Orange Coast College was designated as a 2021 Center for Excellence for Domestic Maritime Workforce and Training (CoE) by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration (MARAD), according to an announcement made in May.
“Orange Coast College’s professional mariner and sailing programs have long been the standard of excellence in maritime training and education,” said OCC President Angelica Suarez in a news release. “This CoE designation formally recognizes the tremendous value OCC provides in preparing students for successful careers in the nation’s maritime industry.”
Coast Community College District Board of Trustees President Jim Moreno echoed this sentiment of the excellence of OCC’s Professional Mariner Program and how it recognizes the success of its faculty, staff and students.
“Orange Coast College is leading the way as a center of innovation and water safety for our community of marine trade and tourism,” Moreno said. “We in Orange County have long appreciated the excellence of the OCC Waterfront Campus, and we celebrate the campus's national presence and reputation.”
The campus, formerly known as the Intercollegiate Rowing and Sailing Base was renamed to the Orange Coast College Waterfront Campus in an April 7 vote by the CCCD Board of Trustees.
The new name also comes with an expansion of the facilities which includes a new $22 million maritime training center, according to a news release. The construction is expected to be completed and open to the public this summer.
Sarah Hirsch is OCC’s Waterfront Campus Director. Hirsch explained that this recognition by the Maritime Administration opens the door to cooperative agreements with the government agency, with benefits like help recruiting students, providing equipment and further enhancing the facilities.
“We’re looking forward to this new partnership with MARAD,” Hirsch said. “The professional mariner program at Orange Coast College’s Waterfront Campus is in a growth phase with new facilities and technology coming on-line in July, and the visibility and support from this high-profile designation comes at the perfect time.”
These facilities will house OCC’s Professional Mariner Program. Potential careers for students who complete this program include working as a deckhand, seafarer or wiper and commercial jobs like working on yachts, cruise ships, fishing boats and more.
More information on the Professional Mariner Program can be found here.