Course Descriptions

SEMESTER I


SOC311 – SOCIAL ASPECTS OF DEATH AND DYING (2 credit hours)

Death in America is studied as it affects both the individual and society. Sociological phenomena related to American attitudes toward death, children and death, terminal illness and hospice care, and suicide are discussed. Special emphasis is placed on their relevance to funeral service practice.


MGT315 – BUSINESS LAW AND ETHICS (3 credit hours)

The basic principles of Business Law and ethics are examined in relation to the funeral service profession and how agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission regulate practices, professional contracts, negotiable instruments, sales, and warranties.


MGT314 – FUNERAL SERVICE MANAGEMENT I (3 credit hours)

Accounting and financial practices for small business owners and operations including the accounting cycle, development and understanding of financial statements, bookkeeping and banking, payroll, and asset depreciation for funeral service and industry professionals.


SCI318 – EMBALMING MICROBIOLOGY & PATHOLOGY (3 credit hours)

Microbial and pathological conditions are examined and how they relate to death, with a concentration in physical and chemical changes, disease transmission and control, sterilization and disinfection, and the effects of disease states relative to the embalming process.


SCI316 – EMBALMING THEORY I (ET I) (3 credit hours)

An introduction to the clinical laboratory setting and policies, ET I focuses on topographical and cardiovascular anatomy, as well as basic medical terminology. Pre, during, and post embalming considerations are explored along with an introduction to case analysis. Embalming Theory I is a prerequisite for ET II and CMP II, III.


SCI317 – CLINICAL MORTUARY PRACTICE I (CMP I) (1 credit hour)

CMP brings the student into the lab where clinical practices rely heavily upon ET I theories and procedures as the basis for embalming fundamentals and safe clinical practices. Clinical Mortuary Practice is a prerequisite for CMP II, III.

SEMESTER II


SOC322 – PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS IN FUNERAL SERVICE (2 credit hours)

Business and interpersonal relationships in the funeral service profession are explored. Skills are developed which facilitate relating well with employers and colleagues, bereaved families, and the community at large. Students have the opportunity to develop a resume, to make an oral presentation applicable to funeral service, and to practice empathic care giving and funeral arranging skills.


SCI328 – RESTORATIVE ART I (RA I) (3 credit hours)

Emphasis is placed on the natural form and appearance of the cranium and face. Studies include bones and muscles of the head, shapes, proportions, profiles and features. RA lab is a component allowing the students to gain practical experience in modeling and reconstructing features. Wax mediums, cosmetics and color theory are also explored. Restorative Art I is a prerequisite to Restorative Art II.


SCI328L – RESTORATIVE ART I LAB (Credits included in RA I)

Lab application of SCI328 curriculum focusing on modeling and restoration of the human form using armatures and wax.


MGT324 – FUNERAL SERVICE MANAGEMENT II (3 credit hours)

Examines current mortuary law theory, state and federal regulations pertaining to funeral homes as a business and directors as licensed professionals. Explores legal rights, duties, liabilities and the various parties involved when arranging for disposition and the order of the death registration process in the United States. Designed to introduce funeral prearrangements and methods of securing market share through permissible, lawful marketing tactics and funding options.


SOC321 – HISTORICAL TO CONTEMPORARY FUNERAL PRACTICES (3 credit hours)

The Funeral Directing Curriculum focuses on the basic duties, responsibilities, and expectations of those practicing funeral service, with a historical to contemporary perspective. Explores the influences of religion and burial practices in ancient cultures and the evolution of those customs and beliefs into modern day practice. Examining birth cohorts and various religious rites assists funeral service professionals in conducting the arrangement conference, facilitating various types of funerals, from Celebrant services to supplemental services, including fraternal and military honors.


MGT323 – CEMETERY AND CREMATION FUNDAMENTALS (2 credit hours)

A study of the role cemeteries and crematories play within the death care industry. Historical perspectives, both past and present, are discussed as well as their impact on our practices today. The science and statistics behind interment and cremation are presented to provide a greater understanding as to how the funeral industry may better adapt to a rapidly changing landscape.


SCI326 – EMBALMING THEORY II (3 credit hours)

ET II focuses on the application of embalming techniques and fluids. The course explores treating the difficult case including delayed embalming, embalming the infant or child, autopsies, organ and tissue donors, trauma due to accident or illness, decomposition, and burns. Vascular difficulties and moisture considerations are also reviewed. Embalming Theory II is a prerequisite for Embalming Theory III.


SCI327 – CLINICAL MORTUARY PRACTICE II (CMP II) (1 credit hour)

CMP II brings the student into the lab where clinical practices rely heavily upon ET I theories and procedures as the basis for embalming fundamentals and safe clinical practices. Clinical Mortuary Practice I is a prerequisite for CMP II.

SEMESTER III


SOC331 – PSYCHOLOGY OF GRIEF (3 credit hours)

The grief process and the funeral director’s role in facilitating grief are examined. Theories and characteristics of grief are discussed, including unique features of grief related to special losses. Counseling theories and principles are presented and applied to funeral arrangements. Skills are explored in a counseling lab, which includes role-playing. This course must be taken concurrently with Funeral Service Management III and Mortuary Science Capstone.


MGT334 – FUNERAL SERVICE MANAGEMENT III (3 credit hours)

The role and function of the funeral director as manager is defined. Management skills, personnel selection, motivation and training, and operations management are discussed. In addition, the merchandising component of the course is designed to develop product knowledge of caskets, vaults, and other merchandise, which may include presentations by manufacturers either on campus or during field trips. Planning funeral home selection areas and displaying merchandise are also explored. This course must be taken concurrently with Psychology of Grief and Mortuary Science Capstone.


SCI338 – RESTORATIVE ART II (2 credit hours)

Emphasis is placed on the treatment of various minor restorative techniques including suturing, tissue building, and hair replacement. Treatments of major restorations including abrasions, burns, fractures, decomposition, illness, trauma, and feature rebuilding are also explored.


SCI338L – RESTORATIVE ART II LAB (Credits included in RA II)

Lab application of SCI338 curriculum with a focus on the modeling and reconstruction of features & facial form, hair replacement, and cosmetic application.


SCI336 – EMBALMING THEORY III (3 credit hours)

An in-depth survey into embalming chemicals, their compositions, functions, and how they influence organic tissues. This course is designed to aid the embalmer to better understand the reactions of the chemicals used in this field so they may be utilized to greater effect. Successful completion of both Embalming Theories I and II are requisite for beginning this course.


SCI337 – CLINICAL MORTUARY PRACTICE III (CMP III) (1 credit hour)

CMP brings the student into the lab where clinical practices rely heavily upon ET I theories and procedures as the basis for embalming fundamentals and safe clinical practices.


MGT335 – MORTUARY SCIENCE CAPSTONE (3 credit hours)

This capstone course provides students with hands-on experience in serving a mock bereaved family from the first call through final disposition. Included are embalming and cosmetics, dressing and casketing, arranging, funeral directing, and preparing the required forms and paperwork. In addition, there is extensive review of prior course material in preparation for the National Board Examination. This course must be taken concurrently with Funeral Service Management III and Psychology of Grief.

SEMESTER IV (BMS program only)


SOC442 – FUNERAL AFTERCARE (1 credit hour)

The role of the funeral home in providing support to families during the bereavement period is discussed. Consideration of the various components in a continuous care (aftercare) program includes: bereavement literature, personal contact and referrals, grief support groups and web-based support.


SOC441 – DEATH IN MEDIA AND LITERATURE (1 credit hour)

This course combines the basic elements of literature with reading and writing about literary selections that have death as a central subject. The readings consist of works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and drama.  Film selections are also included.


MGT443 – DISASTER MANAGEMENT (2 credit hours)

This course orients the student to the role of the funeral service practitioner in the management of diseases that involve multiple fatalities. Topics will include the history of multi-death disasters, radiation accidents, dealing with the mass media, setting up a temporary morgue, guidelines for preparation of the dead, identification of the remains, and critical incident stress debriefing.


SCI446 – GROSS ANATOMY (2 credit hours)

This course takes a regional approach to gross anatomy with emphasis on those areas of the human body of interest to the embalmer, especially the circulatory system.


MGT444 – FUNERAL SERVICE CO-OP (6 credit hours)

The Funeral Service Co-op provides six weeks of practical experience in an off-campus funeral home setting. Students participate in: removals, preparations, dressing and casketing, arrangements, visitations, funerals, and office procedures. The student, the funeral home, and the college enter into a tri-party relationship in which each must accept responsibility for the co-op experience. The goal of this relationship is to provide the student an opportunity, under academic supervision, to participate in the actual practice of funeral service.


MGT445 – FUNERAL SERVICE SEMINAR (3 credit hours)

This course provides an in-depth exploration of current issues and trends in funeral service. Key topics include: contemporary legal issues, creative funeral home offerings (such as celebrants, post-funeral gatherings and pet services), and effective use of social media and technology in the funeral home.

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