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Technical,Vocational and Career Training & Education in Marine Technology, Boat Building & Manufacture and Maritime Professional Courses in Wilmington

cape fear community college

Cape Fear Community College (CFCC) is a comprehensive community college that offers education and training services through numerous Technical/Vocational Curricula in such broad areas as health care, business, engineering technologies, computer sciences, architecture / construction / interior design, marine Technology, boat building & manufacturing and numerous other fields, College Transfer/University Parallel Studies in the freshman and sophomore years of baccalaureate programs, and a host of Continuing Education programs that can be broadly clustered into such categories as Basic Skills (including Adult High School and GED, among other programs), Occupational Extension (custom-designed training related directly to the in-service training needs of various professions), and Community Services/Self-Supporting classes that may include a wide range of vocational interests.

The Customized Training and Workforce Development Department offers courses in a wide variety of areas for job training as well as and customized industry training in New Hanover and Pender counties.

CFCC is one of fifty-eight institutions comprising the North Carolina Community College System. The North Carolina Community College System and its constituent institutions operate in accord with legislation enacted by the North Carolina General Assembly.

Academic Programs



Marine Technical and Vocational Programs

Degree Programs

  • AAS Degree in Marine Technology (69 credits): A program that provides the practical and academic skills essential for success in marine scientific support. Training in the operation and maintenance of seismic and hydrographic instrumentation including - side scan sonar, multibeam echo sounders, and sub-bottom profilers is provided in the classroom and underway at sea. Additional course work includes: classic and digital navigation techniques, practical applications of boat handling, seamanship, marlinspike seamanship, and safety at sea. Instruction applicable to fisheries science and environmental assessment is provided.
  • AAS Degree in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology (70 credits): This curriculum provides training for individuals interested in becoming technicians who service and maintain the propulsion systems of boats and other types of marine and industrial equipment. Graduates of the curriculum should qualify as marine technicians which may be employed in marinas, shipyards, industrial and trucking industries.

Diploma Programs

  • Diploma in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology (37 credits): The course work includes the maintenance and repair procedures of mechanical, electrical, hydraulics equipment used on marine systems. Students will inspect and test equipment to determine the cause of faulty operation, and then repair and replace defective parts.
  • Diploma in Boat Building (Wooden) - 43 credits: The Boat Building curriculum prepares individuals for employment in the boat building and boat repair industry. Today’s boat builders are highly skilled craftspeople who can create complex shapes out of wood. Course work includes reading boat plans, lofting, setting up the building jig, fashioning the structural timbers, and different planking techniques. Interior joinery, exterior joinery, and yacht rigging is also covered. Graduates may find work with yacht manufacturers, high end furniture shops, architectural millwork shops, and companies installing built in furniture in homes. Other opportunities can be found in boat maintenance and repair yards.
  • Diploma in Boat Manufacture and Service (40 credits): The Boat Manufacture and Service Technology program prepares students for employment in the manufacture and service of boats. Students learn the basics of boat design and the implementation of those designs in various components and/or complete boats or yachts. Course work includes reading and interpreting marine blueprints, manuals, and other documents common to the industry; lofting; constructing forms and mold-making; application of concepts and techniques in composite, and fiberglass; marine woodworking; interior finishing; and marine mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. Graduates may find employment with boat/yacht manufacturers, service yards, dealerships doing commissioning work, and companies doing custom boat building.

Certificate Programs

  • Certificate in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology:  This is a 17 credit program which introduces into the field.
  • Certificate in Boat Building (evenings): This is a 12 credit program which introduces into the field.

Maritime Professional Courses

  • Marine Captain’s License Preparation (64 hours): This course provides students with the information necessary to take the US Coast Guard examination for licensing as an Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels (OUPV) up to 100 gross tons, on inland, near coastal or ocean waters.
  • Upgrade from Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels (OUPV) to Master: This 24-hour course is provided to enable the holder of a 6 Passenger OUPV Captain’s license to upgrade to a Master’s Level License, which is required for inspected vessels certified to carry more than 6 passengers. Upon successful completion of this course, a Certificate of Completion is awarded which is then presented to the Coast Guard as part of the Master’s License issuance process.
  • Assistance Towing Endorsement
  • Celestial Navigation
  • Coastal Navigation
  • Marine Firefighting
  • Boating Safety

CFCC Features

With over 26,500 students enrolling in classes every year, Cape Fear Community College is an open door, multi-campus, comprehensive community college that strengthens the academic, economic, social and cultural life of the citizens of New Hanover and Pender counties. Several CFCC technical and vocational programs are unique to southeastern North Carolina and to the state as a whole, and the College therefore serves as a regional provider of workforce training.

  • Campus: CFCC’s Wilmington campus is located in downtown Wilmington and the North Campus is located in Castle Hayne. CFCC offers classes at the Burgaw Center and at the Surf City Community Center in Pender County.
  • Accreditation: Cape Fear Community College is accredited by the Commission on College of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees.
  • Graduate Success: According to the most recent graduate employment survey, 98% of CFCC graduates reported that they were employed full-time or were continuing their education at a higher level.
  • Economic Impact: For every dollar spent towards the operation of CFCC, .36 is returned back into the local community. CFCC helps boost the economy of New Hanover and Pender counties by generating an additional 5 million in business sales and 2 million in labor income, according to a recent study released by the NC Community College System.
  • Career Connection: CFCC's Career Connection is a free job placement service for current Cape Fear Community College (CFCC) students and graduates.
  • Center for Business, Industry, and Government: The Center for Business, Industry, and Government, which is part of our Continuing Education Department, offers seminars and customized industry training for individuals and businesses in New Hanover and Pender counties.
  • Housing: CFCC does not have on-campus housing. Upon request, the Admissions Office will provide a copy of the local Apartment Finder booklet, which contains information about various apartment complexes in the area.

LAST UPDATED ON Nov 8, 2017

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