ABOUT THE CAREER:
Funeral practices and rites vary greatly among cultures and religions. However, funeral practices usually share some common elements - removing the deceased to a mortuary, preparing the remains, performing a ceremony that honors the deceased and addresses the spiritual needs of the family, and carrying out final disposition of the deceased. Funeral directors arrange and direct these tasks for grieving families. Funeral directors also are called morticians or undertakers.
Most funeral directors also are trained, licensed, and practicing embalmers. Embalming is a sanitary, cosmetic, and preservative process through which the body is prepared for interment. Those who work as funeral directors take great pride in their ability to provide comforting and appropriate services.
Employment of funeral directors is expected to increase by 12 percent during the 2006-16 decade, about as fast as average for all occupations. Projected job growth reflects growth in the death care services industry, where funeral directors are employed.
Salaries of funeral directors depend on the number of years of experience in funeral service, the number of services performed, the number of facilities operated, the area of the country, and the director?s level of formal education. Funeral directors in large cities usually earn more than their counterparts in small towns and rural areas. (http://www. bls.gov/oco/ocos011.htm) Median annual earnings for wage and salary funeral directors were $49,620 in May 2006.
A COMPREHENSIVE PROGRAM:
The Funeral Service Education program is a two-year associate of science degree that prepares students for entrylevel positions in funeral service. The program is designed to meet the prerequisites for licensure and employment in the field of funeral service as funeral directors or embalmers. The program consists of a combination of general education and funeral service education courses with related laboratory experience.
The Funeral Service Education Program at American River College is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) 3432 Ashland Avenue, Suite U, St. Joseph, Missouri 64506. PH: (816) 233-3747. Web: www.abfse.org
The annual passage rate of first-time takers on the National Board Examination (NBE) for the most recent three-year period for this institution and all ABFSE accredited funeral service education programs is posted on the ABFSE web site (www.abfse.org).
In addition to college enrollment fees and books, approximately $1700 will be needed for physical examinations and immunizations; malpractice insurance; laboratory scrubs, laboratory coat, and personal protective equipment; National Board Examination fee; and California Funeral Directors and Embalmer examination fees.
APPLICATION AND ENROLLMENT:
To be eligible for the enrollment process, applicants must have fulfilled the following requirements:
- Graduation from an accredited high school in the United States or successful completion of General Education Development (GED) or California High school Proficiency Exam (CHSPE)
- Completion of BIOL 102 (Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology) and FSE 100 (Introduction to Funeral Service) with a minimum grade of "C" or better and have a minimum cumulative college GPA of 2.0, and
- Submit a completed preenrollment application with a Curriculum Planning Summary Sheet completed by an ARC counselor and dated within the semester the pre-enrollment packet is submitted.
DEGREE AND LICENSURE:
The Funeral Service Education Associate in Science (A.S.) Degree may be obtained by completion of the required program, plus general education requirements, plus sufficient electives to meet a 60-unit total. See ARC graduation requirements.
Successful completion of the program qualifies the student to take the California Board Examinations to become a licensed embalmer and licensed funeral director. In order for a student to graduate from the Funeral Service Education Program, the student must maintain a grade of "C" or better in all courses including general education courses and complete the National Board Examination.
WHY AMERICAN RIVER COLLEGE?:
American River College (ARC) is part of the Los Rios Community College District. ARC opened its doors as California's 61st public junior college in 1955. At more than 38,000 students, American River College is among the largest community colleges in the state, and is looked upon as a leader in innovative programs and services. It transfers more students to UC Davis and CSU Sacramento than any other community college. ARC has a complete department of skilled career counselors to help students succeed in college. They are available to provide information about admissions and degree requirements, financial aid opportunities and student services, including tutoring assistance.
To obtain additional information about educational programs in healthcare or the requirements to attend American River College, visit www.arc.losrios.edu or call the Health Education Office at 916.484.8902. Compliance Statement/Nondiscrimination American River College - in compliance with Title VI & VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendment and Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act - does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, age, mental or physical handicaps in any of its policies, programs or activities, including admissions, employment, financial aid and educational services.