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Great Lakes Maritime Academy

Posted to Maritime Musings (by on December 16, 2014

The only fresh water state maritime academy

Established in 1969, the Great Lakes Maritime Academy in Traverse City, Michigan, is the youngest of the six state maritime academies in the United States.  Like the others, it educates and trains individuals for careers as officers in the US Merchant Marine.  While the others focus on ocean-going professions, the Great Lakes Maritime Academy also trains its students for careers as officers on Great Lakes vessels and for qualification as a First Class Great Lakes Pilot.  Persons completing the four-year Deck Officer program receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Maritime Technology and are eligible to sit for the US Coast Guard examination for Third Mate Great Lakes, Third Mate Oceans, Unlimited Tonnage, and First Class Great Lakes Pilot licenses.  Persons completing the four-year Engineering Officer program receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Maritime Technology and are eligible to sit for the USCG examination for Third Assistant Engineer, Steam and Motor Vessels of any Horsepower.  For those entering the Academy with a completed bachelor’s degree, the Academy offers a three-year Deck Officer or Engineering Officer program with the same eligibility for USCG licenses.  The Academy also offers the Power Plant Facilities Operator program to prepare individuals for the maintenance and power production industries.  The Academy has one large training ship and three smaller ones.  The TS State of Michigan was formerly the USNS Persistent (T-AGOS-6), an ocean surveillance ship.  It was acquired by the Academy in 2002 and makes regular training cruises around the Great Lakes.  The Academy also operates a 41-foot utility boat, the 56-foot research vessel Northwestern, and the 45-foot tug Anchor Bay to provide its students with a variety of vessel operation experience.  Maritime cadets participate in commercial sea projects (semesters at sea).

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