Starpath School of Navigation

Starpath School of Navigation, Seattle, WA,
10th anniversary of excellence in online navigation and weather training.

When we launched our first online course in 2001 we were basing our program on 20 years of classroom experience with more than 26,000 students, but we still had a lot to learn in this new format. At that time even the universities were just beginning to take advantage of online communications with their students. Few had actual courses. It took some 8 or 9 years to develop. Now we are proud to say that we have matched and in many ways surpassed what we could offer in the classroom.

Our biggest surprise was students get far more individual help from instructors in our online courses than they could ever get in the physical classroom. There was just not enough classroom time, and many were shy about asking in public. These limits are overcome online, and we can not only answer in depth with cross references to live material, we can more often than not refer to similar questions already answered in our 10 years of archived classroom discussion in six different courses.

Students work at their own pace, on their own schedule. All of our courses are intended for beginners but include advanced topics for those who wish to pursue them. We can offer online more content for less cost because students can choose to print documents themselves or use online versions. We provide ebooks of all texts, so students can start work immediately after signing up online, as they wait for the printed materials to be mailed.

The online courses are a wonderful example of global communications. We have both US and Australian instructors, so we can teach worldwide marine weather with a global perspective while taking advantage of the reversed sailing seasons. Many mariners prefer to do their navigation study during the bad weather when they can’t be sailing. This keeps our instructors busy all year long.

Our courses are described at, which includes an in depth article with more details about online learning and testimonials from past students.

For more information: David Burch,