Nicholls State University’s Growing Maritime Program

by | Thursday, December 18, 2014 |

Nicholls State University’s maritime program, which started last fall and aimed at providing training to management-level workers in the shipbuilding and oilfield boat industries, has grown from 20 to 90 students and shows no sign of losing steam.

In December, the first six graduates received diplomas, and all of them have received job offers from area companies including Seacor Marine, Bollinger Shipyards and Edison Chouest Offshore.

Said Ken Chadwick, Director of the program, “We were a little skeptical when companies came to us at first. Now we're talking about maybe extending this to a four-year degree program.”

Students in the program take specialized classes; however, they receive a standard business management degree. The classes, most of which are taught by professionals in the industry, cover topics like safety, law and finance in relation to the maritime industry. The classes are offered at night, making it easier for students who have jobs during the day. The new program is the only one of its kind in Louisiana catering specifically to the oil and gas maritime industry.

Chadwick went on to say that, “[t]his is truly a partnership between academia and industry.”

Money to fund the program was provided entirely by area businesses for the first five years – which comes to over $300,000. According to Chadwick, “[w]ithout the financial support of these partners, this program could never have gotten off the ground.”

SCIA President, Robert Clemons, who is also the Vice President and COO of Seacor, was instrumental in establishing the program.

Said Clemons, “Since South Louisiana is the birthplace of offshore oil and gas and the supporting workboat industry, since four of the world’s largest seven such companies reside in the region, since virtually every person that resides in the region is either directly or indirectly tied to or affected by this industry, and since we have a great regional university with accreditation, it only made sense to implement such a program at NSU.”

He went on to express, “I have also personally attended presentations given by students of the introductory course and it is clear they are miles ahead of other students in the business college as relates to our industry, the terminology, vessel capabilities and the economics of managing a fleet.”

If you want to find out more about this program, or about enrollment procedures, you can visit this link for more information.

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