CASTINE – It was a busy morning at Maine Maritime Academy as the college announced that preparations are underway for ‘near-normal’ campus operations this fall.
“We are incredibly proud to have been able to maintain in-person instruction throughout the last two semesters and look forward to a continued return to normalcy this fall,” said Dr. William J. Brennan, President. “Hands-on learning is essential to our educational mission and critical to the success of all students.”
Due to an enduring commitment to safety, campus-wide social distancing and masking protocols, a robust campus surveillance testing program, public health campaigns, and community buy-in, the college has enjoyed a successful spring semester and will be launching a busy summer training cruise season this month. This summer’s schedule includes two cruises aboard the Training Ship State of Maine and the Schooner Bowdoin. In addition, MMA students will be completing cadet shipping, co-ops, and internships with companies throughout the world.
Despite modifications to campus life, students have maintained their ability to attend class in-person and take advantage of the school’s unique opportunities. “This year has not been a typical year, and a lot of things were limited – we couldn’t hang out with large groups of friends or complete full athletic seasons,” says sophomore Olivia Harriman. “I am grateful that we were able to have in-person classes and labs this semester, but I cannot wait to spend time with my friends without worrying about the group size, compete with my lacrosse team, and host more in-person activities with the Campus Activities Board!”
Many events, such as the school’s annual Ship Jump and Ring Ceremony, were held on campus this year, allowing students to enjoy beloved traditions while maintaining the health and safety of the entire Castine community.
“Our students have worked hard to keep each other safe and to succeed as we have,” says Dr. Keith Williamson, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. “Their commitment is remarkable, and they have continuously adapted to the challenges posed by the pandemic with resilience, determination, and flexibility.”
Dr. Williamson acknowledges that this flexibility will be key to ongoing planning, as Maine continues to safely succeed in its mission to restore normalcy to everyday life. “We will again offer the vast majority of our courses in-person this fall, as we have over these last two semesters,” he says.
“Approximately 80% percent of classes and labs will take place as they normally would, and the remainder will likely offer hybrid learning opportunities for students. We anticipate that our vision for what is possible this fall will only expand in the coming months.”
While faculty, staff, and students are dedicating themselves to wrapping up the semester, hosting an in-person, students-only Commencement ceremony, and launching summer activities, they are also looking forward to what the fall will bring.
“Our return to campus in the fall is always a joyful time,” says President Brennan. “This year it will be even more so. Safety will continue to be our top priority, but we are confident in our ability to maintain rigorous standards and continue to deliver world-class, hands-on learning opportunities for our students.”