Maritime cadets enroll in three semesters at sea including one aboard the Training Ship State of Michigan and two aboard commercial ships on the Great Lakes and oceans during their education at the Maritime Academy. These semesters at sea are referred to as sea projects. During sea projects, cadets complete assigned tasks and mail homework to the Academy on a regular basis. These projects are monitored by our instructors and complemented with hands-on training at the Academy. In most cases, you receive compensation for your sea project time aboard ship.
Sea time is arranged by the Academy with the very shipping companies that will be a future source of employment for our graduates. A number of these companies are specific to the Great Lakes while others sail the oceans. Deck Cadets who choose to pursue an oceans license in addition to the Third Mate Great Lakes License will complete one of their sea projects aboard an ocean vessel. These cadets will then write their USCG exam as Third Mate Great Lakes and Oceans unlimited tonnage in addition to being a 1st Class Great Lakes Pilot. Engineering Cadets may choose to complete an ocean sea project, however, it is not required. These Cadets write their USCG exam as Third Assistant Engineer, Steam and Motor Vessels of any Horsepower.
It is our belief that cadet time spent learning aboard a commercial ship, loading and discharging cargo, is essential preparation for a maritime career. To supplement this excellent training, our training ship State of Michigan is utilized as an introduction to the lifestyle and etiquette of life aboard ship. Our ship also functions as a daily lab for both deck and engineering cadets throughout the school year. Cadets must complete 54 shoreside sea days accomplishing tasks deemed necessary for vessel inspection and STCW '10 compliance. Time spent aboard our training ship while under way is considered sea project time for cadets. The State of Michigan schedules a variety of voyages throughout the year.