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Fabulous Fall Classes: Marine Maintenance Mechanics

We’re taking a peek inside the classroom to offer students a sampling of what they might experience. This week we visited a marine maintenance mechanics class to see learning in progress.

Inside the classroom:

Student works on a diesel motor
Mitchell Diggs checks the outboard motor on
a pleasure craft.

Students working toward TCC’s Career Studies Certificate in Diesel Marine Technician receive training on modern marine diesel engines and related systems. Marine Maintenance Mechanics (MAR 130) gives students hands-on training on inboard and outboard motors, sterns and shaft drives.  

What’s fabulous about it?

Hampton Roads is home to plenty of ports, shipyards and marinas. With ships and boats moving through local waterways, trained diesel marine technicians are in high demand. “We’re teaching them everything they need to know to work on pleasure craft and larger vessels. From here, they will be ready for work in local marinas and shipyards,” said Abraham Arispe, diesel marine professor.


This class combines lecture and laboratory work, where students work together in groups. Teamwork is key!

Student voices:

Two students work together in a marine maintenance mechanics class.
Thomas Syers and Zachary Gray work to
complete a lab assignment.

“We’re in the bays more than in the classroom and that’s a good thing. I’m getting to the point where I can do all of this work on my own. I can’t wait to put my skills to work in the field.” – Ben Anderson

“I enjoy boats, the ocean and fishing. This career seemed like a good fit. The training I’m getting here will actually lead to a job. We work on real engines and we can break them here, although that’s not really ideal!” – Scott Griffin

“This is not a program that you are going to learn everything from the book. The learning is visual and hands-on, and we learn from the teacher and each other. The shop is pretty nice, too; we have plenty of tools.” – John Marshall

About the professor:

Arispe served as Machinery Technician Chief in the U.S. Coast Guard for 22 years. He has experience working on every kind of machinery and even served as an instructor in the military. Arispe holds a master’s in education and is working on his doctorate in education. He is a full professor at the college.