Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Maine Maritime Academy—adapting to meet a changing maritime industry

Excerpt from U.S. Coast Guard “Proceedings of the Marine Safety & Security Council” magazine.

Full article by Mr. John Barlow, Ph.D., Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost, Maine Maritime Academy, is available at www.uscg.mil/proceedings/fall2008.

The last two decades have presented significant challenges and changes in maritime education at U.S. maritime academies. Maine Maritime Academy (MMA) is an example of an institution rising to meet the changes and challenges of an evolving world economy, increased environmental awareness, and internationalization of the maritime industries.

MMA initiated various degree programs that did not lead to a USCG unlimited license, including:
· yacht design,
· marina management,
· small vessel operations,
· international business and logistics,
· ocean studies,
· marine biology,
· marine sciences,
· power engineering technology,
· power engineering operations,
· marine systems engineering.

The degree programs that do not lead to the unlimited USCG licenses do not require student participation in the uniformed Regiment of Midshipmen, though the program welcomes all undergraduate students.

As a result, a special feature of student life is the mix of two student lifestyles on one campus. The uniformed “regiment” students follow a student-run leadership and management structure based on military traditions, courtesies, and terminology. Regimented students also have additional training requirements that include shipboard maintenance, watchstanding, and professional development classes, but incur no military obligation following graduation. Non-regimental students, “independents,” follow a traditional college lifestyle. Students co-mingle in all areas of campus, from classes and campus residency to student government and athletics.

The engineering curriculum provides for six bachelor of science engineering degree majors:

Marine engineering operations: a traditional third assistant engineer’s license program.

Power engineering technology: leads to a stationary plant operator’s license for power plant management. While no Coast Guard license is associated with this program, it allows students to sit for a professional engineer’s license.

Power engineering operations: designed for power plant operators.

Marine engineering technology: includes more management, mathematics, and technology than marine engineering operations. Designed for students to sit for a professional engineer’s license in addition to the Coast Guard license. Students graduating with this major have greater opportunities for shoreside engineering careers while maintaining all of the engineering options for at-sea positions.

Marine systems engineering—license track: a two-year license program that follows a design engineer curriculum. Students in this program generally do not plan for a career at sea, and sit for a professional engineer’s license. Graduates sit for a USCG third assistant engineer’s license as a value-added component.

Marine Systems Engineering—non-license track: a four-year program similar in every way to the license track, but without the USCG license option.

The Marine Transportation Department (deck department) has also embraced diversity by offering marine transportation operations (the traditional deck license program) and associate and bachelor of science degree programs in small vessel operations.

The small vessel operations two-year associate degree allows a student to sit for a 200-ton mate’s license. The four-year bachelor’s degree allows one to sit for a 500-ton mate’s license.

This major has become very popular, with many marine science and business students opting to add it as a second major at the time and expense of only one additional year of study.

About the author:
Mr. John Barlow was first appointed to Maine Maritime Academy in 1970. He presently serves as the vice president of academic affairs, provost, and the academic dean. His field of expertise is marine science. He received his B.S. degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of Maine in 1969. He is the founding faculty member of the Corning School of Ocean Studies at Maine Maritime Academy, which offers B.S. degrees in marine science and marine biology.

For more information:
Maine Maritime Academy
Pleasant Street
Castine, ME 04420-5000
(800) 464-6565 (in state)
(800) 227-8465 (out of state)

Full article and 124-page “Focus on the Mariner” edition of USCG Proceedings is available at www.uscg.mil/proceedings/fall2008. Subscribe online at www.uscg.mil/proceedings.

Direct requests for print copies of this edition to: HQS-DG-NMCProceedings@uscg.mil.