Funeral Service Education - Degree

Restricted Entry, Associate of Applied Science Degree Programmhcc.edu/FSE

Faculty Adviser

Doug Ferrin: 503-491-6940 | Doug.Ferrin@mhcc.edu

Accreditation

The Funeral Service Education degree program at Mt. Hood Community College is accredited by:

American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE)
992 Mantua Pike
Suite 108
Woodbury Heights, NJ 08097
Phone: 816-233-3747

The Associate of Applied Science degree in Funeral Service Education can be earned by following a prescribed course of instruction, which requires six quarters in residence. Transferring all non-FSE classes from accredited institutions may allow a student to complete his/her professional coursework in a three-quarter sequence, beginning each fall quarter.

One condition of graduation from the Funeral Service Education program is taking the National Board Examination (NBE), which is administered by the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards.  Most states require that applicants pass the NBE as one condition of receiving a license to practice funeral directing and embalming. National Board Examination pass rates, graduation rates, and employment rates for this and other ABFSE-accredited programs are available at www.abfse.org/html/dir-or.html in the Directory of Accredited Programs. To request a printed copy of this program’s scores and rates, go to room AC1554.

All core courses must be completed within 5 years in order for the degree to be awarded.

Program Outcomes

At the completion of this program, students should be able to:

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

Note: When multiple course options are available, the recommended selection is listed first. All Funeral Service Education degree requirements must be completed with a grade of “C” or better. Before beginning the fourth quarter of the program, complete all non-FSE courses. 

For the most part, courses that fulfill general education requirements can be taken in any term. 

Plan of Study Grid
First Quarter
FallCredits
MO111 Medical Terminology (Course offered online) 4
FSE121 Funeral Service Orientation 3
WR121 English Composition (Course offered online) 4
Health and Physical Education requirement 3
Select one of the following: 4
Introduction to Business Computing (Course offered online)  
Computer Concepts I (Course offered online)
and Computer Concepts Lab I (Course offered online)
 
 Credits18
Second Quarter
Winter
FSE122 Funeral Service Sociology 3
MTH065
Beginning Algebra II (Course offered online) (or higher)
or Quantitative Reasoning I
4-6
PSY201
General Psychology (Course offered online)
or General Psychology (Course offered online)
4
BI100
Survey of Body Systems (Course offered online)
or Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology I (Course offered online)
or Human Anatomy and Physiology I (Course offered online)
4
 Credits15-17
Third Quarter
Spring
AC110
General Accounting I
or Financial Accounting I (Course offered online)
4
FSE124 Funeral Service Law 4
CH104
General Chemistry for Health Professions
or Basic Chemistry
or General Chemistry I
5
COMM100
Basic Speech Communication (Course offered online)
or Fundamentals of Public Speaking (Course offered online)
or Introduction to Intercultural Communication (Course offered online) (Cultural Literacy course)
or Interpersonal Communication (Course offered online)
or Small Group Communication
or Psychology of Human Relations (Course offered online)
3-4
 Credits16-17
Fourth Quarter
Fall
Before beginning the fourth quarter of the program, complete all non-FSE courses.  
FSE211 Embalming I 4
FSE215 Cremation 2
FSE219 Funeral Service Chemistry 3
FSE221 Funeral Home Management I 3
FSE225 Funeral Directing 3
 Credits15
Fifth Quarter
Winter
FSE212 Embalming II 4
FSE214 Restorative Art 3
FSE216
Funeral Service Microbiology
or Microbiology
3-4
FSE222 Funeral Home Management II 3
FSE227 Funeral Service Counseling 3
 Credits16-17
Sixth Quarter
Spring
FSE213 Embalming III 3
FSE217 Funeral Service Pathology 3
FSE240 Funeral Service Clinical Practicum 1 6
FSE245 Funeral Service Issues 3
 Credits15
 Total Credits95-99

Admission Information

Prospective students must satisfactorily meet program admission criteria and the application deadline to be considered for admission. Application information is available on our website at mhcc.edu/FSE. Once you have read the application materials, if you have questions about the admission process, email LRAdmissions@mhcc.edu.

FSE121 Funeral Service Orientation

Credits 3Fall

Registration Requirement: Acceptance into the Funeral Service Education program.

A survey course of funeral trends and history from ancient days to present. Specialized vocabulary of funeral service is introduced.

FSE122 Funeral Service Sociology

Credits 3Winter

Registration Requirement: Acceptance into the Funeral Service Education program.

This course analyzes the interplay of societies and funeralization, surveys religious and ethnic funeral customs found in American society, and explores families and family roles in the funeral.

FSE124 Funeral Service Law

Credits 4Spring

Registration Requirement: Acceptance into the Funeral Service Education program.

A survey course of relevant legal principles. Mortuary law, probate law and business law are reviewed. Emphasis is placed on legal responsibilities of the funeral service practitioner.

FSE211 Embalming I

Credits 4Fall

Registration Requirement: Second year standing in the Funeral Service Education program.

In this course, students are introduced to practical embalming theory supported by learning of injection methods, types of embalming agents, post-mortem conditions and their treatment. Students participate in embalming lab throughout the course.

Additional Course Fee: $600.00

FSE212 Embalming II

Credits 4Winter

Registration Requirement: FSE211 with a grade of "C" or better, and second-year standing in the Funeral Service Education program.

The lecture portion of the course focuses on systemic circulation, distribution and diffusion of fluid and embalming chemistry.

Additional Course Fee: $600.00

FSE213 Embalming III

Credits 3Spring

Registration Requirement: FSE212 with a grade of "C" or better.

Lecture classes place an emphasis on special embalming problems, such as discolorations, decomposition, edema, dehydration and contagious and infectious cases. Students participate in embalming lab throughout the course.

Additional Course Fee: $600.00

FSE214 Restorative Art

Credits 3Winter

Registration Requirement: Co-requisite: FSE212 with a grade of "C" or better, and second-year standing in the Funeral Service Education program.

A study of the anatomy of the face and head, surface anatomy and physiognomic forms, reconstructions of facial tissues employing different media, general restorative treatments, projection, form and color in the restorative process.

FSE215 Cremation

Credits 2Fall

Registration Requirement: Second-year status in the Funeral Service Education program.

This course introduces students to cremation and its associated processes, options and legal requirements. Students will be prepared to assist bereaved clients with cremation choices.

FSE216 Funeral Service Microbiology

Credits 3Winter

Registration Requirement: Acceptance into the Funeral Service Education program.

A study of microorganisms with emphasis on pathogens and infectious processes. Applications are made to personal health and public health concerns of embalmers and funeral directors.

FSE217 Funeral Service Pathology

Credits 3Spring

Registration Requirement: Acceptance into the Funeral Service Education program. Co-requisite: AH110 or MO114 or equivalent medical terminology course.

A survey of disease processes: etiology, pathogenesis, homeostatic mechanisms and regressive tissue changes. Implications of forensic pathology for funeral service professionals are considered.

FSE219 Funeral Service Chemistry

Credits 3Fall

Registration Requirement: Acceptance into the Funeral Service Education program; and CH104, CH151, or CH221 with a grade of "C" or better; or equivalent.

A basic survey of inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry and biochemistry as they relate to the embalming and decomposition processes. Emphasis is placed on components and their uses in embalming fluids.

FSE221 Funeral Home Management I

Credits 3Fall

Registration Requirement: Second-year standing in the Funeral Science Education program.

The role and function of the funeral director as an effective manager is explored. Considerations in establishing a funeral home are covered. Emphasis is placed on management functions of planning, organizing, motivating, directing and controlling. Human relations as they relate to management of personnel are discussed.

FSE222 Funeral Home Management II

Credits 3Winter

Registration Requirement: FSE221 with a grade of "C" or better.

This course examines business operations within funeral service. Emphasis is placed on merchandising principles as they are related to the funeral business. Mock arrangements in which students set up a large room with merchandise and offices for the purpose of making practice arrangements with the community are part of this class.

FSE225 Funeral Directing

Credits 3Fall

Registration Requirement: Acceptance into the Funeral Service Education program.

A survey of the funeral directors responsibilities: funeral arrangements, conduct of the funeral, visitation, final disposition and responsibilities of the family in need.

FSE227 Funeral Service Counseling

Credits 3Winter

Registration Requirement: Second-year standing in the FSE program.

Analysis of the funeral director's role as counselor in matters pertaining to death, dying, grief, bereavement and mourning. Counseling principles are applied to the funeral service setting.

FSE240 Funeral Service Clinical Practicum

Credits 6Summer/Spring

Registration Requirement: Instructor consent is required.

A term-long clinical practicum experience served in local funeral homes; learning experiences are guided by faculty and supervised by a funeral home preceptor. FSE program faculty will help students find clinical sites. Students take three credit hours of FSE240A in summer, fall, winter or spring, or six credits in FSE240 in summer or spring, for six credits overall.

FSE240A Funeral Service Clinical Practicum

Credits 3Summer/Fall/Winter/Spring

Registration Requirement: Instructor consent is required. Students must obtain a state intern license. The intern license requires a criminal background check.

A term-long clinical practicum experience served in local funeral homes; learning experiences are guided by faculty and supervised by a funeral home preceptor. FSE program faculty will help students find clinical sites. Students take three credit hours of FSE240A in summer, fall, winter or spring, or six credits in FSE240 in summer or spring, for six credits overall.

FSE245 Funeral Service Issues

Credits 3Spring

Registration Requirement: Second-year standing in the FSE program.

This course reviews and tests all 13 subjects that are tested on the National Board Examination (NBE). The NBE is the nationally-recognized standard for FSE graduates and taking the NBE is one requirement of graduation from the FSE program at Mt. Hood Community College. This course is taken during the students' sixth term, their last before graduation.