Times have changed. Personal interactions now take place online and mariners everywhere are finding themselves landbound. Thankfully, The Seafarer Collective’s courses haven’t changed; we’re offering the same versatile, self-paced, practical introduction to the maritime industry that we always have with our Entry-Level Merchant Mariner course. Our next class begins on May 15th and lasts for eight weeks. Our students will emerge from quarantine ready to seize the day and find their next position on the water- will you join them?
So what is the Entry-Level Merchant Mariner? The end goal of this course is for students to graduate with a completed application for their first Merchant Mariner Credential—the Ordinary Seaman—as well as a thorough understanding of the skills, systems, and professional requirements necessary for success in the maritime industry. Each of the eight modules contains a mix of practical knowledge, and lessons are paired with peer discussions to engage students on multiple levels. Whether you learn best through flash cards or independent research, ELM contains something for you.
“[ELM was] absolutely instrumental in my successful grasp of the content and procedures involved with obtaining an OS license” - ELM alumnus
ELM makes certification accessible. While modules on marine diesel, electric, and fueling systems are key elements of The Entry-Level Merchant Mariner, perhaps the most complex system we cover is the US Coast Guard’s licensing process. Our past students all agree— having access to one-on-one application assistance from our TSC staff is an invaluable tool. Why navigate the challenges of applying for your first license in the age of COVID-19 alone when you can do so with professional assistance? You’ll be guided through the steps of gathering documents, acquiring a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), getting tested for physical fitness and Federal drug testing compliance, and certifying your application. If those steps sound financially daunting, financial aid is available to qualified applicants, in an effort to offset course costs and associated fees.
“I enjoyed the range of tasks and the range of means by which information was presented” - another satisfied ELM student
We’ve designed ELM to be self-paced yet structured. Our eight modules conveniently match up with the eight-week course schedule, but we also understand that aspiring mariners are typically busy folks. We’re happy to work with students to complete the course as able within our schedule, so whether you’re an essential worker with weekends free or a sailor stuck dockside with all the time in the world, you’ll be able to find a place for ELM. We recommend setting aside 2 hours daily/10 hours weekly to spend quality time engaging with the course, but how you allocate those hours is up to you.
We also know that students come to us with a variety of learning preferences. That’s why ELM has both videos and hands-on practice, flash cards and in-depth readings. Students can field their questions through our discussion forums embedded in the course or videoconference one-on-one with the instructor.
“This was really great and I feel prepared for volunteering as well as joining the maritime workforce.” -ELM alum
Students come to ELM with a host of different ambitions. Whether you’re aiming to sail in the interest of research, sail training, cargo operations, or the cruise industry, you’ll leave the course with curated application documents and a written plan for your career going forward. You’ll also have the opportunity to connect with mentors working in your chosen sector of the industry and investigate volunteer opportunities to help narrow your focus.
While the world takes a minute to get back up to speed, let ELM be your oyster instead, and explore the possibilities offered by your first Merchant Mariner Credential. You can join our most recent cohort by applying online HERE.