SACSCOC approves Funeral Service Education program

The Board of Trustees of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) has approved Southwest’s new Associate in Applied Science degree in Funeral Service Education that launched in January, allowing the program to be included in Southwest’s scope of accreditation.

The program also is in the self-study stage of candidacy for accreditation by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE). ABFSE accreditation is a national stamp of approval that will enable Southwest FSE graduates to sit for the National Board Examination.

“I am truly proud of our Academic Affairs division for their stellar work on making this new program a reality,” President Tracy D. Hall said.  “We are providing an outstanding service to the Mid-South as the only publicly-funded institution in Tennessee to offer this program. Onboarding new programs such as this aligns beautifully with our mission as a workforce development engine in Shelby County and beyond.”

A 21-member advisory board composed of local funeral directors and embalmers helped Southwest craft the program to ensure students receive the best training available. The Whitehaven Center is home to FSE where coursework will equip students with a broad understanding of funeral home operations, funeral directing, public health, and embalming, covering everything from the business fundamentals of the industry to grief counseling.  Graduates must successfully complete an apprenticeship and pass the State of Tennessee funeral service law exam to become a licensed funeral director or embalmer.

SACSCOC accreditation also means Tennessee residents who qualify may pursue the Associate of Applied Science degree in Funeral Service Education tuition-free at Southwest with Tennessee Promise and Reconnect scholarships.