What to expect from us?

What to expect when you take a class

No matter if you take the class in-person or online, you will invest both time and money in it. Therefore, you should know what to expect before spending your time and money on it.

What is the same for all schools

Firstly, the National Maritime Center (NMC) sets the subject material. Meaning everyone teaches the same stuff. For example, all OUPV classes teach navigation, Rules of the Road, and deck general safety.

Secondly, all the exams are about the same too. Again, the NMC sets the bar that all schools must follow. This includes the number of exams. The number of questions on each exam. And the min passing score for the exam.

What varies between schools is the delivery method. To explain, delivery methods can vary from formal lecture to independent study. And most everything in between. The best class for you matches the delivery method to your learning style. In short, what is good for one, is not always good for another.

What to expect from ColPac

At Columbia Pacific (ColPac) Maritime we take pride in teaching the subject material. We do this using a three-part instructional method for each lesson.

Part 1 – Informal Lecture

Firstly, we start each lesson with an informal lecture to introduce the material. That is to say, we explain it. And then tell our own personal sea stories to better help you understand it. Additionally, we encourage questions. Asking questions is a great way to learn. In fact, you are more likely to remember what you asked a question about than what you did not. As a whole, classes that ask lots of questions perform better on the exams than the classes that do not. So, ask lots of questions.

Part 2 – Learning Exercise

Secondly, each lesson contains a learning exercise. During this exercise the instructors supervise students as they review the material and answer questions. Writing out the answers to questions is another way of learning. In contrast to other schools, these questions are not multiple choice. There is very little learning value in picking A, B, C, or D. But there is much value in writing out the answers by hand. You will remember what you write. And it makes it easier to review too.

Part 3 – Debriefing

Thirdly, each lesson ends with a debriefing. During the debrief the instructor will discuss and further explain the important points of the lesson. As always, we encourage questions. They provide the instructors with another chance to explain.


Lastly, we review, review, and review some more. Repartition builds muscle memory. Homework, followed by a morning debriefing provides a review of the previous day’s lessons. In addition, each lesson builds on the skills and knowledge of the one before. The result is like building a brick wall of knowledge that sticks with mariners for life.

In sum

To summarize, all the classes teach the same stuff. What makes us unique is that we do it in a way that makes you successful. In other words, we are very good at what we do. Give us a try. You will not regret it. Call Patty at 503-841-6066 to schedule a class. View our class menu and prices >>

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