Paul Hall Center Gets Top Marks from NMC

March 2010

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The U.S. Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center (NMC) recently conducted a visit/audit to the SIU’s affiliated Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education (including the Joseph Sacco Fire Fighting and Safety School) to review the facilities, classrooms and training and found all to be outstanding, including “a professional setting conducive to learning.” NMC representatives visited the school to review the Coast Guard-approved coursework and state-of-the-art training provided to mariners at the southern Maryland campus.

The Paul Hall Center is noted industry-wide as offering the most U.S. Coast Guard-approved courses of any maritime school in the nation. From entry training to license preparation to recertification coursework to academic support and distance learning, students at the school also may earn high school diplomas, college credit and associate’s degrees. As many attendees have mentioned since the center opened in 1967, the school helps provide mariners the means to get ahead in the industry.

The Coast Guard observed many of the courses being conducted both at the main campus and at the nearby Joseph Sacco School. Agency officials said that students and instructors were “fully engaged in the class material.” The visiting Coast Guard team also pointed out that the teachers thoroughly understood and explained course material and provided excellent instruction. The USCG noted that lab facilities and training aids are “extensive and up to date.”

Visitors also reviewed a sampling of curriculums in the school’s course development center and found that the methods by which the school developed its coursework to be outstanding. The Coast Guard team further pointed out that the Paul Hall Center’s database, security and filing systems are exceptionally good.

The team particularly commended the fire school’s basic safety training and medical care provider training as well as facilities themselves.

Overall, the visitors said the school “shows obvious dedication to mariner development and safety on the job and throughout training. This school is an excellent display of extreme professionalism.”

Paul Hall Center Director of Training J.C. Wiegman agreed that the administrative visit went well. “The role of the REC (U.S. Coast Guard Regional Exam Center) has changed,” he said. “Although NMC directs an audit or visit to take place the local REC has been tasked to administer and conduct a very lengthy audit. I was pleased to see the professionalism that was exhibited by REC Baltimore. The process from the announcement to the online audit checklist (and) the interface with LCDR (Mark) Palmer and Ms. (Paulette) Chase prior to the arrival made for a smooth audit and I think REC Baltimore did a great job from start to finish.”


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