USCG Course Approval-(calling Mr. Cavo, please)

So I’m considering attending the Star Center in Dania Beach, Florida to take their Steam Crossover class to get my license endorsed for steam ships. It’s gonna be $7,500 out of my own pocket since I’m not an AMO member, but I’m OK with that IF taking the course will allow me to sit for the exam right away. The problem is that the USCG won’t provide a link or a copy of the course’s approval letter so I can know EXACTLY what I will gain by taking the course. I emailed the NMC and was told that I would have to contact the school to find that info. That seems strange to me as a given school would have incentive to stretch the truth or outright lie about what the course is approved for in the interest of getting their tuition money. Here is a link to the USCG certificate that is on the Star Center’s website:

Since it is Mr. Cavo’s signature on the form, I would REALLY like to hear his input on this issue. Specifically:

  1. Why aren’t the course approval letters available on the NMC website like they used to be? Before, they had a .pdf file that listed ALL courses and EXACTLY what each course was approved for.

  2. Even if an updated list isn’t going to be maintained on the website, why won’t the NMC provide the info about what a course is approved for when asked for by a mariner?

I don’t think it is unreasonable to want to hear what a course is approved for[B] [U]from the approving agency[/U] [/B]prior to shelling out a bunch of money only to find out that (for example) “oh, you also need 90 days prior service on a steam ship…you didn’t know that?”

Ask the school to send you a copy of the actual approval letter, not just the certificate.

Man I am glad I have a steam endorsement. $7500 really? Did you try the MEBA school to see how much they charge? I know that one crosses over becasue I know a handful of people who did it. I believe though that they already had a 3rd steam and was able to upgrade to whatever their Diesel was.

Yeah I sail with MEBA but their steam class is only once per year and is full this October. I guess my real question what’s up with the Coast Guard not making the information available?

I see Mr Cavo has made an appearance on the forum so I’d like to repose my question in abridged format.

Why does the USCG not make available what each approved course is ACTUALLY approved for? The USCG’S response was “ask the school”… why hide this info?

[QUOTE=Hawespiper;113365]I see Mr Cavo has made an appearance on the forum so I’d like to repose my question in abridged format.

Why does the USCG not make available what each approved course is ACTUALLY approved for? The USCG’S response was “ask the school”… why hide this info?[/QUOTE]

I have no idea why NMC removed this valuable information from their web page. It was done after I left there.

[QUOTE=Hawespiper;113051]…The problem is that the USCG won’t provide a link or a copy of the course’s approval letter so I can know EXACTLY what I will gain by taking the course… [/QUOTE]

The approval letter for a USCG approved course is most likely a disclosable document that must be provided in response to request made under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

[QUOTE=jdcavo;113421]I have no idea why NMC removed this valuable information from their web page. It was done after I left there.[/QUOTE]

Yeah, I HATE that they made this change. And while any school should be more than willing to provide it, it is a needless pain in the ass that the Coast Guard could easily solved by providing that information once again.