Cal Maritime Gets Special Permission to Resume In-Person Classes

File image courtesy Cal Maritime

Published Apr 28, 2020 6:28 PM by The Maritime Executive

Cal Maritime has obtained special permission from the governor of California to resume in-person classes early. It is the only institution of higher education in the state to be granted this special license.

"The CSU Maritime Academy trains merchant marines and the maritime workforce is required for shipping and logistics. This specialized maritime workforce is essential to the California economy, as 90% of U.S. trade moves by sea," said California Governor Gavin Newsom's office in a statement. "The Administration has provided conditions that must be met for the Academy to resume limited in-person instruction for 513 merchant marine officer cadets after May 10, including strict, unique health and safety guidelines."

These guidelines include screening each cadet and instructor every morning; maintaining physical distancing; offering grab-and-go meals; using PPE; and providing hand sanitizing stations. 

"This is the only academy of its kind in the state and does not serve as a precedent for other colleges or universities in California," the governor's office said. 

According to Cal Maritime, all classes that could not be converted to a virtual format will resume as soon as possible after the current round of virtual courses concludes. Once these courses resume, students will receive about 3.5 weeks of in-class time, including final exams. The academy's deck and engine faculty are still working on ways to develop a face-to-face schedule for courses that accrue sea time or involve practical assessments.

While students will be able to complete required face-to-face classes, any graduating seniors who still need to finish the USCG exam process will have to wait before receiving their ticket. The issuance of original licenses has been suspended until after the U.S. Coast Guard's Regional Exam Centers reopen, and the timeline for that process is not yet known.