I know this might not be the best place for this but I just wanted to tell the world about this fairly new program I found out about.
They are not coast guard approved, as they mainly focus on training people to be service technicians in boat yards but I have been to a few maritime schools and this one in my opinion is the best. Perfect balance of classroom and hands on training, electricity, electronics, really high end stuff. I think its a great place for people to start who want the knowledge and hands on experience who cant afford an Academy right away but want to build credits to transfer to one.
I am actually going the hawespiper route but a person can only read so much before it is just redundant because they never had a chance to work on a certain type of equipment–because they don’t have the experience!!
The program is one class a month, and they are flexible with you if you have a job.
Anyway this is their website http://www.broward.edu/academics/programs/marine/Pages/default.aspx
And who knows…they might get uscg approved in the future…they are still new and I think they are always trying to improve