Associate in Science
This is a Limited Access program.
To educate students in every phase of funeral services so that program graduates are prepared for entry-level employment in funeral service.
The Funeral Services Program is an Associate in Science degree (A.S.) program. It is offered in an innovative and flexible learning environment to develop students who have an interest in becoming professional end-of-life care givers. The curriculum integrates entry-level knowledge of funeral directing, technical skills, and scenarios in an on-campus laboratory. The program has an active practicum learning environment by partnering with area funeral professionals to allow the student to experience firsthand and receive knowledge of actual funeral procedures. The program is committed to encourage lifelong learning in a positive non-discriminatory and supportive environment to enhance community involvement, scholarly research, and a better-quality life, and respect for the dead.
This A.S. degree program in funeral services requires a minimum of two years of college education, but students who have completed all general education courses upon admission to the professional phase of the program may be able to complete the program in a minimum of 16 months. Because the funeral services program includes mortuary science and basic science courses, high school preparation should include biology and chemistry. In addition, the program includes courses in liberal arts (such as English, humanities, and ethics), sciences (such as anatomy and pathology), and clinical sciences (such as embalming and restorative arts). The Florida licensure process requires passing the National Board Examination (a written comprehensive examination), serving a one-year internship under the direction of a licensed funeral director and embalmer, and passing a Florida examination on rules and regulations.
All courses in the funeral services program are offered online except for three lab classes in Restorative Art and Embalming which are held on the FSCJ North Campus. In addition, the professional practicum is conducted in a local funeral home. A minimum grade of C or better must be achieved in all professional coursework and funeral services coursework.
National Board Examination Statistics
National Board Examination pass rates, graduation rates and employment rates for this and other ABFSE-accredited programs are available at abfse.org in the Directory of Accredited Programs.
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A technical certificate, Florida Funeral Director (6154) (T.C.) , is included as an option within this degree program. Students may pursue the A.S. degree and earn the technical certificate while completing the requirements for the degree, or pursue the certificate to develop or upgrade their skills. Contact an advisor to determine the career education path that is best for you.
Please note that by being enrolled in this degree program you may automatically meet the requirements for the aforementioned technical certificates. If you meet the requirements for the technical certificate, as a result of being enrolled in this degree program, you may automatically be awarded the technical certificate upon meeting its requirements as well. If you choose to opt out of this automatic awarding of a technical certificate, please contact an advisor to do so.
This academic program is designed to meet specific state or professional needs. It is not accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education. Students graduating from this program are not eligible to take the National Board Examination or any state board examination for which graduation from an ABFSE accredited program is required.
Funeral directors interview the family members of the deceased to facilitate and assist with the arrangements for the funeral services. Services include coordination with clergy members or other persons who will officiate, the logistics of funerals, preparing obituary notices and having them placed in newspapers, arranging for pallbearers and clergy, scheduling with the cemetery the opening and closing of a grave, decorating and preparing the sites of all services, and providing for the transportation of the remains, mourners, and flowers between sites. They also direct preparation and shipment of remains for out-of-state burial. Embalming is a sanitary, cosmetic, and preservative process through which the body is prepared for interment. Funeral directors also handle the paperwork involved with the person’s death.
Upon completion of coursework, Florida State College at Jacksonville does not guarantee employment or salary in a given field of study. Any jobs or salaries mentioned are given as examples of potential employment not a representation of guaranteed income. Graduates may need to seek employment outside the local area.
Licensure in the State of Florida is regulated by the Florida Division of Cemetery and Consumer Services. Florida Law requires that a student graduate from an accredited ABFSE Funeral Services program (A.A. or A.S. degree or higher) and must apply for licensure as a Funeral Director Intern, or as a dual licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer intern. (Note: All applications are reviewed by the Division and referred to the State Board for approval or disapproval.)
Applications for internship can be found at the Divisions website at myfloridacfo.com/Division/funeralcemetery/ or by calling 1-800-323-2627 for more information on which forms to use. The internship must be served at a funeral establishment that is licensed by the State of Florida as a training facility.
Funeral services students who have successfully completed 75% or more of their funeral services education and are currently enrolled to complete their program may also apply for an internship (with verification from their college). Intern applications are required by the state to submit fingerprints and to go through a criminal background check. Any criminal conviction(s) must be disclosed on the application. A criminal conviction may impede an individual’s approval by the Division or Board at their discretion.
Applicants may take their National Board Examinations any time after completion of the Funeral Services program (with College approval). Before the completion of their internship, individuals must have taken and passed all sections of the National Board Examinations with a score of 75% or better on each section and have passed the Florida Laws and Rules Examination with a score of 75% or better and complete their one-year internship to be eligible to apply for licensure as a Florida Funeral Director or Funeral/Director Embalmer as well as meet all criteria as put forth in Florida Statute 497 Part III (497.365 to 497.393). Exam study materials are available from the Florida Division of Cemetery and Consumer Services at myfloridacfo.com/Division/funeralcemetery/Licensing/StudyGuide.htm. (Note: Students are recommended to purchase a copy of the study guide directly from the Division.)
Program Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the Funeral Services Program at Florida State College at Jacksonville, students will be able to:
- 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.
The Associate in Science in Funeral Services degree program at Florida State College at Jacksonville is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE), 992 Mantua Pike, Suite 108, Woodbury Heights, NJ 08097, (816) 233-3747. Web: abfse.org.
National Board Examinations pass rates, graduation rates and employment rates for this and other ABFSE-accredited programs are available at abfse.org.
Acceptance into the Funeral Services program is based upon academic performance and other criteria. To be considered as a qualified applicant, individuals must complete the following by the application deadline:
- Acceptance to Florida State College at Jacksonville.
- A minimum 2.0 grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale in all college work to be used for the degree.
- Submit current Health Education Systems, Inc. Admission Assessment (HESI/A2 Elselvier A2 Preadmission Test Scores). Note: A complete HESI/A2 administration is required and is made up of nine (9) sub-tests that must be completed in one sitting. Scores are taken from a single complete administration that is most advantageous to the applicant. Average scores of 65% on three combined sub-tests is required: grammar, reading comprehension and vocabulary.
- Completion of the Funeral Services program application.
- Proof of high school completion required. If applicable, all postsecondary transcripts are required.
- Completion of 10-credit hours of prerequisite coursework prior to the application deadline for the Funeral Services program and prior to beginning the Professional coursework (FSE prefix) phase of the Funeral Services program.
Note: Admissions preference is given to fully qualified candidates who have met all entrance criteria, including the satisfaction of prerequisite courses. Should seats remain available in the program cohort, applicants who fulfill admissions criteria prior to the start of the program will be considered next, followed by those with the highest number of completed prerequisite courses. Qualified applicants with pending prerequisite course requirements will receive a conditional acceptance letter outlining the remaining criteria for full program admission.
The application deadline is May 15 of each year with classes starting in the fall term.
Need More Information? Contact:
Call (904) 713-4545