to Federal Regulation.
Students majoring in the five-year Marine Systems Engineering program will be allowed to sit for the license exams, if otherwise eligible, at the end of the first semester of the fourth year of their program.
Federal legislation provides that to be eligible for graduation, state maritime students enrolled in the four-year (and five-year) unlimited license majors must have passed the examination for Third Mate or Third Assistant Engineer.
Watch Standing and Ship Laboratory
During non-cruise periods, students in the Regiment are expected to satisfy the watch standing requirements of the Academy. Students are also required to participate in the Ship Laboratory Program to maintain the training vessel and to gain practical shipboard experience.
Training Ship Cruises
Training cruises aboard a training ship are scheduled annually for at least 60 days. Students in majors leading to U.S. Coast Guard Third Assistant Engineer/Third Mate licenses are required to participate in these training cruises during the first and third years. Students in the Marine Systems Engineering (Non-License Track) are required to participate in the training cruise during their first year. Students in non-license majors may elect to do the First Year Cruise (CR103) as long as they meet the prerequisites listed in the course description for First Year Cruise, and subject to the Priority for Registration Policy . A. U.S. passport and TWIC card are required in order to go on cruises.
For unlimited license students, successful completion of these training cruises, including a sea project and STCW assessments for each cruise, is required for graduation. Four credit hours are awarded for each successfully completed cruise. Cruises aboard the training ships are designed to develop practical skills required of a Third Mate or a Third Assistant Engineer. These skills are developed through watch standing, operating and maintaining the ship, and adapting to life aboard. Successful completion of the first-year cruise is a prerequisite to participation in Cadet Shipping in the sophomore year. Failure of the junior-year cruise must be made up at the completion of the senior year. Students who repeat either cruise will be charged for room, board, and cruise fee.
All candidates for the U.S. Coast Guard Third Mate’s license are required to demonstrate one year's sea time; Third Assistant Engineers are required to demonstrate 180 days. This time will be met through specialized laboratories, simulation, the two training cruises, and Cadet Shipping.
US Coast Guard Certifications and License Requirements
Successful completion of the Marine Practical Training Programs and specific courses as prescribed for unlimited license program majors satisfies the prerequisites for U.S. Coast Guard licenses. These include:
Cadet Shipping Program
During the summer after the sophomore year, in lieu of a cruise aboard a training ship, USCG license students may be assigned to merchant vessels as cadets for further familiarization in shipboard procedures.
In addition to the practical experience gained, students have the opportunity to visit ports of call in the United States and foreign countries. In several cases, students have circumnavigated the globe. Many students find this experience to be a major advantage in finding employment following graduation. It should be pointed out that many students on Cadet Shipping assignments received cadet wage and reimbursement for travel expenses, but compensation for cadet shipping cannot be guaranteed. For engine cadets, a minimum of 60 days is required for this training, which is credited toward the sea service required for an original license in the Merchant Marine. For deck cadets, a minimum of 90 days is required to meet sea-time requirements.
Maine Maritime Academy was the first state maritime academy to incorporate this popular program into its curriculum. It now includes an extensive preparation program aimed at maximizing the learning experience in the real world of shipping. Because of the popularity of the Cadet Shipping program, some of the other state academies have adopted it, with the result being increased competition for available cadet billets. Accordingly, availability of a billet for every student cannot be guaranteed. Any student who does not receive a billet may be assigned to a training ship for cadet shipping.
Each student must submit a satisfactory Sea Project, Cadet Shipping Report, Ship's Officer's Evaluation Report, and evidence of sea time to be awarded course credits. Successful completion of the Cadet Shipping program, or sophomore Cadet Shipping on a training ship, is required to be eligible for the junior cruise. Any student failing the Cadet Shipping Program will be required to make up cruise credit by participating in a second Cadet Shipping assignment, if offered, or aboard the Academy training ship.
In order for a student at Maine Maritime Academy to take the U.S. Coast Guard's written examination for lifeboatman, he/she must have successfully completed the practical rowing, lifeboat operation, and launching part of NS101 (Introduction to Nautical Science). Further, it is understood that occasionally students are admitted to our program who have extensive life experience in this field; they may, with the course instructor's recommendation and the Department Chair's approval, be allowed to take the examination without the prerequisites.
Part of the training requirements imposed by federal legislation is the wearing of uniforms and a demerit discipline system. Successful adherence to these requirements as defined in the Regimental Manual is required for graduation. The mission of the Regiment is to help prepare men and women for successful careers as officers in the Maritime Service as well as for careers in science, business, and industry by providing them with leadership and management opportunities in a structured training environment.