Industry News

ASU-Mountain Home’s Funeral Science Program Expanding

MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. – Arkansas State University-Mountain Home has accepted an invitation to expand its funeral science program to the campus of NorthWest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville beginning in January 2013.

The invitation from NWACC to host the funeral science program came after ASU-Mountain Home hosted a meeting of two legislative committees in December 2011 that highlighted the efforts of the Mountain Home campus in the areas of distance and online programs.

“The presentation to the legislative committees caught the attention of our executive director for community and government relations, Jim Hall, who brought this collaborative opportunity to us for consideration, and we immediately began talks with ASU-Mountain Home,” said Dr. Steve Gates, senior vice president for learning and provost at NWACC.

Dr. Pat Bailey, provost and vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at ASU-Mountain Home, said, “The opportunity to partner with NWACC is in keeping with our strategic plan and meets an identified need for providing training in this profession in northwest Arkansas.”

Dr. Ted Phillips, vice president for learning at NWACC, said the college is pleased to be a part of the initiative. “This partnership will enable ASU-Mountain Home and NWACC to work together to provide our students with the education and expertise they need to be successful in this career field.”

ASU-Mountain Home’s Associate of Applied Science in Funeral Science is a 60-credit hour program offering the theoretical and practical application of funeral service education. Students are prepared for entry into the profession after graduation. The National Board Examination must be completed prior to graduation.

Through the partnership, the two campuses will combine their course offerings for students to complete the degree. Students may complete 32 credit hours offered from NWACC, with ASU-Mountain Home providing the remaining 28 credit hours through interactive distance delivery equipment.

In addition to combining the course offerings required for the funeral science degree, the two higher education institutions are pooling their grant funds made available from the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act to purchase the distance delivery equipment. Bailey noted, “While the Perkins Act allows for the pooling of funding between higher education institutions for an activity, officials with the Arkansas Department of Higher Education advise this is believed to be a first for the state of Arkansas.”

ASU-Mountain Home’s funeral science program is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education. This board serves as the national academic accreditation agency for college and university programs in funeral service and mortuary science education and is the sole accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation in this field.

For more information, visit the Mountain Home campus’ website at

Posted Nov. 30


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