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Massachusetts Maritime Academy - Program Policies Seafarers Pollution Compliance Program - Program Policies
Minimum Qualifications

Prospective students in the online certificate program must meet the following minimum qualifications in order to enroll in online courses at Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA):
  • Posses a high-school diploma, GED, or equivalent;
  • Be proficient in the English language;
  • Be currently employed full-time in the maritime industry (preferred) or a support organization;
  • Be prepared to complete college-level coursework;
  • Have regular access to a high-speed internet connection (see “Technical Requirements” for specific computer requirements).
We will use application materials to determine whether prospective students meet these minimum qualifications. However, if it becomes evident during coursework that an enrolled student fails to meet these qualifications, that student may be removed from the program at the instructor’s discretion. It is therefore advisable that applicants accurately assess their own qualifications relative to program requirements before submitting their applications for admission.

Applications for Admission

Complete applications for admission will consist of the following documents. Only complete application packages will be considered for acceptance.

Applicants will also be asked to complete a “Pollution Survey” available on the program’s website. This survey will not be used to determine a student’s eligibility for the program, but is used for program assessment and reporting purposes.

Applicants will be notified of their enrollment status at the email address provided in their applications. Applications for admission will be accepted on a continuous basis.

Course Registration

Once you have been accepted into the Pollution Compliance for Seafarers certificate program, you must register for a specific course.

How to Register for a Course

Course registration will take place during the Registration Period indicated for each course in the table below. You must first apply for admission to the program. To do so, visit the program website ( and click the “Apply Online” link. Complete and submit the online application form. We will notify you of your registration status within 8-10 business days of receiving your application.

Once you are accepted and a course becomes available, you can register online for the course. During the registration period for the course you wish to take, go to the program website ( and click on the title of the course currently being offered. This will take you to a course description and a link to MMA’s online registration.

Class size is limited to 20 students per course. When no more seats are available, applicants will be placed on a waiting list and notified if a seat becomes available. If no seats become available before the first day of class, students from the waiting list will not be enrolled in the course.

Students do not need to complete the courses in the order shown below, although we recommend doing so. Students are not permitted to enroll in multiple courses or to register for future courses in advance. Students may only enroll for a course during the course registration period indicated for that course, and students will only be registered for one course at a time.

  Important dates for course registration
Open Course Registration
Last Day to Withdraw1
AY 2008-2009
August 25, 2008-
October 25, 2008
October 27, 2008-
December 19, 2008
October 31, 2008
November 9, 2008-
January 9, 2009
January 12, 2009-
March 6, 2009
January 16, 2009
January 20, 2009- March 20, 2009
March 23, 2009-
May 15, 2009
March 27, 2009
March 29, 2009-
May 29, 2009
June 1, 2009-
July 24, 2009
June 5,
June 7, 2009-
August 7, 2009
August 10, 2009- October 2, 2009
August 14, 2009
AY 2009-2010
MS-4323: Ecological Consequences of Marine Pollution
August 16, 2009-
October 16, 2009
October 19, 2009- December 11, 2009
October 23, 2009
MS-4326: Legal Issues in Marine Pollution
November 8, 2009-
January 8, 2010
January 11, 2010-
March 5, 2010
January 15, 2010
MS-4325: Marine Pollution and Deck Operations
January 19, 2010-
March 19, 2010
March 22, 2010-
May 14, 2010
March 26, 2010
MS-4324: Marine Pollution and Vessel Engineering Systems
March 28, 2010-
May 28, 2010
May 31, 2010-
July 23, 2010
June 4,
MS-4327: Environmental Communication in the Maritime Industry
June 6, 2010-
August 6, 2010
August 9, 2010-
October 1, 2010
August 13, 2010

Students withdrawing after the first day of class but prior to this date will receive a “W” on their transcript. A “W” does not affect the student grade point average (GPA).

General Course Policies

Courses usually require 10-15 hours of student activity per week. This time is spent reading materials online, completing projects and assigned activities, interacting with faculty and peers, taking exams and quizzes, etc. Successful course completion will depend upon a student’s motivation to dedicate 10-15 hours per week to the course. Failure to do so may result in a course grade reduction and/or failure in the course.

It is essential that you are able to log into the course at least once per week, although most courses will require you to log in more frequently. Failure to log into your course at least once per week can result in a grade reduction and/or removal from the course with a failing grade. In other words, participation in your online course is mandatory, and failure to engage frequently and conscientiously will result in a lower grade or course failure. Once a student receives a non-passing grade (below a “C”) or is removed from a course, that student may not enroll in any future courses until two years have elapsed since the start date of the failed course.


Participants will receive a grade for each course in which they register. Pass/no-pass options are not available, and MMA courses cannot be audited (i.e., taken for no grade). Once a student enrolls in a course, that student must earn a course grade of “C” or above to enroll in subsequent courses. Course grades are based on a variety of assignments and criteria, including projects, activities, exams, homework, participation, and meeting deadlines. Each instructor may use a different combination of assignments to assess students’ understanding of course material, and course policies will be described in the syllabus for the course. The instructor has sole authority to issue the final grade. In addition to these general requirements, each course instructor may establish his/her own course requirements.

Failing grades: If you receive a failing grade in a single course, you will not be permitted to enroll in another course until two years have elapsed since the start date of the failed course.

Students who fail to log in at least once per week without receiving advance permission from the instructor will be dis-enrolled from the course.

Course withdrawal: Once the course has begun, you may withdraw from the course by notifying the instructor of your intention to do so. You will receive a “W” on your transcript if you complete this process within the first 5 days of the course. After this time, any withdrawal will result in a grade on your transcript. The grade will reflect your calculated score at the end of the course, taking into account zero points awarded for incomplete work.

Given the relatively short duration of each course and the limited period over which courses may be offered, no grades of “Incomplete (I)” will be given.

Hardware and Software Requirements

Technical Requirements

1. Computer requirements: System requirements for PC:
  • Windows XP or Vista
  • 64 MB of RAM (128-256 MB recommended)
  • 56 kbps modem. While a dial-up modem can be used for online classes, we strongly recommend a DSL or cable modem connection
  • Sound card
  • Speakers (headset w/microphone recommended)
System requirements for MAC:
  • Mac OS X (version 10)
  • 64 MB of RAM (128-256 MB recommended)
  • 56 kbps modem. While a dial-up modem can be used for online classes, we strongly recommend a DSL or cable modem connection.
  • Sound card
  • Speakers (headset w/microphone recommended)
2. Internet Service Provider (ISP): You must have Internet access to take an online class. An ISP is a company that provides you with the software necessary to connect to the Internet. Note: classes cannot be accessed using Web TV Accessibility, and functionality is limited with AOL, Prodigy, and CompuServe. 3. Java-capable browser: In order to participate in your classes, you need to use a Java-capable web browser.

Recommended Browsers: PC:
  • Internet Explorer 6 or higher
  • Firefox 1.5 or higher
  • Safari 1.3 or higher
  • Firefox 1.5 or higher
Academic and Professional Standards

All students are expected to adhere to MMA standards for academic honesty and professional conduct. Failure to observe these standards or failure to maintain appropriate, respectful communication practices will result in disenrollment and failure for the course.

Depending upon the severity and nature of the incident, a student may be barred from future MMA enrollment. Any incidents warranting further action will be brought to the attention of appropriate campus officials.


Although you will be required to participate in an online learning community, which implies some casual interaction to facilitate online learning activities, you will not be asked to divulge any personal information that you do not wish to share. All personal information collected by surveys or by MMA administration is considered confidential and is not disclosed to third parties except for research purposes, wherein all identifying information is removed and no individual information is disclosed. We adhere to all FERPA requirements, including additional regulations as established by MMA.

Written and signed consent must be given by the student before any records will be released to a third party.

Affirmative Action and Disability Statement

It is the policy of MMA not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, or national origin in its admissions, employment, and other activities. Questions or concerns regarding disability accommodations may be directed to Anne Walsh Folino, Director of ADA Compliance and Affirmative Action, 508-830-5000, extension 1409. Reasonable accommodations will be made for any enrolled students with disabilities.


Although any materials generated during the course may be used for educational purposes in the course itself, students retain copyrights on all documents and communications they produce.

Students may print and view materials made available within the course according to fair use policies established for online instruction. Such materials may be used only for informational and non-commercial purposes, with appropriate copyright notices provided when applicable.

Course materials may not be “mirrored,” “derivatized,” or reproduced on any website or electronic media resource not currently owned and maintained by Massachusetts Maritime Academy.


All courses in the Pollution Compliance for Seafarers online certificate program are offered free of charge during the period October 27, 2008, to October 2, 2010. This program is made possible by a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Seafarer's Environmental Education Fund with the oversight of the United States Coast Guard.

After October 2, 2010, regular tuition, fees, and other associated costs apply.

Contact Information

Questions and comments about the program may be directed to:

Mailing Address:
Online Certificate Program
c/o Kim Barrett
101 Academy Drive
Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Buzzards Bay, MA 02532

last updated 12-3-2010 by