Bankrupt! California Maritime’s End

If I were to run a program without any knowledge I would have the students live on campus for the 1st semester to teach how to not die working on a boat or get anyone else killed. Then get these students on an osv or atb ASAP. 2 weeks on 2 weeks off with mainly all online coursework where the college campus is more of a cheap hotel for periodic in-person classes/seminars. Get money in the hands of the students as soon as possible and start earning sea hours. More of a trades college.
Use the SUNY CLEP program. Build a large pier on the SUNY Maritime Campus for Tugs and Ferrys to pick up students. Start everyone towards a 1600 limited license then encourage an unlimited license.

While not very popular, and not well advertised. This program leaves you with a 1600T Mate. There’s also an option to get a limited engine license instead.

Wow the limited engine license program is unique, that sounds like a great program and would be very beneficial to the industry and students. I’m not sure if another maritime academy offers such a program.

Do you have the course outline for program for engine associate degree?

SUNY has many good offerings.

Is there a smooth transition for someone completing the small vessel 2 year A.S. degree into a 4 year license degree?

I think that’s area needs improvement. The main issue is that the 2 and 4 both need a year of sea time. So it takes almost 3 years to get a 2 year degree. Many of the 2 year guys go to the 4 year program after the 1st year. Many of the classes do not carry over.

This makes no sense. The school is suffering from a lack of enrollment. An increase in tuition would just further reduce the enrollment. The solution is to eliminate the uniform/regiment requirement for non-licensed students and the requirement for those same students to live on campus. The requirements for license track students should continue. SUNY Maritime did this in the early 2000’s and despite initial outrage from the alumni, has brought the campus back to life. Headcount is the most important thing for any school in a university system.

SUNY already has a new training ship, an attached Navy unit and fantastic views.

Weird how Mass basically bought into the regiment and went further and further toward a “military school” and enrollment went through the roof. Important to note most of that enrollment was not in license track majors either. Business and Emergency Management I believe were two biggest. Personally I think the regiment is useless but I see why people like it.

The solution is to have MARAD eliminate the regiment requirement for all the academies.

Make it a normal college experience with a bunch of boats and a training ship and enrollment will go through the roof.

If an academy wants to offer a voluntary regiment that’s fine too.

1 Like

As I understand it, the regiment is a requirement for Navy funding of the whole shebang. When I was going to CMA, which was a long time ago, I was told much of the funding for the school came from the USN. The understanding being that the academy was training MM officers to cooperate in convoys during time of war. Hence the mandatory classes we had on military fundamentals.

If this is still true, take away the regiment and you may lose the funding.

This was already announced shortly before the announcement of the merger.

I thought it was MARAD funding the academies and providing MARAD owned ships.

Regardless, whoever it is that requires the regiment, they could, and should, drop it.

Is it better for the Navy to have the State Academies with 82% acceptance rates, 50% graduation rates, and declining enrollments — that mostly train shoreside engineers and a handful of mates?

Or, would it be better for the Navy to have Academies with a 50% acceptance rate, an 80% graduation rate, and much bigger enrollments that hopefully train more graduates that want to sail?

KP can keep the regiment. As long as the school is free they will have plenty of applicants with strong academic records.

During WWII there were some 90 day wonder programs that trained small boat fishermen to be ships officers. My great uncle went to either KP or SUNY (I don’t remember which) for 90 days to become a Third Mate. He sailed through the War in Atlantic convoys working closely with the Navy.

The Navy knows how to quickly train people to be merchant officers that can do what the Navy needs.

This regiment thing is a couple of generations behind the times. Most kids today won’t put up with it. They have too many other options.

Maybe back then. They can’t even figure their own shit out right now.

I just gave you an example of where that wasn’t true.


You said it, the growth is in non license track majors.

Mass got government grant money for GWO (Global Offshore Wind) training and ramped up a program. It’s the only one in the US, they have no competition. Anyone that wants into offshore wind has no other option in the US.

The Emergency Management program at Mass is a big success. I don’t know if it has much competition. I can see where former military, cops, firemen, and Emergency wannabes, probably get off on being in the regiment. They’d probably like the regiment even more if wasn’t half full of kids that hate it.

Why are the graduation rates so low at the Academies?

How many of the 50% that drop out ever repay their student loans?

Could the big dropout rate have anything to do with the regiment and the toy soldier mentality.

I can think of several kids that I know that went one semester or one year to an Academy and hated it before transferring to a regular State University.

US seafaring needs to find a way to make itself more attractive for young people to enter: better pay, benefits and comforts. More new ships. Maybe less regiment too.

1 Like

That’s not a cadet program.

I’d wager that prior military, police, firemen, or “emergency wannabes” make up less than 15% of the entire student body. So it’s more kids out of high school going to college.

How many of the 50% from state schools or private colleges ever repay their student loans? Not sure why that specific point is relevant to the issue at hand.

That’s not an Academy problem.


I can see both sides of the debate. Tugsailor has some good points as well as Beer Captain. I can’t speak for the “Effectiveness or Need” at the other academies for the regiment.process. At KP, All graduate with licenses and a Bachelors degre eand enter the military and are readily conditioned to “Regimental Lifestyle”.Most, by no means all sail on their licenses commercilaly… They do have dropouts , mostly the first and second year, somewhere among 70% or perhaps more complete the task. The ones that stick it out have been very successful, it ain’t easy…Sounds like Mass and Tamug, and perhaps Suny are working it out. Cal… sounds like it has more problems than they need. Not so sure the student body is the root cause.

1 Like

Mass has for better or worse definitely bought into the military regiment harder than other schools. Personally I get Hitler Youth vibes from the school lol, it’s just a strange environment. It’s just a totally different environment than where I went (Maine). With that being said I haven’t sailed with too many recent Mass grads and I don’t see them in numbers significantly greater than other schools. I agree with @tugsailor that they have been able to develop unique programs like the Emergency Management that aren’t found elsewhere. Recent Mass grads I have had the pleasure of talking too, said they hated the regiment and the school the more they were there but can’t transfer as easy so if they didn’t dropped out the first year they figured they have to stick with it. They also said that the cheaper tuition is misleading because Mass forces everyone to pay for student housing and a meal plan. They also said the campus is a ghost town as everyone leaves on the weekends.


Yes, on my dime, and as we’ve discussed ad nauseam around here, most don’t pay it back.

1 Like

Disagree sir on"Most".