Massachusetts Maritime Academy Launches FREE Online Education Program

BUZZARDS BAY, MA - Massachusetts Maritime Academy was recently awarded a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's "Seafarer's Environmental Education Fund" to develop and launch the Academy's first online courses. The grant allows the program to initially be offered FREE to students, representing a savings of over $3000 for each student when compared with a traditional 15-credit course cost.

The Academy's Department of Marine Safety and Environmental Protection will oversee this online certificate program, called Pollution Compliance for Seafarers. The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education approved the offering and the program was also reviewed by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Students can begin enrolling in late September, with all tuition paid by the grant for the first two cohorts. To earn the certificate, students will complete a sequence of five, three-credit courses designed to raise environmental awareness within the maritime industry, both at sea and ashore:

• Ecological Consequences of Marine Pollution
• Marine Pollution and Vessel Engineering Systems
• Marine Pollution and Deck Operations
• Legal Issues in Marine Pollution
• Public Relations, Pollution, and the Maritime Industry

The award represents an exciting opportunity for Massachusetts Maritime Academy. By implementing this program, MMA has taken a significant step toward instituting online education while offering instruction that will yield positive results for both the maritime industry and the environment. In the words of Academy president RADM Richard G. Gurnon, "Massachusetts Maritime Academy has always taken the lead in promoting new technologies on its campus. This program is one more example of how our Academy adheres strongly to its time-honored traditions while also embracing change."

Offered through the Academy's Division of Graduate and Continuing Education, the courses will be taught by faculty from Marine Safety and Environmental Protection, Marine Engineering, and Marine Transportation. These instructors have developed practical and easily accessed courses for the program, which provides a valuable educational and professional development opportunity for mariners.

The goal of the program is to promote environmental awareness in the maritime industry, increasing seafarers' awareness of the destructive consequences of ship-based pollution. It will also provide them with effective means for detecting, preventing, and reporting pollution sources. In assuming this proactive stance toward a critical environmental issue, Massachusetts Maritime Academy is helping to change attitudes toward regulation compliance and reduce ship-based pollution throughout the world's oceans.

Massachusetts Maritime Academy is collaborating with the Seamen's Church Institute (SCI) of New York to reach a broader sector of the maritime industry. The Academy will assist SCI with the development of informational brochures for mariners on the subject of marine pollution and compliance. These brochures will be distributed by SCI's port chaplains during brief presentations to foreign seafarers visiting U.S. ports.

For more information about the online certificate program, visit our website at www.maritime.edu/seafarers or send an e-mail to seafarers@maritime.edu.

Contact: Kristine Esdale
Media Specialist
Massachusetts Maritime Academy
508-830-5019 / kesdale@maritime.edu / http://www.maritime.edu/cmt

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