Orange Coast College has hired Sarah Hirsch to head up its Community Boating programs at the College's School of Sailing and Seamanship in Newport Beach. Hirsch comes to Coast from San Diego, where she previously worked as a merchant mariner, serving as an officer and captain on sail-training vessels.
Hirsch joins OCC at a pivotal time, as the College will soon break ground on a new training center across the street from its current sailing and crew facility on Pacific Coast Highway. She will be tasked with helping to expand OCC's Professional Mariner program, creating new pathways for maritime training and education, such as U.S. Coast Guard certification courses that are in high demand by local employers.
Hirsch is no stranger to building maritime education programs — while working as a mariner, she developed and delivered technical training for several different organizations, gaining U.S. Coast Guard approvals to deliver shore-based and at-sea training and assessments. She holds a master's degree in Adult Education/Training and Development from Central Michigan University's Global Campus, and a bachelor's degree in Sociology from the University of Michigan.
"I am passionate about creating pathways for students to access career opportunities on the water and I'm excited to help grow the Professional Mariner program at OCC and to support the School of Sailing and Seamanship in providing maritime training to the community," Hirsch says. "Maritime education provides a unique opportunity for students, not only to receive valuable job training that will earn them strong jobs in our region, but also to gain hands-on experience practicing leadership, decision making, and risk-management skills that can be taken anywhere."