With versatile curriculum that adapts to changing economic forces, community colleges offer engaging and interesting academic pathways. If the sea has always called to you, consider pursuing a degree in sailing and seamanship. Students interested in learning to sail and operate a boat for entertainment, or students interested in professionally pursuing sailing as a career pathway, can take advantage of an array of opportunities at community colleges across the country.
Sailing Towards a Degree in Orange Coast Community College
Students attending Orange Coast Community College (OCC) in Newport Beach, California, can dive into the adventures of the open sea in the unique School of Sailing and Seamanship program. At OCC, students can pursue courses in sailing for entertainment and fun, or to become prepared for career pathways and jobs. With classes ranging from youth sailing to adult certification, OCC tries to meet the needs and interests of a diverse student audience. Elective courses in sailing include classes such as: Basic Cruising, Yacht Keeping and Maintenance, Introduction to Sailing, Introduction to Keel Boats, and many others.
For individuals interested in a professional sailing pathway, OCC offers a variety of degree and certification programs. Specifically, OCC students can enroll in the Professional Mariner Program, US Sailing Certification Program, US Coast Guard Captain’s Licensing Program, alongside many other professional options.
Students enrolled in the Professional Mariner Program will engage in courses such as Boat Handling Basic Skills, Marine Safety Training, Navigation for Deckhands, and additional elective and required foreign language, sailing, and nautical classes.
If a student is pursuing the US Coast Guard Captain’s Program, OCC trains and teaches students the necessary skills and tools to become a certified and licensed Coast Guard professional. As OCC explains, “Our Master/Mate and OUPV courses are structured for students wishing to pursue a professional career or part time work in commercial boating operations, including carrying passengers for hire, and for recreational boaters wishing to increase both knowledge and skills.” Adding to these introductory and thorough courses, OCC also provides re-certification / license renewal courses for experienced professionals as well.
Transforming Land Legs to Sea Legs at Rockland Community College
Interested sailors attending Rockland Community College (RCC) in Suffern, New York are also provided with an array of opportunities. While RCC does not currently provide as many professional licensing programs as Orange Coast Community College, RCC does offer students introductory and elective sailing courses. In just 16 hours, RCC’s experts are able to teach students the basic skills of sails, boats, winds, tides, skies, and water. Designed to help students with little to no sailing experience gain knowledge, RCC asserts, “By the end of our course, you should be able to walk down to our docks, board the boat, set it up for sailing, start the motor, leave the dock, motor through the marina observing rules of the waterway, motor out to the river, hoist the sails, sail technical maneuvers, sail safety maneuvers, read a chart, anchor the boat, fold the sails, return safely to the dock, dock the boat and step off comfortably—all single-handedly.”
With a staff of all US Coast Guard Licensed Captains, the boats provided for RCC sailing classes are non-capsizing, safe, and are instructed by experienced experts.
Exploring History and Lakes in Monroe County Community College
For additional adventurous programs and opportunities, students attending Monroe County Community College (MCCC) in Monroe, Michigan, can explore the open waters of the Great Lakes and beyond. In fact, two students attending MCCC in 2007 took to the waters of the Great Lakes in an effort to sail a reconstructed warship. Reconstructed in 1988, the historic-styled ship, named “The Niagara,” was built to model a warship that was engaged in the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813 during the War of 1812. To celebrate this local sailing history, the students of MCCC left the local Michigan port to sail “The Niagara” for public tours on Lake Erie.
With this unique and historic opportunity, students were able to explore the history of sailing, while also discovering more about how sailboats have evolved throughout time. Through both modern and historic opportunities, students of MCCC can take to the lakes for diverse adventures.
Clearly, great adventures on the high seas can start right at your local community college’s sailing program!