Coast Guard Testing Failures


#21

Yes, the point being you don’t need to have your license to receive the degree.


#22

Your statement was “No one gets a degree without the license” and that is in fact wrong. Your next statement even proves what I said. Some degrees yes, others, no. So you were in fact, wrong.


#23

I was speaking in reference to Tugsailor’s statement, so I thought we were only considering license track students in the first place, not non-license degrees.


#24

I can’t comment on this years class, however, in 1983 when I graduated the university classes did impact license success rates.
The university governing association was putting pressure on the academy to require more non-license track classes or loose accreditation. So when we came back from break senior year we had extra classes that we didn’t expect. Some, like me, put little to no effort in these classes and did poorly in them (big fat F in my case). Others put good effort in them and got good grades.

After license exams I was talking with one of the instructors who told me that almost to the student, those who did poorly in the new university classes passed the CG tests. those who did well in the university classes, didn’t do very well with the CG exams. But their GPA was better than mine. There were no jobs to be had then either, so they had time to retest before any of us found jobs on the water. I’m sure things would have been different if these classes had been sophomore and/or junior year, and we knew about them in advance, as I hope following classes did.

I am proud of my diploma as well as the license. I do regret the low GPA, as I had to retake several classes before I could get into graduate school.


#25

[QUOTE=LI_Domer;179374]Yes, the point being you don’t need to have your license to receive the degree.[/QUOTE]

Actually, until the 2014 rule change, a policy requiring the license in order to graduate would conflict with Coast Guard regulations as graduation was a requirement to qualify for the license (you can’t get your license until you graduate, you can’t graduate unless you get your license…) A plausible argument could also be made that a strict application of those same regulations would not have allowed testing prior to graduation.

As to the license being a graduation requirement, are you also saying the academies will refuse to admit (or not allow to graduate) an academically qualified applicant to certain academic programs who for some reason (e.g. previously mentioned citizenship or a physical/medical condition). Even if “reasonable accommodations” can be made to allow them to complete the academic aspects of the program? What if they were admited and then their medical condition changed (e.g. a car accident) such that they no longer meet medical requirements for a license?


#26

How does the academy pass rate for limited license programs or specialized modules, celestial, compare to the pass rate at private for profit schools?


#27

Perhaps the better situation would be that you cannot graduate until passing the license exams? You need not be approved to test to take exams unofficially.


#28

Yes you are correct in the assessment that it’s sort of a paradox if you go by the exact wording. The effect is ultimately that you need both at the same time to graduate. I’m sure there’s someway to grant a degree for someone in an exceptional circumstance but I’m not sure how that’s done. The easiest way, in my opinion, would be to tell the cadet that they have to change majors to a non-license major. For engineers that would be particularly easy, for deckies it would be a little more complicated probably adding a semester of schooling if they’re otherwise academically sound. As for admitting into the program, I have seen cadets drummed out or forced to change majors if they were in someway physically disqualified from passing a USCG Medical. When I was a freshman one of the MSC fire school instructors refused to let one of my section-mates participate in training because he was diabetic. A shame because he was otherwise a pretty locked up kid and in good physical and academic shape, and I’m not sure if his condition is actually disqualifying. I’ve seen other diabetics graduate with license. Medical issues were something they always warned us about because they don’t medically screen you for License until you’re applying to sit for the exam.


#29

[QUOTE=z-drive;179430]Perhaps the better situation would be that you cannot graduate until passing the license exams?[/QUOTE]

I believe the wording is that you must pass the USCG exams to graduate, not receive a license, since you can’t receive a license without graduating. But that only applies to the schools that take the USCG exams before graduation as I’m pretty sure not all of them do.


#30

[QUOTE=Capt. Phoenix;179452]I believe the wording is that you must pass the USCG exams to graduate, not receive a license, since you can’t receive a license without graduating. But that only applies to the schools that take the USCG exams before graduation as I’m pretty sure not all of them do.[/QUOTE]

Arguably, USMMA meets the old requirement and as well as January and summer graduates of the state academies in that they test after all grades for the last semester is completed and all sea time is completed, so the only thing outstanding is the ceremony. Spring graduates at state academies test before graduation, usually while required courses, and possibly all sea sea service (in the possible case of academies making winter cruises) have been completed.

The former 46 CFR 11.205(f) provided:

[I]When the OCMI finds the applicant’s experience and training to be satisfactory and the applicant is eligible [U]in all other respects[/U], the OCMI will authorize the examination…[/I] [emphasis added]

This is the same regulation that supported a hawse-pipe mariner not being allowed to test until they have all sea time and their applicatuion is approved.

Some may interpret MARAD’s regulation at 46 CFR 300.3(b)(2) as requiring the examination before graduation. It provides:

[I]The School shall arrange for the Cadet or Midshipman to take the United States Coast Guard original licensing examination prior to the date of graduation.[/I]

However, if you consider that it is a basic principle of legal interpretation that possibly conflicting laws should be interpreted in a way that avoids conflicts (if there is one), then a more reasoned interpretation of this might be that 46 CFR 300.3 requires the academy to make the arrangements to sit for the examination before graduation, but that the exam should be given after graduation.

Whether cadets can test before graduation is now moot as the rule change in 2014 now allows academies and other approved programs (e.g. PMI workboat) to take their exams before cerrtain requirements of the program are met.


#31

I don’t know for sure, but I thought I read that taking the exams in January as opposed to April made the passing rate go up? It makes sense as when testing in April it was literally a week after finals and cadets are burnt out and ready to get out of school. However in January you take the exams two weeks after finals and a whole semester of school. I also remember reading that some academies close to an REC had a lower rate as those can head down and take the modules that they failed pretty easily. Example, CMA is 20 minutes from an REC, not sure how close or far the other ones are. Some though have to drive, get a hotel…etc. again not sure how much truth to all that but it does makes sense.


#32

The current rule atleast here at CMA is that all sea time must be done and you are on track to graduate within the next year


#33

That’s one of the USCG requirements, you must be graduating within a year of testing.


#34

[QUOTE=LI_Domer;179471]That’s one of the USCG requirements, you must be graduating within a year of testing.[/QUOTE]

It is a Coast Guard requirement, but it is [U]not [/U]within 1 year, it’s 6 months and does not use the somewhat vague reckoning point of “graduation.” The rule is 46 CFR 11.201(j)(1)(iii):

[I]An applicant enrolled in an approved comprehensive program of training, service, and assessment will be authorized for an examination not more than 6 months prior to completion of the comprehensive program, provided all sea service and assessments of competency are completed prior to the examination
[/I]


#35

[QUOTE=jdcavo;179458]Arguably, USMMA meets the old requirement and as well as January and summer graduates of the state academies in that they test after all grades for the last semester is completed and all sea time is completed, so the only thing outstanding is the ceremony. Spring graduates at state academies test before graduation, usually while required courses, and possibly all sea sea service (in the possible case of academies making winter cruises) have been completed.

The former 46 CFR 11.205(f) provided:

[I]When the OCMI finds the applicant’s experience and training to be satisfactory and the applicant is eligible [U]in all other respects[/U], the OCMI will authorize the examination…[/I] [emphasis added]

This is the same regulation that supported a hawse-pipe mariner not being allowed to test until they have all sea time and their applicatuion is approved.

Some may interpret MARAD’s regulation at 46 CFR 300.3(b)(2) as requiring the examination before graduation. It provides:

[I]The School shall arrange for the Cadet or Midshipman to take the United States Coast Guard original licensing examination prior to the date of graduation.[/I]

However, if you consider that it is a basic principle of legal interpretation that possibly conflicting laws should be interpreted in a way that avoids conflicts (if there is one), then a more reasoned interpretation of this might be that 46 CFR 300.3 requires the academy to make the arrangements to sit for the examination before graduation, but that the exam should be given after graduation.

Whether cadets can test before graduation is now moot as the rule change in 2014 now allows academies and other approved programs (e.g. PMI workboat) to take their exams before cerrtain requirements of the program are met.[/QUOTE]

Interesting. . .must have changed since my day. I remember license exams being taken the week before Third Quarter finals. . . .Now, I also know KP is on a trimester system now. . . I remember taking my test and the examiner let us know that the first Space Shuttle landed safely (could care less. . . that could wait until I finished testing) so that was in April and graduation was in late June. . .


#36

It does not matter when the academy kids take the exam.

What counts is that the exam tests and verifies relevant skills and knowledge. This requires a well written bank of questions,that are a secret, and a difficult exam that is proctored by the USCG, not the school. If the first time pass rate is about 70 percent, the exam is probably too easy.


#37

Well when you conider that many of us study for 2-6 hours a day for 3 months 70% isnt bad. Most of us dont move to just memorizing stuff till Christmas break


#38

I disagree, after 4+ years of studying, then a semester or more of studying the specific topics and questions on the exam, you should be able to have a decent pass rate. I say this because students also have to pass license seminar. It’s a class devoted to studying for the exam, and at the end of seminar, qualifiers, basically showing that you reliably pass practice exams. These must be completed prior to being approved to test. In theory, you should go 7 for 7. If not, you should at least pass after retakes.


#39

License prep is hardly a challenging class. We spent more time talking about what to wear in a job interview than deck safety. The class focuses on rules of the road and the rest is done out of class. Most of us that didn’t pass all 7 got at least 5 and missed most by one or two questions. We had three that didn’t go 5 for 7 including a few that only passed one and that was the easiest chart plot i have ever seen


#40

i agree. I’ve gone 7/7 twice. Inexcusable to not pass in one round with a retake or two, on the deck side at least.