Big Changes, New Opportunities at MITAGS-PMI
Practical training for individuals hoping to enter the maritime profession is essential to the safety, success and continued prosperity of the merchant marine industry. One nonprofit vocational training school, MITAGS-PMI, recently announced expanded training and simulation opportunities available at both their West and East Coast campuses. These new expansions to training will help facilitate more of that important hands-on experience for the school's students in Baltimore and Seattle.
What Changes Were Made?
Both the MITAGS-PMI West and East Coast campuses made changes to their course offerings and facilities — additional course offerings on the West Coast and increased simulation capacity on the East Coast.
In Seattle, the school acquired Fremont's India Tango Marine Fire Fighting School. This acquisition will allow them to begin offering full Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) courses, including basic training, revalidation and license renewal programs. These new offerings will allow the school's Seattle students to receive the full safety training they need to operate internationally, outside of United States territory.
In Baltimore, MITAGS-PMI expanded its simulation capabilities by adding two new assist tug bridges. The state-of-the-art simulation facilities can now sync up to six tug/ship bridges in the same training exercise. This capacity expansion allows students to train more realistically and experience the unique challenges that come with navigating missions as a team. New escort simulations will challenge students to expand their spatial, technical and communicative abilities.
Though the changes to the two campuses are different, they both further MITAGS-PMI's organizational goals by increasing the school's ability to prepare students for the variety of real-world scenarios they may face at sea.
On the Seattle Campus
STCW courses are required training for mariners who will be working on international voyages. MITAGS-PMI Seattle will now offer both advanced and basic training programs, allowing them to serve both experienced and inexperienced mariners. After they complete these courses, students will receive their STCW endorsement, so they can begin, or continue, their careers.
The Baltimore campus already offered full STCW training. In Seattle, the recent merger with Fremont has allowed the school to begin offering West Coast students the same benefits, which equates to increased synchronicity across campuses.
In addition to new STCW training, Seattle students can look forward to an engineering apprenticeship program, set to start later this year. This program will provide students with yet more hands-on training opportunities to help them develop their skills and careers.
On the Baltimore Campus
On MITAGS-PMI's Baltimore campus, new simulation bridges will allow for increased training capacity and realism. It will enable them to begin providing escort training to East Coast students.
The school initially offered escort training only on the West Coast. However, because more ultra-large container vessels should establish a greater presence on the East Coast in the coming years, MITAGS-PMI determined to meet the growing demand for this training on both campuses. Students using these simulation bridges will now be able to put escort best practices into action.
The increased realism of simulations with multiple participants will better prepare Baltimore students for real situations. A typical training scenario on the simulator may involve transporting an oil tanker with tethered escort tugs, for example. The simulation's ability to recreate environmental conditions means students aren't just learning how to solve problems, but also what it feels like to be present during them.
Equal Training Coast to Coast
For mariners, training needs to be practical and consistent across institutions to allow for the safest and best performance possible in today's commercial job market. MITAGS-PMI's recent changes to increase educational parity at their Seattle and Baltimore campuses is a step in the direction of this goal. Both experienced and inexperienced mariners benefit from practical training to renew certifications, brush up on their skills and learn the basics of success on a ship.
Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Ruffled, and more. Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!
The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.