Your time at the community college will not be wasted, but there are very specific on-campus requirements, and the sea time requirement – much time is earned for attending STCW classes and standing shore watches – is non-negotiable. There are also a few non-maritime courses that the CSU requires you to take at the campus you graduate from (it will be good to know what those are so you don’t have to double up) That’s why transfers usually end up spending more than the 2 years that people would at other CSU campuses.
Your experience as a student and the maturity, diligence, and focus that you bring will be immensely valuable in the busy & demanding Cal Maritime program. The MT degree, like all the other programs, is “impacted” meaning there are many more applicants than there are berths in any given class. We can’t just take loads of new cadets, because the number of berths on the ship is a strictly limited resource. An upcoming shipyard period will also affect the number of incoming students accepted in a given year, although I’m not sure it’s the year that you’re looking at (again, not directly my department). The incoming classes have been more and more selective, so your good GPA will be valuable.
My best advice is to come down and talk to the people here to get specific answers to your questions. You should ask about developments in the cruise and academic schedules: what will that mean for MT admissions policy; new programs in the pipeline that might benefit you with your previous educational experience (again depending on when you start and where the program development is).
When you do get here, try to take advantage of the rich experience that we try to offer; if you’re “stuck” here for longer than you’d hoped, you might as well get everything you can out of the time.
If I can, I’d be happy to talk with you when you visit. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Best of luck,
Colin Dewey Ph.D., MNI
Master, 200 GRT; Mate, 1600 GRT
Assistant Professor of English
Executive Secretary, the Melville Society
Department of Culture and Communication
California State University Maritime Academy
200 Maritime Academy Drive
Vallejo, CA 94590