North Shore Community College will offer an Associate in Applied Science in Funeral Services program beginning this fall to prepare students for entry-level positions in the funeral services field. The college is already accepting its first class of 28 students from many interested applicants.
With close to 3,000 job openings over the next ten years, the creation of this program is timely. The 72-credit associate degree will have in-state tuition and fees of $16,500, roughly 1/3 the cost of the college’s closest competitor. Average wages for embalmers, morticians, and funeral service managers are $46,900, $68,500 and $91,600 respectively. With the closure of Mt. Ida College, there are currently only two institutions in Massachusetts offering degrees in funeral services.
Trained funeral service professionals provide compassion and skilled, valuable assistance during very difficult times. The funeral business is a $20 billion per year industry. The three employment categories that require a degree in funeralservices are embalmer, funeral service manager and mortician. Across New England, those three categories currently represent 2,742 jobs. Over the next ten years, the industry will require 2,964 new employees across those three categories. That number represents both new positions as well as replacements for retirements and others leaving the field.
The Funeral Service degree program will combine classroom, laboratory and clinical training experiences according to the guidelines of the American Board of Funeral Service Education. The curriculum follows the guidelines of the American Board of Funeral Service Education, and upon graduation, the students are prepared to take a National Funeral ServiceBoard Examination.
The program will be offered in a one-day-per-week, hybrid format, with most classes running for 7 weeks instead of 15. This will allow students to attend full time, while only concentrating on 3 classes at the same time. With all classes being offered on Tuesdays, students will also be able to continue working full time while attending classes.
“We designed our program with substantial input from local funeral directors, including the Solomine family of Lynn, and we are very grateful for their interest, support and guidance,” said NSCC President Patricia A. Gentile. The degree program was approved by the MA Board of Higher Education as a financial aid-eligible program.
Jamye D. Jeter Cameron, MBA, CFSGM, CFSP, CCO, a third generation Funeral Director and Embalmer has been hired to lead the program and will begin in mid August.
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