Focus on Education

Originally published in Castine Patriot, August 30, 2012
Maine Maritime Academy - Back to school information

Focus on Education 2012 Archive
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The academy welcomed students to campus in late August to begin Regimental Preparatory Training. Classes begin September 3, and convocation, welcoming new students to campus, is September 5. Enrollment for 2012-13 is 948 students, including 15 graduate students.

Various programs link the academy and the community. The Student Sponsor Program seeks community volunteers to serve as host families for students new to the college this year. Initiated more than 10 years ago, the program is designed to pair new students with faculty, staff, and community hosts. The program gives new students a chance to meet members of the MMA and Castine communities as a way to ease the often-stressful transition to college life. In turn, members of the community gain an insider’s view of student life and activities at the college and develop personal relationships with students.

According to Jeff Loustaunau, MMA’s vice president for enrollment management, sponsors provide friendship, understanding, and encouragement to first-year students as they face challenges that range from being away from family and friends to handling more studying and managing time. Sponsors’ homes also provide a place for students to relax and enjoy companionship.

Sponsors must live within a reasonable distance to the academy and attend a mandatory information session presented by the dean of student services and the commandant of midshipmen. The meeting will be held in September.

Prospective sponsors must fill out applications, which are available by calling

326-2250. They may request a student by name or based on preference of gender, home state, religious background, sports affiliation, or special interests. Sponsors are authorized to host up to four students a year, and in fact the program’s organizers suggest that families sponsor at least two students at a time.

The office of financial aid continues to maintain a free job bulletin program for its students and the community. Initiated nine years ago, the program pairs students seeking off-campus employment with prospective employers in the greater Castine area. Job notices are posted free of charge on the college’s internal website.

Jobs posted include yard work, snow removal, home repairs and painting, baby-sitting, house cleaning, clerical work, house sitting and pet care. Employment may be ongoing, periodic, or one-time. Details such as wage, personal and professional references, and verification of professional skills are the responsibility of the potential employer and employee.

The public is encouraged to take advantage of this job-posting program throughout the year. Notices may be submitted to Kathy Heath, director of financial aid, at 326-2339 or via e-mail to />

The department of residential life will sponsor a community involvement fair on campus this fall to encourage student volunteerism in the community. The fair will take place in the courtyard of the Curtis Residence Hall on Tuesday, September 11, from 5 to 7 p.m. Students will find information on the variety of community activities available in the area, while community organizations can invite students to join their efforts.

Kristen Wentworth, director of residential life, invites community agencies, nonprofit organizations, service or volunteer corps and faith-based groups to send at least one representative to answer students’ questions. Groups may participate free of charge and are asked to contact Michael Sales to sign-up, 326-2280, or via email at />

A variety of sports information can be found on the school’s website, including schedules, stats and live web-casts of some matches. Visit Regular season matches are free and the public is welcome.

The public can also access the school’s calendars at where a variety of events are posted.

Sep. 3 - First day of classes
Sep. 8 - Community involvement fair
Sep. 28-30 - Homecoming weekend
Oct. 5-7 - Family & Friends Weekend
Oct. 8 - Staff holiday, no classes
Nov. 5 - Navy/Marine Corps Ball
Nov. 11 - Veterans’ Day Celebration
Nov. 22-25 - Thanksgiving break
Dec. 16-20 - Final exams
Dec. 20-Jan. 11 - Holiday break
Jan. 14 - Classes resume
Mar. 3-7 - Spring break
Mar. 26 - Regimental Awards banquet
Apr. 7 - Student Life Awards banquet
Apr. 28-May 2 - Final exams
May 3 - Graduation
May 4 - Cruise begins in port
May 8 - TS State of Maine departs
July 2 - Cruise ends (tentative)