Funeral Service Technology

Funeral ServiceThe Funeral Service Technology Degree program at the DeSoto Center is designed to prepare students for immediate employment as funeral directors and embalmers. The program offers funeral service education for this unique and highly personalized profession. Recognizing the importance of the care of the bereaved, the department has designed a curriculum not only to educate the student in the care of the deceased, but also in the care of the living. To meet this need, classes are offered in funeral directing, funeral home management, sociology, grief, and death related psychology.

The Funeral Service Technology degree program at Northwest Mississippi Community college is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education  (ABFSE), 992 Mantua Pike, Suite 108, Woodbury Heights, NJ 08097; phone: (816) 233-3747; fax: (856) 579-7354; web: The two-year program leads to an Associate of Applied Science degree.

The National Board Exam (NBE), required for graduation from Northwest Mississippi Community College Funeral Service Technology Program, is a component of licensure in most states.  You must check with your state for specific requirements.  The cost of the NBE is approximately $570.

The central objective of Northwest Mississippi Community College’s ABFSE-accredited Funeral Service Technology program is to educate students in every phase of funeral service so that program graduates are prepared for entry-level employment in funeral service.  In support of this objective, NWCC has adopted the following Learning Outcomes:

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the accredited program, students will be able to:

  1. Explain the importance of funeral service professionals in developing relationships with the families and communities they serve.
  2. Identify standards of ethical conduct in funeral service practice.
  3. Interpret how federal, state, and local laws apply to funeral service in order to ensure compliance.
  4. Apply principles of public health and safety in the handling and preparation of human remains.
  5. Demonstrate technical skills in embalming and restorative art that are necessary for the preparation and handling of human remains.
  6. Demonstrate skills required for conducting arrangement conferences, visitations, services, and ceremonies.
  7. Describe the requirements and procedures for burial, cremation, and other accepted forms of final disposition of human remains.
  8. Describe methods to address the grief-related needs of the bereaved.
  9. Explain management skills associated with operating a funeral establishment.
  10. Demonstrate verbal and written communication skills and research skills needed for funeral service practice.

PROGRAM INFORMATION – Northwest Mississippi

Year Total enrolled # of New Students # of Grads Timely Grad* Graduation rate Did not finish** Overall % Employed Employed In FS
2019 21 17 4 4/4 80% 13 100% 75%
2018 30 17 6 6/6 86% 8 100% 100%
2017 22 12 4 3/4 61% 4 75% 75%

*Timely graduation = complete program in 1½ times designated program length.

**Left before completing the program; did not finish. 


3 year Average % Pass Arts % Pass Sciences
2019 – 2017 73% 64%
2018 – 2016 67% 74%
2017 – 2015 68% 86%
Most recent # Takers # Passed
2019 Arts 2 2
2019 Sciences 2 1

National Board Examination pass rates, graduation rates, and employment rates for this and other ABFSE-accredited programs are available at To request a printed copy of this program’s scores and rates, go to Room 221 at the NWCC DeSoto Center or by email at or by telephone at 662.280.6136.

Ebone Dukes, Instructor. Telephone 662.280.6137.
Angela Hopper, Funeral Service Program Director. Telephone 662.280.6136.

Download the Application Packet here.

For degree plans go to myNWCC and click on the  Degree Plans tab.

For Special Programs Admission Information click here.

Career/Technical Contact Form – Use this form to request that a Career/Tech Counselor contact you.

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