Funeral Service Technology
The Funeral Service Technology Degree program is designed to prepare students for immediate employment as funeral directors and embalmers by gaining an Associate of Applied Science degree in Funeral Service Technology. 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.
Note: This program is only offered at the Desoto Center.
- Program Objectives
- How Do I Get Into This Program?
- Scholarship Opportunities
- Grading Policy
- Course Curriculum
- Meet the Team: Faculty Information
- I've Graduated, Now What? (Job Outlook)
- National Board Exam Information
Northwest Funeral Service Program Objective
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.
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.
Minimum admission requirements include:
1. Two Applications
A. Application for admission to Northwest Mississippi Community College with required high school and college transcript(s) and ACT scores (to be sent to the Senatobia campus).
B. Application to the Funeral Service Technology program is available online.
2. The American College Test (ACT) is required for admittance:
A. Composite score of 18.
B. Applicants with less than a composite score of 18 must retake the ACT. (Click here for on campus testing at Northwest.)
C. ACT requirements are waived for applicants who hold a bachelor's degree or higher. (ACT scores are still required.)
3. To transfer from another Funeral Service Technology program, applicants must meet the specific admission requirements as well as:
A. Be in good standing and be eligible to return to their previous school.
B. Provide a statement explaining reasons for transferring to Northwest Mississippi Community College.
C. A grade of "C" or better is required for transfer subjects and must be comparable to those offered at NWCC. (Catalog descriptions are required on transfer subjects.)
D. All courses included in the Comprehensive Review class and those that are tested by the Conference of Funeral Service Examining Board (NBE) will not be accepted unless they have been taken within one (1) year of the transfer request. (FST, Accounting, and Chemistry)
E. See Transfer Credit requirements on page 32 of this Bulletin for graduation requirements.
A. Applications and supporting documents for the Fall Semester (August) must be received by July 15 and for the Spring Semester (January) must be received by November 15.
B. Applicants will be accepted and notified when all of the minimum requirements have been met and approved.
C. If accepted into the program, the applicant must attend a mandatory orientation period prior to registration.
Special admissions requirements:
As applications and supporting documents are submitted, an applicant review will be conducted by an admissions committee. Applicants meeting all of the minimum requirements may be selected into the new class. Each class has a limited enrollment, and selection is made on a competitive basis.
Note: Admission to the college does not guarantee admission into the Funeral Service Technology program.
1. All students applying for readmission will be reviewed by a Funeral Service admissions committee.
2. Students that are enrolled in the Funeral Service Technology program, but miss one full semester
(s) must reapply for admission.
3. Students who have been out of the Funeral Service Technology program for a period of one (1) year or more must repeat all FST courses along with accounting and chemistry.
The following organizations offer scholarships to students currently enrolled or interested in funeral services. American Board of Funeral Service Education https://abfse.org/html/scholarships.html, Service Corporation International https://www.sci-corp.com/careers/scholarships, Funeral Service Foundation https://www.funeralservicefoundation.org/scholarships/.
Ebonē Dukes, CFSP
Funeral Service Program Director
phone: (662) 280-6137 email: email@example.com
Northwest Mississippi Community College
5197 WE Ross Parkway
Southaven, MS 38671
Fax: (662) 280-6161
Click here for a printable summary of the Course Curriculum.
** All courses included in the Comprehensive Review class and those that are tested by the Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards will not be acceptedunless they have been taken within one year of the transfer request (including FST courses, accounting and chemistry).
Ebonē Dukes, CFSP
Program Director, Funeral Service Technology
A.A.S., Northwest Mississippi Community College
B.S., M.B.A. Bethel University
J. Daniel Moore
Instructor, Funeral Service Technology
A.A.S., Northwest Mississippi Community College
B.S. Bryan College
M.A. Church of God Theological Seminary
What about the job market in funeral service?
On a national basis, there are generally more jobs available than there are licensed funeral directors to fill them. However, this varies from region to region and from town to town. Funeral Services is a profession that most people enter only after having had a positive personal experience and not as a result of reading books or watching videos.
What type of person becomes a funeral director?
People enter the Funeral Service profession from a wide variety of backgrounds and possess a variety of motivations. The desire to be of assistance and to work in a human services profession motivates many individuals. Others view funeral services as a relatively “depression proof” profession and enter the profession after serving for a number of years in other careers.Nationally, according to the American Board of Funeral Service Education, approximately 56 percent of the Funeral Service classes that graduated in 2014 were women and almost 40% were over the age of 30.
What type of experience is required for admission?
It is highly recommended, although not required, that the person applying for admission to the funeral service program have prior experience in the funeral home environment from involvement in directing funerals to working with dead human remains as this profession requires a high degree of personal responsibility and intestinal fortitude. The student will be required to participate in clinical practicums which will include actual work in the funeral home and assistance with embalming dead human remains.
How much will I earn?
Salaries vary from region to region, from urban to rural communities and from small to large funeral homes. The overall median annual range, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015 was $44,490 licensed funeral directors. Starting salaries for new funeral service licensees often closely approximated those of starting teachers in the same community.
How about working conditions in funeral services?
You can expect to work a regular schedule of daytime hours plus additional hours in the evening and certain weekends, either on call or in the funeral home. Funeral Services is a 24-hour, 7 day per week profession, although the workload is spread among all funeral home staff. While on duty, the funeral director is expected to dress in business attire. Above all, the funeral director must be personable, sincere, and professional.
How do funeral directors spend their time?
A small percentage of the funeral director’s time is spent preparing bodies for burial. The overwhelming majority of the time is spent working directly with families. For this reason, Funeral Services is referred to as a “human service profession.”
What requirements must be meet to obtain a license to practice funeral service?
You must obtain a license to practice funeral service in the United States. Licensure requirements vary from state to state and it is recommended that you check with your individual state funeral service board to see if the NWCC Funeral Service Program we offer meets your individual state board’s requirements for licensure.In the state of Mississippi, an applicant for a funeral service license must have a high school diploma or equivalent. The applicant must obtain a two-year Associate Degree in Funeral Service Technology/Mortuary Science from an ABFSE accredited Funeral Service Technology Program/Mortuary College, and pass the national board and/or state licensing examination. (Taking the National Board Exam is also a requirement for passing one of the last classes in the NWCC FST program, Comprehensive Review, FST2812). In addition, the student must also complete a 12-month apprenticeship working full-time in a funeral home before applying for a license as funeral director. Applicants for a state license to practice funeral service must be at least 18 years old. For more information on Mississippi State Licensure requirements, you may visit the Mississippi State Board of Funeral Service at www.msbfs.ms.gov.
National Board Exam Pass Rate Statistics:
National Board Examination pass rates, graduation rates, and employment rates for this and other ABFSE-accredited programs are available at www.abfse.org.
*Timely graduation = complete program in 1½ times designated program length.
To request a printed copy of this program's scores and rates, go to Room 222 at Northwest's DeSoto Center in Southaven, or contact Ebonē Dukes at (662) 280-6137 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: www.abfse.org.
The NWCC Funeral Services Technology program has not made a determination on whether the degree meets the state requirements for other US States, Territories, or District of Columbia. Additional information on Funeral Service Technology licensure/certification can be found at National Funeral Directors Association website.