Are you interested in the funeral services program?
The program is approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and is now seeking candidacy for accreditation by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE). After the Funeral Service Education program is accredited by ABFSE, graduates will be eligible to take the National Board Exam. Graduates must successfully complete an apprenticeship and the State of Tennessee funeral service law exam to become a licensed funeral director or embalmer.
Classes for this degree are offered at Southwest’s Whitehaven Center, 1234 Finley Road in Memphis.
CAUTION: If you are applying for admission to the Funeral Service Education program, you should contact your state board of funeral service about that state board's approval of this program of instruction.
Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
The Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) for this program are:
- 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.
Goals and Objectives
As a central goal, this program recognizes the importance of funeral service personnel as:
- Members of a human services profession
- Members of the community in which they serve
- Participants in the relationship between bereaved families and those engaged in the funeral service profession
- Professionals knowledgeable of and compliant with federal, state and local regulatory guidelines in the geographic areas where they practice
- Professionals sensitive to the responsibility for public health, safety and welfare in caring for human remains
The program will have at least the following objectives:
- To enlarge the background and knowledge of students about the funeral service profession
- To educate students in every phase of funeral service and to help enable them to develop proficiency and skills needed for the profession
- To educate students concerning the responsibilities of the funeral service profession to the community at large
- To emphasize high standards of ethical conduct
- To provide a curriculum at the post-secondary level of instruction
- To encourage student and faculty research in the field of funeral service
Funeral Service Education graduates will complete 63 semester hours of coursework in the following disciplines:
- Funeral Home Management
- Funeral Directing
- Computer Applications
Law and Ethics
- Business Law
- Funeral Service Law
- Funeral Service Ethics
- Restorative Art
- History and Sociology of Funeral Services
- Funeral Service Psychology and Counseling
See our Academic Catalog listing of required courses for the Funeral Service Education.
Classroom and laboratory instruction are located at our Whitehaven Center, 1234 Finley Rd. in Memphis, Tennessee.
- Ron Johnson, Funeral Service Education Chair
- Whitehaven Center
1234 Finley Rd.
Memphis, Tennessee 38116