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Funeral Services

Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.)

Purpose

The Funeral Services Program is designed to provide the necessary technical skills, academic background, hands-on experience, and professional attitudes that will help the student become a fully-licensed funeral director and embalmer. The Funeral Services Program aims to help graduates recognize their importance as members of the funeral services profession. Students will recognize their importance and responsibilities as health care professionals and as community members and be compliant with federal, state and local regulations as they pertain to the practice of funeral services. Students also will understand the importance of trust and ethical behavior in their relationships with bereaved families and members of the funeral service profession who they are called upon to serve. A degree from John Tyler Community College fulfills the educational requirements of the Commonwealth of Virginia and most states to receive a funeral service license, funeral director’s license or embalmer’s license.

Graduates of the funeral services program will be able to:

  1. Perform technical skills such as embalming with minimum supervision.
  2. Implement and direct all aspects of funeral arrangements with minimum supervision.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of how to write a pre-need contract.
  4. Set-up and maintain an OSHA approved preparation room.
  5. Follow all regulations pertaining to funeral services including Regulations of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Federal Trade Commission.
  6. Understand the impact of modern day funeral service practitioners.
  7. Understand all aspects of funeral services including preparation, restorative arts, cremation, at-need arrangements, pre-need arrangements and providing funeral services.
  8. Understand the importance of the history of funeral services and the impact on modern society with encouragement to conduct research along with faculty.
  9. Understand the high standards of ethical conduct as set forth by the funeral services industry.

Accreditation

The Funeral Service program at John Tyler Community College is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE), 3414 Ashland Avenue, Suite G, St. Joseph, Missouri 64506 (816) 233-3747.  Web:  www.abfse.org.

The program is also approved and recognized by the Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers of the Commonwealth of Virginia and is a member of the National Association of Colleges of Mortuary Science.

National Board Exam Pass Rates for John Tyler Community College

Year First-Time Takers Passed % Who Passed
2013
Arts
Science
 
29
27
 
17
15
 
59%
56%
2012
Arts
Science
 
34
32
 
19
17
 
55.9%
53.1%
2011
Arts
Science
 
24
24
 
20
20
 
83%
83%

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.

Unique Aspects of the Funeral Services Program

The funeral services program at John Tyler has been in existence for nearly 40 years, and the program is one of two funeral services programs in Virginia. Because there are limited options for studying funeral services in the Commonwealth, the College’s program is designed to be accommodating for students who may be traveling for class and/or working while enrolled in the program. Students have the opportunity to begin the program in the fall or spring semester and to graduate in the fall or spring. Every funeral services core class is offered every semester in the traditional classroom setting or on the Internet. Traditional classroom funeral services courses at John Tyler are typically offered in a one-day-a-week format, rather than the traditional two- or three-day-a-week format. This type of scheduling alleviates the need for students to attend classes on the Chester Campus more than three times per week. In addition, the program offers some evening courses and courses during the summer semester. The program has an excellent embalming lab, used to train students through hands-on experiences.

Program Requirements and Special Conditions

  1. Be 18 years of age or older.
  2. Graduation from an accredited four-year high school or its equivalent, such as a recognized G.E.D., or other evidence of academic achievement, such as a post-secondary transcript with at least nine credits exclusive of developmental courses, and a safisfactory grade point average from a regionally accredited post-secondary institution.
  3. Complete all developmental English and mathematics courses.
  4. Complete all courses in the Pre-Funeral Services curriculum with a grade of “C” or better.
  5. Students must apply separately for admission to the Funeral Services Program. Effective Fall 2014, the application deadline for admission is July 1 for the fall semester with notification of acceptance by August 1 and November 1 for the spring semester with notification of acceptance by December 1. Notification of acceptance will be conditioned upon final grade posting and calculation of cumulative grade point average.
  6. All applicants must have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA in order to be eligible for admission. The grade point average of courses being accepted for transfer will be calculated for students who wish to transfer credits to be considered toward fulfillment of the Pre-Funeral Services curriculum.
  7. All official transcripts from high school (see #2 above) and other colleges attended must be received by the registrar prior to admission.
  8. Students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 to remain eligible for continued enrollment in the Funeral Services Program. Students may apply for readmission to the program after earning a 2.5 or better cumulative grade point average.
  9. Students who fail to receive a minimum grade of “C” in any course in the A.A.S. Funeral Services degree program may repeat the course one time.  Two unsuccessful attempts in any course in the A.A.S. Funeral Services degree program will be cause for permanent removal from the program.
  10. All funeral services classes taken previously at John Tyler Community College or any other ABFSE accredited school of funeral services must have been completed within 5 years of application to the Funeral Services Program in order to be considered toward the A.A.S. Degree in Funeral Services from John Tyler.
  11. Students must complete the funeral services program within 4 semesters of initial admission into the Funeral Services Program. Exceptions may be made by the Department Chair on a case-by-case basis.
  12. All students must provide documentation of completion of the Hepatitis-B vaccination series (have completed two of three doses) prior to beginning FNS 113, FNS 114 or FNS 214. Students who do not wish to receive the Hepatitis-B vaccination must sign a declination statement.

Program Curriculum

1st Semester Credits Standard Course Options
CHM 110 Survey of Chemistry 3 CHM 101
FNS 110 Introduction to Funeral Service 2  
HLT 143 Medical Terminology I 3 HIM 111
ENG 111 College Composition I 3  
SDV Elective 1  
Total Credits 12  
2nd Semester Credits Standard Course Options
ACC 211 Principles of Accounting I 3  
ITE 101 Introduction to Microcomputers 1 Any ITE Course
CST 110 Introduction to Communication 3 CST 100, CST 115
FNS 121 Anatomy for Funeral Service I 3 BIO 141, NAS 161, BIO 145
PSY 116 Psychology of Death and Dying 3  
Total Credits 13  
3rd Semester Credits Standard Course Options
SOC 200 Principles of Sociology 3 SOC 246
FNS 125 Microbiology for Funeral Service 3 BIO 150
FNS 126 Pathology for Funeral Service 3  
FNS 236 Funeral Service Law 3  
Total Credits 12  
4th Semester Credits Standard Course Options
FNS 111 Theory of Embalming I 3  
FNS 113 Theory of Embalming Laboratory I 1  
FNS 211 Restorative Art I 3  
FNS 231 Principles of Funeral Management I 4  
REL Elective 3  
Total Credits 14  
5th Semester Credits Standard Course Options
FNS 112 Theory of Embalming II 3  
FNS 114 Theory of Embalming Laboratory II 1  
FNS 212 Restorative Art II 3  
FNS 232 Principles of Funeral Management II 4  
FNS 245 Ethics 3  
Total Credits 14  
     
Total Credits For Program 65  

Notes and Additional Curriculum Options

  1. The Funeral Services Program at John Tyler Community College is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE), 3414 Ashland Avenue, Suite G, St. Joseph, MO, 64506, 816-233-3747; Web: http://www.abfse.org/ and is approved by the State Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers. The program also is a member of the National Association of Colleges of Mortuary Science.
  2. In order to receive the Funeral Service license in the Commonwealth of Virginia, an individual must:
    • complete an accredited program of mortuary science or funeral services;
    • pass the National Board Examination for funeral services as administered by the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining with a minimum score of 75 on the Arts Section and 75 on the Science Section.  (Students in the Funeral Services Program at John Tyler Community College are required to take the exam prior to graduation at an additional cost as determined by the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards.);
    • complete a 3000-hour internship with a licensed funeral services provider in the Commonwealth of Virginia as prescribed by the Regulations of the Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers; and
    • pass the Virginia State Board Examination after completing the educational requirements, the internship, applying and being approved by the Board.
  3. 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 (http://www.abfse.org).
  4. General courses and prerequisite courses can be taken in any order during the first two semesters.
  5. Completion of all courses in the Pre-Funeral Services curriculum with a grade of "C" or better and a 2.5 or better grade point average are prerequisites for placement into the Funeral Services Program.
  6. FNS 245 can only be taken in the last semester and not without prior approval from the Funeral Services Program department chair.
  7. Students are required to take the National Board Examination as part of FNS 245 at an additional cost as determined by the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards.
  8. Students are required to take the National Board Examination before graduation.
  9. Transfer to Four-Year Colleges and Universities – Students should consult their academic advisors and their intended transfer institutions for specific direction in course selection. Required courses for any major at four-year institutions may vary.
  10. Admission to the Funeral Services Program will occur twice per year.  Effective Fall 2014, students will be admitted to the Funeral Services program every fall semester and every spring semester.

Additional Resources
The Funeral Services Program Information Packet is available on the college website.  For more information on the program, please contact Rhonda Keyes Pleasants, department chair, at 804-706-5118 or rpleasants@jtcc.edu.

For additional information on this program, contact Rhonda Keyes Pleasants, department chair, at 804-706-5118 or the Division of Mathematics, Natural and Health Sciences at 804-706-5084 (Chester) or 804-594-1500 (Midlothian).

2014-2015 College Catalog & Student Handbook

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