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Programs » Course Descriptions

Funeral Service Education (FSE)

FSE 101  Funeral Directing
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: Admission to the program
This course is a study relating to general information on religious practices, fraternal and military funerals, the shipping of remains, cremation, and aftercare. It surveys the history of funeral service including social, cultural, mourning, and religious customs associated with funerals and final dispositions. A major focus is on the role and growth of the funeral service profession and affiliated organizations as an American social institution with emphasis on individuals and events that have influenced contemporary funeral principles and practices. (F)

FSE 110  Law and Ethics for Funeral Service
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: Admission to the program
This course is designed to introduce students to law and ethics as it relates to general small businesses and to the funeral profession. Major topics of funeral law include: sources of law, the legal status of the dead human body, the duty of burial, right to control funeral arrangements, final disposition, liability for funeral expenses, and torts involving the dead human body and the funeral director. Further areas of discussion include cemeteries, crematories, state and federal laws and regulations pertaining to funeral service, and the legal aspects of being a licensed funeral director and/or embalmer. General law topics discussed include wills, estates, probate and related matters. Students will focus on the bodies of law and the judicial system in the United States to understand types of contracts, sale of goods, characteristics related to bailments (including common and private carriers), commercial paper, legal issues regarding agencies, employment, basic forms of business organization and methods of acquiring and transferring real and personal property. Ethical discussions will include how to facilitate higher ethical decisions, actions in proper treatment of the deceased and professional services to the bereaved. (F)

FSE 145 – Basic Accounting Procedures for Funeral Services
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: Admission to Program
This course explores requirements for those interested in franchising, starting, or acquisitioning a mortuary or other death care-related small business as an entrepreneurial endeavor. This course gives an introduction to basic principles of accounting theory. This subject covers financial statements and their analysis, journalizing concepts, receivables, payables, deferrals and accruals. Inventory costing methods, depreciation methods and payroll accounting are included.  Applications to funeral home operations are made throughout the subject material. It is not the aim of this course to develop accounting proficiencies which would enable the graduating student to handle all accounting tasks without the aid of a consulting accountant.

FSE 201  Embalming I
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: As required by program
This course is a study of the process of chemically treating the dead human body to reduce the presence and growth of microorganism’s temporarily inhibiting organic decomposition, and restoring an acceptable appearance. Topics include fundamental practices associated with pre-embalming, embalming, and post-embalming. It includes the study of the phenomenon of death in the human body and government regulations applicable to the embalming process. Details of arterial, cavity, hypodermic, and surface embalming treatments are covered. Disinfection, sanitation, and compliance with OSHA requirements are stressed as methods to protect the embalmer, the environment, and the public. Additionally, this course discusses new technology, procedures, theories, and applications as they relate to the embalming process. (Sp)

FSE 202  Embalming II
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: FSE 201
This course builds upon theory and application as learned in FSE 201 with descriptions, embalming concerns, and treatments for general and selected embalming conditions. Additionally, this course studies pathological disease conditions and how they affect various parts of the body, with particular emphasis on those conditions which relate to or affect the embalming or restorative art process. Specific embalming problems and procedures will be discussed and student embalming reports help develop logic and awareness of embalming as a scientific process. (Su)

FSE 203  Embalming Laboratory
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: Admission to the program
(Lab 9 hrs)
In this course students demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to function as an embalmer. Emphasis will be placed on the students ability to demonstrate proper practical embalming techniques, including posing of features, raising of vessels, mixing embalming fluids, injecting fluids, aspiration and suturing of incisions.  Embalming reports will be completed to document cognitive processes used to plan, prescribe, apply, and evaluate, embalming treatments used. Students must be certified as being proficient by a Qualified Instructor on those techniques before a grade will be issued for completion of the course. Students will be required to obtain insurance as required by program. Apprentice Certification is required from the State in which the embalming laboratory is conducted. (F, Sp, Su)

FSE 206  Principles of Mortuary Sciences
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: Admission to the program
This course is designed to encourage the basic principles of microbiology as related to funeral service. Major topics include sanitation, personal and environmental disinfection, public health and embalming practices. The course identifies basic microbial morphology/physiology, interprets host parasite relationships/interaction, decontamination procedures by proper use of chemical disinfection and sterilization procedures. Emphasis will be placed on defense mechanisms; microorganisms, transmission of infectious diseases, and pathogens and/or opportunists causing disease commonly associated with the human host and dead human remains. (Sp)

FSE 207  Thanatochemistry
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: Admission to the program
This course is a basic study of inorganic, organic, biological, and embalming chemistry as it relates to the funeral profession.  In particular, this course stresses the chemical principles and precautions involved in sanitation, disinfection, public health, and embalming. Specific chemicals related to embalming and treatment of the dead human body and government regulations for these chemicals are also discussed. (Su)

FSE 213  Restorative Art
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: Admission to the program
This course covers the basic principles of Restorative Art as it relates to Funeral Service. Major topics include: name and location of major muscles and bony structures of the skull, anatomical terminology, natural and acquired facial markings, facial proportions, parts and variations of the four major facial features, head and facial profiles, frontal and bilateral views, restorative tools and treatments, and importance of obtaining permission to perform any restorative procedures. A major emphasis is placed on wax modeling techniques, cosmetics, lighting, and non-wax techniques used to restore natural shape, form, and color. (Sp)

FSE 214  Advanced Restorative Art
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: FSE 213
This course is a continuation of FSE 213. Color theory is emphasized using mortuary or ordinary cosmetics and special lighting. Students will be able to demonstrate proper techniques of restorative art in an on-campus laboratory setting. (Su)

FSE 223  Funeral Service Social Science
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: Admission to the program
This course applies principles of various social science disciplines to the study of dying, death, and bereavement from multiple perspectives. Theoretical and practical viewpoints addressing the processes of grief, bereavement, mourning, aftercare, crisis intervention, and ego defense mechanisms that may be encountered by funeral professionals. In the area of sociology, emphasis is placed upon family structures, social structures, factors of change, religion, and learning styles as they relate to the funeral profession and to funeralization. A special emphasis is placed on the role of the funeral director as a facilitator of these processes. (F)

FSE 225  Funeral Service Management I
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: Admission to the program
This course is a study of funeral home operations and management. Major topics of discussion will include: site selection, financing, recruitment and training of personnel, establishment of management policies, conducting and arrangement conference, selection-room planning, marketing, merchandising, small business, cremation, cemetery operations, prearrangement, and compliance with governmental regulations. Factors that influence change in funeral patterns, practices, and trends are also discussed.  (Sp)

FSE 226  Funeral Service Management II
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: FSE 225
This course explores requirements for those interested in franchising, starting, or acquisitioning a mortuary or other death care-related small business as an entrepreneurial endeavor. Marketing strategies and management strategies used in a technologically rich global market are addressed. Sustainability of the business is assessed through quantitative measures and qualitative factors that serve as foundations to implement effective asset and risk management strategies, with an emphasis on collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and reporting financial data. Determining the need for, use of, and production of a business plan is discussed, with an emphasis on preparing a business plan as an action plan supporting the needs of the entrepreneur. (Su)

FSE 227  Computer Principles and Funeral Service Applications    
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: Admission to the program
This is a basic course specifically intended to enhance the understanding of the application of computers to the funeral profession. The course is designed to instill an appreciation for computers as an effective funeral home management tool. Topics include computer hardware, various types of computer software, spreadsheets, presentation software, cemetery software and word processing. Students will be able to apply principles of computer assisted funeral home operation to actual practice. (F)

FSE 228  Funeral Service Internship
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: Admission to the program
(Int 15 hrs)
This course is based upon experiences in funeral home under the supervision of a licensed funeral director and/or embalmer.  Supervisors will assist faculty with practical work-based experiences and direct client care. Professional duties are supervised and evaluated for progress. Students will be able to demonstrate proper techniques of funeral directing and funeral home operation. (F, Sp, Su)

FSE 230  Funeral Service Comprehensive Review
3 semester hours
Prerequisite: Admission to the program
Each student is required to take the National Board examination as a condition for completing this course and for graduation. This course is a survey of the professional expectations in each major area of Funeral Service Education. Emphasis is placed on specific problem areas and the requirements for licensure by state and national boards. Students will demonstrate competency in theoretical knowledge by completing a battery of tests. This course must be taken the last semester before graduation. If the student is enrolled in other courses while taking FSE 230 those courses must be at this college. (F, Sp, Su)