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Looking for a recession-proof career? Applications are now being accepted for North Shore Community College’s Funeral Service Program, with the priority application deadline being May 26, 2023. An upcoming information session will be held via Zoom on April 26 at 5 p.m.

“Funeral service is both a job and a career path. The industry is growing substantially as is student interest in the program. The occupational outlook predicts that the program will continue to grow 7-8% annually. I am constantly getting calls from businesses looking for help. And, there is a huge wave of industry retirements pending,” said Sarah Stopyra, program coordinator.

NSCC’s Funeral Service Associate Degree Program is designed to prepare graduates for entry-level positions in the funeral services field and provides classroom, laboratory and clinical training experiences. It is located on NSCC’s Danvers Campus.

NSCC’s program opened in the fall of 2019. NSCC’s is a unique model that is popular with students as they can take all their classes in one day, thus are able to retain employment while learning. It is one of only four programs and the least expensive program in New England, and the only one north of Boston, thus enrollment is popular with students from MA, NH, and Maine.

“While some students come to the profession through family businesses, many are driven by a desire to help,” said Stopyra. “We attract a variety of students, everyone brings something different to the program. Half of our students are traditional age right out of high school and the other half are career changers and 80% are female,” Stopyra said. “A common thread is students have a calling for the profession and they want to care for people.” The first cohort had a 100% graduation rate in 2021.

The program is guided by a Program Advisory Board made up of industry professionals who have been extremely helpful, donating equipment when the program started, and have been instrumental in spreading the word about the program and encouraging their staff and others to attend.

“The program has an amazing amount of potential. It’s very exciting to think about where we will be in 5-10 years. It’s good news for the field as previously there were only two local programs with very high price tags. Now there are two affordable community college programs that may be less cost prohibitive to students entering the field. Students can obtain their degree with substantially less debt or even none at all,” Stopyra noted.

To register for the Zoom information session or for more information go to: Funeral Services. If you have questions related to program admissions or applications, please contact info@northshore.edu or call 978-762-4188. If you have program advising-related questions, please contact funeralservices@northshore.edu or call 781-477-2215.

The 72-credit program is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education.

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