Sunday, November 23, 2014

Clatsop Community College's Maritime Science Program has received approval from the United States Coast Guard (USCG) as an approved Training Ship Program that allows those successfully completing the course of study to be credited with 360 days of sea service, training and testing towards an endorsement as Able Seaman Special (AB-Special) or Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels (OUPV) upon Near Coastal or Inland Waters.

With this approval, CCC joins an elite group of USCG-approved Training Ship Programs, and is the only community college in the nation providing an AAS degree associated with 360 days of sea service credit that qualifies students for either an AB-Special credential or OUPV upon Near Coastal or Inland Waters credential. Students completing the Training Ship Program will benefit tremendously as they will be deemed to have completed 100% of the required sea service; while typically no more than two thirds of the required sea service may come from completion of an approved training program.

The Maritime Science Program faculty members are extremely excited about the possibilities this approval brings, especially increased employment opportunities for CCC graduates. Completing the Associate of Applied Science (AAS)/Vessel Operations degree with the addition of two courses will allow issuance of this critical level of training credential. Both the AB-Special and the OUPV endorsement lead to greater job opportunities and higher earning potential.

"For me, personally, being part of the program allows more confidence in applying for future maritime jobs. Other students working toward this will bring a higher level of professionalism to the industry. I do believe that this training allows us to meet the high industry standards of a global maritime marketplace," stated Nickolas Williams, current Training Ship program student. Nickolas plans to complete the program and receive this credential next school year.

An AB-Special is a member of the deck department of a merchant ship and may work as a watch stander or a day worker. In addition, an AB must have proficiency in survival craft (Lifeboatman); the ability to take command of a vessel; and knowledge of pollution laws and regulations among other skills. The OUPV credential is a category of a USCG Charter Boat Captain's Licensure and commonly used for the operation of small vessel fishing and charter boats that carry six or fewer passengers.

Clatsop Community College offers a range of maritime training opportunities that address the needs of those entering the profession as well as those with years of experience. Students can choose to pursue a 17-credit Career Pathway Certificate, a one-year Certificate or a two-year AAS degree. Each of these competency-based programs provides training required for an entry-level position aboard a vessel. The College also offers specialized and advanced training to meet USCG requirements and continuing training endorsement requirements.

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