Are you interested in a new hobby that will open the mysteries of the sea? Are you hoping to enrich your college experience with a unique and entertaining course? Whether you’re interested in learning to scuba dive for recreational or educational reasons, community colleges across the country are qualified to provide students with the necessary skills, training, and practice to become a certified diver. These courses are generally open for both registered students, as well as adult community members pursuing continuing education.
Indeed, scuba diving courses can be a fun and engaging opportunity to explore new underwater worlds!
How to Get Certified to Scuba Dive
Scuba divers must first obtain a certification card to prove their completion of a reputable training course. The most common certification agencies are PADI, NAUI, YMCA, SSI, as well as other local institutions. Oftentimes, community college campuses provide certification courses through one of these leading agencies.
When enrolling in a scuba training class, the most common certification venue is known as an “open water” scuba class. Once you complete this type of primary scuba course, you will need to pass all the tests and required dives before receiving official certification. Upon earning a certification card, a scuba diver never needs to re-enroll for training, but once this step is completed, you can maintain your certification status for life!
Most scuba courses require that all participants ensure they are in healthy physical shape. Participants should be able to swim at least 200 yards and float or tread water for at least 10 minutes without stopping. Adding to these standards, a scuba course will guide students through the major concepts and elements of scuba diving, including mandatory book work, exams, pool training, and open water diving sessions. The duration of a certification course may fluctuate depending on the training facility.
Community College Scuba Certification
While many community colleges sponsor various scuba clubs, an array of campuses have integrated scuba diving into their physical education and/or science education curriculum options.
For example, Broward Community College, located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, offers a comprehensive scuba diving training and instruction course through their department of physical education. By enrolling in the BCC certification class, students will be exposed to the fundamental skills of scuba diving and snorkeling, as well as learn theories and safe scuba practices. While some schools allow students to practice their newly acquired skills in a chlorinated pool, BCC students can take advantage of a more realistic scuba experience by participating in open water dives at the campus’ nearby Tigertail Lake.
Similar to BCC’s open water scuba course, Lane Community College, located in Eugene, Oregon, also allows students and adult learners to obtain their certification and training through an open water course option. In examining the details of LCC’s scuba training class, a student’s progress is based on standards of performance focused on the core content areas of scuba diving. As such, students’ grades are determined based on specific class percentages:
- 20% of the course grade is based on Affective Domain (students’ sportsmanship, responsibility, and timeliness)
- 40% of the course grade is based on “Watermanship” (this category includes activities known as “pool labs,” wherein students practice their learned skills and techniques)
- 20% of the course grade is based on quizzes
- 20% of the course grade is based on the final scuba diving exam
Taking Scuba Diving Classes One Level Deeper
Building on the foundational certification courses provided by school such as BCC and LCC, individuals can also enroll in more advanced options geared towards experienced divers.
For example, Des Moines area students who have already earned their scuba certification can opt to enroll in the Diving Biology course, available at Highline Community College in Iowa. In HCC’s field-based diving class, expert instructors teach students about the identification and natural history of marine life, specifically marine invertebrates. With a series of lectures, as well as dives in the Puget Sound, students can expand their diving skills and knowledge through the guidance of trained and experienced experts.
Community colleges are an excellent way to learn about scuba diving and earn your certification. What are you waiting for? Dive right in!
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