2019-2020 College Catalog and Student Handbook 
    Nov 29, 2021  
2019-2020 College Catalog and Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Funeral Services, AAS

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The Funeral Services Program is currently accepting applications for fall 2020 admission. Please click here to apply.

Students who wish to be provisionally placed into the AAS Funeral Services Program should contact the Advising Center at advising@jtcc.edu.


PURPOSE: This two-year degree prepares students for jobs in funeral services. Students who complete this degree are eligible to take the national board exam which is required to become a licensed funeral director. This degree is offered at the Chester Campus. All career-technical degrees are guided by advisory committees comprised of local business leaders.

The Funeral Services Program aims are to help students:

  1. Recognize the importance of funeral service personnel as members of a human services profession.
  2. Recognize the importance of funeral service personnel as members of the community in which they serve.
  3. Recognize the importance of funeral service personnel as participants in the relationship between bereaved families and those engaged in the funeral service profession.
  4. Recognize the importance of funeral service personnel as professionals knowledgeable of and compliant with federal, state, provincial/territorial, and local regulatory guidelines in the geographic area where they practice.
  5. Practice knowledge of safety requirements when working in the preparation room. 

The Funeral Services Program objectives are:

  1. To enlarge the background and knowledge of students about the funeral service profession.
  2. To educate students in every phase of funeral service and to help enable them to develop proficiency and skills necessary for the profession.
  3. To educate students concerning the responsibilities of the funeral service profession to the community at large.
  4. To emphasize high standards of ethical conduct.
  5. To provide a curriculum at the post-secondary level of instruction.
  6. To encourage student and faculty research in the field of funeral services.

CREDENTIALS: An Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree is a major in a career-technical area that takes two years for full-time students to complete.  Although the purpose of an AAS degree is to gain skills for employment, some transfer institutions may accept some or all of the courses from an AAS major. Students who complete this degree are eligible to take the national board exam which is required to become a licensed funeral director.

PROGRAM OUTCOMES: By the completion of this program, students will be expected to demonstrate an intermediate level of competency in the following skills:

 1. Describe the service needs for the pre-need, at-need, and aftercare time frames by evaluating the needs of those who are making funeral arrangements.

 2. Create and plan activities and ceremonies designed to meet the needs of those who mourn.

 3. Demonstrate knowledge of funeral and cremation memorialization and merchandise options.

 4. Conduct an analysis of the human remains to determine the proper current embalming and restorative art procedures.

 5. Demonstrate knowledge of safety requirements when working in the preparation room.

 6. List necessary information for death certificates.

 7. Demonstrate understanding of legal, professional, and ethical issues regarding funeral service.

 8. Demonstrate the “soft skills” required to be an effective member of the funeral service profession including having effective verbal and written communication skills, collegiality, and a professional work ethic and behavior.

ACCREDITATION:  The Funeral Services degree program at John Tyler Community College is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE), 992 Mantua Pike, Suite 108, Woodbury Heights, NJ 08097, 816­233­3747; Web: http://www.abfse.org and is approved by the Commonwealth of Virginia Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers.

UNIQUE ASPECTS OF THE FUNERAL SERVICES PROGRAM: The Funeral Services Program at John Tyler has been in existence for over 45 years, and is one of two funeral services programs in Virginia. Because there are limited options for studying funeral services in the Commonwealth, the College’s program is designed to be accommodating for students who may be traveling for class and/or working while enrolled in the program. Traditional classroom funeral services courses at John Tyler are offered in a one-day-a-week format, rather than the traditional two- or three-day-a-week format. This type of scheduling alleviates the need for students to attend classes on the Chester Campus more than three times per week. In addition, the program offers some evening courses and courses during the summer semester. The program has an on-site embalming lab that is used to train students through hands-on experiences.

Program Requirements and Special Conditions

  1. Students must contact the Advising Center about placement in the Funeral Services Program. In addition to completing a general application to JTCC, students must also complete a Funeral Services Program Interest Form before being provisionally placed into the Funeral Services Program. To be considered for full admission into the Program, students must:
    1. Be 18 years of age or older.
    2. Complete all the non-FNS classes as well as FNS 110 , FNS 121  (or its equivalent BIO 145) and CHM 110  with a grade of “C” or better.
    3. Have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA in all courses that count toward the A.A.S. in Funeral Services. Multiple course attempts will be averaged.
    4. All official transcripts from high school and other colleges attended must be received by the registrar prior to full admission.
    5. Must provide documentation of completion of the Hepatitis-B vaccination series (have completed two of three doses) prior to beginning FNS 113 , FNS 114  or FNS 214 . Students who do not wish to receive the Hepatitis-B vaccination must sign a declination statement.
  2. If there are a limited number of slots for full-admission into the A.A.S. in Funeral Services Program, students will be ranked by GPA and whether they are currently employed in a funeral home. Students who are missing a few pre-requisite courses, with the exception of FNS 110 , FNS 121  or its equivalent and CHM 110 , may be considered for admission if space is available.
  3. Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA to continue in the Program. Students who fail to receive a minimum grade of “C” in any two courses with the prefix FNS will be removed from the Program. A minimum grade of “C” is required for all courses in the Funeral Services Program.
  4. Once receiving full admission into the Funeral Services Program, full-time students will have 4 semesters (including summer) to complete the Program. Part-time students must completed the Program within 6 semesters (including summer). Exceptions may be made by the Funeral Services Dept. Chair on a case-by-case basis.
  5. All Funeral Services courses taken previously at JTCC or any other ABFSE accredited program must have been completed within 5 years of applying for full admission to the Program.

Total Minimum Credits to Complete: 64


Pre-requisite and co-requisite requirements can be found in course details.

Students are strongly encouraged to complete any ENG, MTH, and SDV requirements first.

General education courses and prerequisite courses can be taken in any order.

Completion of the general education, FNS 110 , FNS 121  and CHM 110  courses does not guarantee full admission to the Funeral Services Program (see admission requirements above).

Students should regularly meet with their faculty advisor and check their advisement report by accessing the Student Information System (SIS) through the myTyler portal.

FNS 270 and FNS 290 can only be taken in the last semester. Students must have approval to take these courses from the Funeral Services Program department chair.

In order to receive the Funeral Service license in the Commonwealth of Virginia, an individual must:

  • Complete an accredited program of mortuary science or funeral services;
  • Pass the National Board Examination for funeral services as administered by the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining with a minimum score of 75 on the Arts Section and 75 on the Science Section. ;
  • Complete a 3000-hour internship with a licensed funeral services provider in the Commonwealth of Virginia as prescribed by the Regulations of the Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers; and
  • Pass the Virginia State Board Examination after completing the educational requirements, the internship, applying and being approved by the Board.

Program Information

National Board Examination pass rates, graduation rates, (beginning in 2015) and employment rates (beginning in 2015) for this and other ABFSE-accredited programs are available at www.abfse.org. To request a printed copy of this program’s pass rates and rates, go to Moyar Hall, Room 117D (Chester Campus) or by e-mail at srhue@jtcc.edu or by telephone at (804) 706-5066

Program Information - John Tyer Community College

Year Total Enrolled # of New
# of Grads Timely Grad* Graduation Rate Did Not Finish ** Overall % Employed Employed In FS
2018 36 17 9 9/9 100% 10 100% 100%
2017 57 17 30 30/30 100% 7 87% 80%
2016 88 67 14 12/14 86% 27 86% 64%

* Timely graduation = complete program in 1½ times designated program length.

** Left before completing the program; did not finish.

National Board Statistics - John Tyler Community College

3 Year Average % Pass Arts % Pass Sciences
2016 - 2018 72% 76%
2015 - 2017 75% 73%
2014 - 2016 75% 58%
Most Recent # Takers # Passed
2018 Arts 11 7
2018 Sciences 8 5

To request a printed copy of this program’s rates, visit Moyar Hall, Room 117 (Chester Campus).

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