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Mortuary Science - AAS

The Associate of Applied Science degree in Mortuary Science at the University of the District of Columbia Community College (UDC CC) is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) 3414 Ashland Avenue, Suite G St.,  Joseph, MO 64506; Office: 816.233.3747; Web: Website: www.abfse.org.  The program's mission is to provide its students with a comprehensive education in mortuary science; and prepare graduates to enter the funeral service profession as competent funeral service practitioners. The program offers basic education courses in the Pre-mortuary phase, followed by in-depth academic and clinical education in the professional and clinical stages. Upon successful completion of the program and prior to graduation, students are eligible and required to take the National Board Examination given by the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards.  The annual passage rate of first-time takers on the National Board Examination (NBE) for the most recent three-year period for this institution and all ABFSE accredited funeral service education programs is posted on  the ABFSE web site.

Employment opportunities exist with funeral homes, hospitals, medical schools, health, and the offices of medical examiners or coroners.

The Aims and Purposes of the U.D.C. Mortuary Science Department are:

  1. To increase students' knowledge of funeral service and its professional ethics.
  2. To educate students in all phases of funeral service and to assist them in the development of skills necessary to meet and exceed the standards of care in dealing with health, safety, and welfare associated to the preparation and care of the deceased.
  3. To present students with a challenging curricula and facilities which will instill high standards of ethical, moral, community and personnel performance and integrity.
  4. To share educational facilities as a community resource.
  5. To encourage exploration, research, self directed discovery and participation in the improvement of the program.
  6. To relate educational outcomes to the national as well as local needs of the funeral profession.
  7. To educate its students to the high standards of ethical conduct necessary to uphold and Perpetuate the dignity of funeral service.
  8. To increase the student's capacity to share responsibility in the social, ethical and political processes of society.
  9. To conduct its administration in a fashion that will exhibit to all the dignity and honor of the funeral profession.

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Program Details

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Faculty

John C. Kirksey, F.D.                                              
Associate Professor                                  
Bldg. 44, Rm. 200-25
202-274-5929
Conway A. Downing, Jr., J.D.                                
Adjunct Professor                                                    
Bldg. 44, Rm. 200-25
202-274-5929
Sandra O. Lawson, PhD.                                        
Adjunct Professor                                                    
Bldg. 44, Rm. 200-25
202-274-5929
Lenard Kent, B.A                                                    
Adjunct Professor                                                 
Bldg. 44, Rm. 200-25
202-274-5929
Anita Pollard, MSN                                                 
Adjunct Professor                                                    
Bldg. 44, Rm. 200-25
202-274-5929

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Accreditation and Credentialing

The University of the District of Columbia Mortuary Science Program is accredited by the:

American Board of Funeral Service Education, Inc.
3414 Ashland Avenue, Suite G
St. Joseph, MO 64506
Office: 816.233.3747
Cell: 816.341-2573
Fax: 816.233.3793
Email: exdir@abfse.org
Website: www.abfse.org

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National Board Examination

Results of the scores of the National Board Examination can be found on the American Board of Funeral Service Education's website at www.abfse.org.

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Mission Statement

The University of the District of Columbia is an urban land-grant institution of higher education with an open admissions policy. It is a comprehensive public institution offering quality, affordable post secondary education to District of Columbia residents at the certificate, associate, baccalaureate, and graduate levels. These programs prepare students for immediate entry into the workforce, for the next level of education, for specialized employment opportunities, and for lifelong learning.

The Mortuary Science Program is housed within the Department of Nursing and Allied Health, College of Arts and Sciences. The mission of the College of Arts and Sciences is to produce well-educated, autonomous, competent, and resourceful graduates who are well prepared to live and work in the multiethnic, global, and technological society of the 21st century. The undertakings of the Department of Nursing and Allied Health and the Mortuary Science Program follow, and are inextricably linked to, the College mission. The Department strives to provide exemplary educational experiences to an ethnically diverse population with a particular emphasis on the needs in the District of Columbia. The Department provides an intellectually challenging and nurturing environment that fosters the development of competent and compassionate practitioners who will assist individuals on the continuum from wellness/illness, dying, death, and care of human remains. Students are assisted in the development of critical thinking skills, problem solving, technical, and social skills through active participation in classroom and practicum experiences. The program's mission is to prepare competent mortuary science practitioners that will meet the funeral service and allied health needs of the citizens of the District of Columbia and the society at large.

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Program Overview

The Mortuary Science Program offers the Associate of Applied Science degree in Mortuary Science. The program is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE). The program's mission is to provide its students with a comprehensive education in mortuary science; and prepare graduates to enter the funeral service profession as competent funeral service practitioners. The program offers basic education courses in the Pre-mortuary phase, followed by in-depth academic and clinical education in the professional and clinical stages. Upon successful completion of the program and prior to graduation, students are eligible and required to take the National Board Examination given by the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards.

Employment opportunities exist with funeral homes, hospitals, medical schools, health, and the offices of medical examiners or coroners.

The Aims and Purposes of the U.D.C. Mortuary Science Department are:

  1. To increase students' knowledge of funeral service and its professional ethics.
  2. To educate students in all phases of funeral service and to assist them in the
    development of skills necessary to meet and exceed the standards of care in dealing with health, safety, and welfare associated to the preparation and care of the deceased.
  3. To present students with a challenging curricula and facilities which will instill
    high standards of ethical, moral, community and personnel performance and
    integrity.
  4. To share educational facilities as a community resource.
  5. To encourage exploration, research, self directed discovery and participation in
    the improvement of the program.
  6. To relate educational outcomes to the national as well as local needs of the funeral
    profession.
  7. To educate its students to the high standards of ethical conduct necessary to uphold and Perpetuate the dignity of funeral service.
  8. To increase the student's capacity to share responsibility in the social, ethical and
    political processes of society.
  9. To conduct its administration in a fashion that will exhibit to all the dignity and honor of the funeral profession.

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Academic Information

Additional Comments or Requirements

(none)

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Academic Standing

To progress in the Mortuary Science Program, prerequisites must be completed for each Mortuary Science course. A student must pass each Mortuary Science course in the sequence in which it is identified in the program of study. Failure to pass any Mortuary Science or core course with a grade of a "C" or better will prevent the student from taking the next course in the sequence until this requirement is met. (A core course is any course that contains material that is testable content on the National Board Examination)

Incomplete grade(s) must be removed before progressing to another Mortuary Science course.

A student is allowed only two attempts at all Mortuary Science core courses, and may repeat no more than two Mortuary Science courses to remain enrolled in the program.

All degree requirements for the A.A.S. in Mortuary Science must be completed within four (4) years of taking the first Mortuary Science course.

A student must maintain a Cumulative Grade Point Average (C.G.P.A.) of 2.5 to remain a Mortuary Science major.

Mortuary Science and core courses can be no older than five years at the time of completion from the Mortuary Science Program.

Grading Scale

A
100% – 95%
B
94% – 87%
C
86% – 75%
D
74% – 70%
F
69% – 0%

Class Attendance

Attendance is taken at all class sessions. Classroom attendance is required and Clinical and Practicum attendance is mandatory.

Security Clearance

A security clearance may be required for practicum assignments.

Health Clearance

An annual physical is required as well as certain immunizations such as the Hepatitis B series, Tetanus, and Tuberculosis.

Transfer Credits

Transfer students from other colleges must be in good academic standing, not on academic probation, not academically or administratively dismissed, and not barred from continuing enrollment in the Mortuary Science Program at previous college(s). Transfer students from other colleges must meet the criteria for admission, and have earned a 2.5 or higher C.G.P.A. to be considered for progression into the Mortuary Program. Also, credit by examination may be used to validate prior learning.

Credit by Examination

Credit by examination is at the discretion of the Mortuary Science Program Director.

Withdrawal / Dismissal

Mortuary Science students with two grades less than "C" in Mortuary Science courses or core courses will not be retained in the Mortuary Science Program. While students may be dismissed from the Mortuary Science Program, they are not dismissed from the University and are assisted with identifying another major. In special cases, a student may be readmitted (cases cannot involve failing grades).

Statute of Limitation

No student will be subject involuntarily to regulations and academic requirements introduced while continuously enrolled and in good standing in the Mortuary Science Program, if the new regulations involve undue hardship or loss of academic credits earned to satisfy the requirements previously in effect.

The following regulations are, however, in effect for all students:

A student, who ceased to attend the University for a period of one semester, whether voluntarily or not, is subject to all the regulations and requirements in force at the time studies are resumed unless the Director of the Mortuary Science Program has approved other arrangements and recorded the same in writing prior to the beginning of the absence.

Policies of the Mortuary Science Program are subject to revision during the course of development, implementations, evaluation, and the revision of the curriculum. These changes may become effective prior to publication of the next catalog.

The faculty reserves the right to make curriculum revisions through the Curriculum Committee without prior notice or publication, provided these changes would at no time lengthen the period of time required to obtain the Mortuary Science Degree.

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Associate in Applied Science Degree in Mortuary Science

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Course Descriptions

Format: Course-Number Description (Credits)

MSTC-104 Funeral Service Orientation (3)
An analysis of the trends and traditions of funeral service, its inception, organizational structure, and avenues of expansion. Lec. 3 hrs.,

MSTC-105 Descriptive Pathology (3)
A study of medical terminology, various types of communicable diseases and how they may be isolated, the nature and causes of diseases, disturbances in circulation, neoplasia, cysts, forensic pathology, and the diseases of the blood and body systems. Lec. 3 hrs. Pre-req.: 1401-111 and 113, 1401-112 and 114 or Permission of the instructor.

MSTC-107 History and Sociology of Funeral Service (3)
A history of funeral service with emphasis on ethnic groups that have influenced contemporary funeral principles and practices. It also involves the study of those social phenomena that affect all elements of funeral service. Lec. 3 hrs.

MSTC-124 Theories of Embalming and Disposition (3)
An analysis of the objectives of embalming, disposition, signs and tests for death, post mortem changes of the body, pre-embalming techniques, and embalming practices from 4,000 B.C. to present. Pre-req.: MSTC-105 and MSTC-135. Co-req.: MSTC-131, MSTC-155. Mortuary Science Majors only. Approval of Program Director.

MSTC-131 Restorative Art I (3)
An introduction to the physiognomy, surface bones of the cranium and face, modeling techniques, head shapes, facial profiles, structures of the ear, nose, mouth, and eyes. Pre-req.: MSTC-105, MSTC-135. Co-req.: MSTC-124, MSTC-155. Mortuary Science Majors only. Approval of Program Director.

MSTC-135 Funeral Service Law (3)
Legal ramifications concerning the sources of mortuary law, legal status of a dead human body, rights and duties of disposal, the rights of parties obligated for disposal of human remains. Rights and duties of the mortician, liability for funeral expenses, and the laws governing interment and disinterment. Lec. 3 hrs..

MSTC-155 Small Business Management for Funeral Service (3)
A comprehensive analysis of small business management including the role of small businesses in the United States; problems and risks of business ownership; buying an existing business; starting a new business and marketing. Legal forms of business ownership, contract law, Uniform Commercial Code, laws governing negotiable instruments, and funeral service software applications will also be introduced. Pre-req.: MSTC-104, MSTC-105, MSTC-107, MSTC-135. Co-req.: MSTC-124, MSTC-131. Mortuary Science Majors only. Approval of Program Director.

MSTC-205 Funeral Service Management and Principles (2)
A concentration on the responsibilities of licensure and professional practices with specific emphasis regarding management of personnel, facilities and other resources. Descriptive as well as field study of implementation and direction of funerals according to sociological, theological and psychological needs of the persons being served. Lec. 2 hrs., Prereq.: MSTC-213 and 214; MSTC-220 and 223; 2201-202; 2131-201; Co-req.: MSTC-206; MSTC-230 and 232; MSTC-254. Mortuary Science students graduating in the spring semester.

MSTC-206 Funeral Service Management and Principles Practicum (3)
Field experience in the technical and administrative aspects of the funeral service profession. Lab 6 hrs., Co-req.: MSTC-205. Mortuary Science students graduating in the spring semester.

MSTC-213 Restorative Art II (Lecture) (2)
Restorative treatment outlines for burns, bullet wounds, excisions, fractures, decapitations, etc. in conjunction with a full exploration of the color theory with emphasis on waxes and cosmetics. Lec. 2 hrs., Pre-req.: MSTC-131. Co-req.: MSTC-214. Mortuary Science Majors only.

MSTC-214 Restorative Art II (Laboratory) (2)
Performing restoration techniques regarding correct form, contour, color and shape. Lab. 4 hrs., Pre-req.: MSTC-131. Co-req.: MSTC-213. Mortuary Science Majors only.

MSTC-220 Embalming and Disposition Principles I (Lecture) (1)
Theory and application of the instruments, accessories and materials necessary for embalming and disposition. Methods for case analysis, positioning of the body, posing of features, injection, raising and selecting arteries. Classification of anatomical and linear guides, embalming chemical solutions, dilutions, and drainage types. Lec. 1 hr., Pre-req.: MSTC-124. Co-req.: MSTC-223. Mortuary Science Majors only. Approval of Program Director.

MSTC 223 Embalming and Disposition Principles I (Laboratory) (2)
The embalming of dead human remains, the theory of embalming practices, and laboratory management. Lab. 6 hrs., Pre-req. MSTC-124. Co-req.: MSTC-220. Mortuary Science Majors only. Approval of Program Director.

MSTC-230 Embalming and Disposition Principles II (Lecture) (1)
A study of the embalming process involving cavity treatment, autopsies, necropsies, or postmortem examinations, postmortem conditions and their embalming treatments, and disaster management related to embalming. Lec. 1 hr., Pre-req.: MSTC-213 and 214; MSTC-220 and 223. Co-req: MSTC-232. Mortuary Science Majors only. Approval of Program Director.

MSTC-232 Embalming and Disposition Principles II (Laboratory) (2)
The embalming of dead human remains, the theory of embalming practices, and laboratory management. Lab 6 hrs., Co-req.: MSTC-230. Mortuary Science Majors only. Approval of Program Director.

MSTC-254 Psychology of Grief (3)
Mental processes associated with the role of the funeral director in grief counseling, death, dying, immortality, normal and abnormal grief reactions including the concepts of "grief work" and the impact of death on the bereaved. Lec. 3 hrs. Pre-req.: MSTC-124, MSTC-131 and MSTC-155. Mortuary Science Majors only. Approval of Program Director.

MSTC-294 National Board Seminar (1)
A methodical review of all areas of funeral service with emphasis on specific competencies necessary for passing the National Board Examination as well as State Licensure Examinations. Lec. 1 hr., Pre-req.: Mortuary Science students graduating in the spring semester only. Approval of the Program Director.

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Disability Statement

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the Mortuary Science Program at the University of the District of Columbia makes every effort to provide reasonable accommodation for all individuals with a disability. The program does not discriminate against students because of gender, sexual orientation, age, ethnic background, political affiliation, or disability.

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Scholarships

National Scholarships

National Scholarship Program of the American Board of Funeral Service Education

NFDA Funeral Service Foundation

100 Black Women of Funeral Service


International Order of the Golden Rule

Key Memories

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Apply for Admission

Admission Deadlines

Fall - May 15
Spring - October 15
Summer - April 15

International Applicant Deadlines

Fall - April 15
Spring - September 15
Summer - March 15


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