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Associate in Science/Associate in Applied Science

Funeral Services (2161)

This is a limited access program.

Mission Statement
Creating competent, ethical, and confident entry-level funeral directors and embalmers committed to professional development through life-long learning in a positive, non-discriminatory and supportive learning environment.

Most funeral directors see their work more as a ministry than as a business career. Families in the midst of trauma call you for guidance, kindness and understanding. They rely on you to handle the insurance, place of burial, veteran’s benefits, obituaries, travel arrangements, the funeral service and sometimes the reception afterwards. Often you work with clients planning their own funerals. And frequently you will serve the family after everyone else has gone home. Funeral directors are increasingly involved in aftercare, helping people adjust to their loss and adapt to changed lives.

This limited access associate degree program in funeral services requires a minimum of two years of college education, but students who have completed all general education courses may be able to complete the program in a minimum of sixteen (16) months. The program is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) and designed in partnership with funeral homes throughout the area. Your instructors are field professionals with an expertise in both the business and science of funeral services.

Your comprehensive training includes a one-year internship under the direction of a licensed funeral director and embalmer. During this time you will gain a full experience in all services provided by the funeral home, including removal of the deceased, embalming, preparation, dressing, death certificates and service arrangements.

Career Opportunities, Rapid Placement
The combination of a large, aging population and a shift in the business model from private funeral homes to multi-site organizations has created a need for location managers, division mangers, area vice presidents and other local and regional positions. Women in particular excel in this field as directors, sales counselors and executives. It is projected that by 2015, the majority of Florida’s funeral directors will be women.

Annual Salaries
On average, funeral directors in Duval County earned about $40,000 annually, with potential for rapid advancement.

Application Procedure
Funeral services is a selective access program and continuance in the program is limited based upon academic performance and criteria. Because the program includes mortuary science and basic science courses, high school preparation should include biology and chemistry. In addition, the program includes courses in liberal arts (such as English, humanities, and ethics), sciences (such as anatomy and pathology) and clinical sciences (such as embalming and restorative arts).

  1. A minimum 2.0 grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale in all college work to be used for the degree.
  2. Completion of Funeral Services program application.

Completion of the Required Pre-Technical Coursework
The required courses for admission to the technical phase of the Funeral Services program are:
  ENC 1101 English Composition I
  BSC 2020C Human Biology
  HSC 1531 Medical Terminology
  *Social and Behavioral Sciences
These courses must be completed at a minimum before a student will be considered for admission to the program.

National Board Examination (NBE) Statement
After January 1, 2004, each accredited program in funeral service education must require that each funeral service education student take the National Board Examination (NBE) as a requirement for graduation.

Certification and Licensing
The Florida licensure process requires 1) passing the NBE (a written comprehensive examination), 2) serving a one-year internship under the direction of a licensed funeral director and embalmer and 3) passing a Florida examination on rules and regulations.

National Board Exam Statistics
Year Number of
Number Who
2004 17 11 65%
2005 7 5 71%
2006 15 10 67%

This program articulates into a four-year program at the University of North Florida. See more information on articulation.

The Funeral Services Program at Florida Community College is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE), 3424 Ashland Avenue, Suite U, St. Joseph, Missouri 64506, telephone 816.233.3747 (www.abfse.org).

The annual passage rate of first time takers on the National Board Examination (NBE) for the most recent three-year period for this institution and all ABFSE accredited funeral service education programs is posted on the ABFSE Web site.

Estimated cost of tuition is $4,781 (for Florida residents, as of 7/06). Contact the program manager for additional costs (textbooks, materials, fees).

More Information Online
State Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers

Funeral Services (2161)

General Education Courses
ENC 1101 English Composition I 3
  *Mathematics 3
  *Humanities 3
***BSC 2020C Human Biology 4
  *Social and Behavioral Science 3
  Credit Hours 16

Professional Courses
**APA 1001 Applied Accounting 3
BUL 2131 Business Law I — The Legal Environment of Business 3
HSC 1531 Medical Terminology (for Health Professionals) 3
PHI 1603 Applied Ethics 3
HSC 1524 Introduction to Infectious Disease 2

Funeral Services Courses
FSE 1000 Introduction to Funeral Services 3
FSE 1105 Thanatochemistry 2
FSE 1204 Funeral Services Computer Applications 2
FSE 2202 Funeral Home Management 3
FSE 2060 Funeral Directing 3
FSE 2061 Thanatolgy 3
FSE 2080 Funeral Law 3
FSE 2100 Embalming I 3
FSE 2100L Embalming Clinical I 1
FSE 2120 Restorative Art 3
FSE 2120L Restorative Art Laboratory 1
FSE 2140 Embalming II 3
FSE 2140L Embalming Clinical II 1
FSE 2946 Professional Practicum I 2
FSE 2201 Funeral Home Operations 3
FSE 2160 Funeral Pathology 3
FSE 2930 Funeral Services Professional Review 1
FSE 2947 Professional Practicum II 2
  Credit Hours 56

Total Credit Hours: 72

*Refer to A.S. degree General Education Requirements.
**Any higher level accounting course may be substituted for APA 1001.
***The BSC 2010C prerequisite has been waived for students enrolled in this program.

You have two options in this program: the associate in science (A.S.) degree, which can prepare you for employment or transfer to a state university, and the associate in applied science (A.A.S.) degree, which is intended primarily for students who want immediate employment after graduation. If you choose the A.S. degree you must take MAC 1105, MGF 1106 or a higher level mathematics. The A.A.S. degree requires MAT 1033 or higher. Please see an advisor to determine the option that is best for you.

Record of Conviction of a Crime
Clinical agencies may require students to undergo drug screening and criminal background checks prior to placement in the agencies for clinical experiences. Students whose drug screening and criminal background checks are unsatisfactory may be denied access to clinical experiences by the clinical agencies. Withdrawal from the program may be necessary if students cannot be placed for clinical experiences.Clinical agencies may require students to undergo drug screening and criminal background checks prior to placement in the agencies for clinical experiences. Students who are unable to complete the clinical requirements after acceptance into selective access programs are not eligible for refunds of tuition.

Program Aims
The Funeral Services Program at Florida Community College has as its central aim recognition of the importance of funeral service education personnel as:

  1. members of a human services profession,
  2. members of the community in which they serve,
  3. participants in the relationship between bereaved families and those engage in the funeral service profession,
  4. professionals knowledgeable of and compliant with federal, state, provincial/territorial and local regulatory guidelines in the state of Florida, as well as
  5. professionals sensitive to the responsibility for public health, safety and welfare in caring for human remains.

Program Goals
The goals of the Funeral Services Program at Florida Community College are as follows.

  1. To enlarge the background and knowledge of students about the funeral service profession.
  2. To educate students in every phase of funeral services, and to help enable them to develop the proficiency and skills necessary for the profession.
  3. To educate students concerning the responsibilities of the funeral services profession to the community at large.
  4. To emphasize high standards of ethical conduct.
  5. To provide a curriculum at the post secondary level of instruction.
  6. To encourage research in the field of funeral services.
  7. To serve as a liaison to funeral service practitioners and the community at large.
  8. Provide an integrated Funeral Services curriculum for the benefit of our students and community.
  9. Provide a program of continuing education in Funeral Services for the benefit of our graduates and other Funeral Services professionals practicing in our community.

Program Objectives
The objectives of the Funeral Services Program at Florida Community College are as follows.

  1. Prepare students for entry level into the funeral services profession. This includes educating students in every part of funeral services including developing the skills necessary to function in the field. Students will have a thorough understanding of the background of the profession and will understand the profession’s role as a human services profession and the profession’s responsibilities to the community at large.
  2. Establish a student-centered environment. Students will be guaranteed access to faculty advisement and counseling with appropriate interventions as needed.
  3. Establish clinical affiliations with local funeral homes and contractors.
  4. Promote student retention and success. Remediation services and the full complement of college resources (Career Development Center, Library, Learning Center, counseling, advising, scholarships and financial aid) will be made available to students individually or in groups to facilitate retention and success. The Funeral Services Advisory Committee will provide input on how the program is meeting the needs of employers in the community.
  5. Implement continuing workforce education programs to meet the needs of graduates and funeral services professionals in the community to meet the state of Florida requirements for licensure renewal.
  6. Emphasize the highest standards of ethical conduct.
  7. Encourage research in the field of funeral services through class assignments and individual and group projects.
  8. Offer an integrated curriculum comprised of general, technical and clinical education at the postsecondary level.
  9. Assure the quality of the clinical experience.
  10. Foster awareness of the state of Florida’s statutory rules and regulations governing funeral directors and embalmers.
  11. Consult with the Funeral Services Advisory Committee and representatives of the funeral services business.
  12. Conduct in-service education for affiliate faculty in the clinical training facilities on request.
  13. Evaluate the program qualitatively and quantitatively, and provide flexibility for changes indicated by the evaluation process.
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