Friday, December 8, 2023

Local Community College to Offer Virginia’s First Funeral Directing Degree

cemetery stock image
Tidewater Community College to offer Virginia’s first funeral directing degree. (Pexels)

HAMPTON ROADS — Tidewater Community College (TCC) has announced that it will introduce a new funeral directing degree this fall. This is the first program of its kind in Virginia.

The Associate of Applied Science in Funeral Directing degree is a 61-credit program which is crafted to prepare students to provide compassion and care for families and individuals who are grieving. Additionally, the program also gives students a working knowledge of the funeral industry business.

“This program creates a path to licensure for people who don’t want to be in the preparation room,” said Frank Walton, TCC’s Funeral Services program head and owner of Walton Funeral Home. “Students will gain insights into funeral home operations and management while learning to provide care for grieving families.

The program, which is offered entirely online, incudes courses including the psychology of death and dying, introduction to business, principles of public speaking, as well as business laws of funeral management.

Students will also be required to participate in 2,000 hours externship at a local funeral home. TCC notes that this is important in order to provide degree candidates with hands-on training. Additionally, students will be required to pass a state funeral laws exam and a state board exam in order to practice in Virginia. Upon graduation, students will also be certified crematory operators.

This program differs from the school’s Associate of Applied Science in Funeral Services. This program focuses on the field of mortuary science and required courses include: chemistry, restorative art, and funeral service law. Additionally, students in this program have hands-on training at the school’s embalming lab located at the Virginia Beach campus, located at 1700 College Crescent.

Following the Virginia General Assembly passing a bill to approve separate licenses for funeral directors and embalmers, TCC developed this program.

The fall semester for TCC begins August 23. For more information, email or call the Virtual Student Support Team at (757)822-1111.


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