In the fall of 2013, Eastwick College became only the second school in the state to offer a funeral service associate degree. Now the college is making history again, announcing that its unique funeral service program has earned full accreditation from the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE).
This announcement will come as great news for current and future students of the program, as the accreditation is a requirement for pursuing licensure as a funeral director in many states. It also serves as a testament to the level of quality and success the program has achieved in less than two years, given the ABFSE’s high standards that a program must meet in order to achieve full accreditation.
For many people, funeral service might seem like a cold and dark field to work in, but the skills required for the job are much closer to that of a counselor or makeup artist in many ways, explains Mr. Thomas M. Eastwick, president of Eastwick College, which has become only the second college in the entire state to offer an associate in applied science degree in mortuary science.
“Many often see mortuary science as a gloomy field because it focuses on death,” explains President Thomas M. Eastwick. “While it’s true that it can bring its share of grief, professionals in this field also do their best to honor and celebrate life, carefully restoring and preserving the body, and providing compassion and consoling to family members and friends as they are gathered to remember the deceased.”
This unique degree at Eastwick College can be completed in as little as 24 months, significantly quicker than other programs offered in the area, and prepares the student to enter the workforce in the capacity of a licensed practitioner of mortuary science, which includes embalming, funeral directing, funeral arrangement and various positions in a medical examiner’s office.
Planning and preparing for a funeral service involves a significant amount of work for the family—often, attendance to details and requirements can be overwhelming. Funeral service professionals lessen this stress by taking on many of these responsibilities. It is a career that requires compassion, business know-how, medical knowledge and organizational skills. In some cases, an aptitude for artistry can also be beneficial for those in this field.
In the mortuary science degree at Eastwick College, students will learn how to restore the body through embalming and other procedures in fully-equipped lab classrooms. They also study the psychology and sociology of death and funerals—which is vital in their preparation to counsel families and help them through a difficult time. Also, because mortuary science graduates work with people from a wide range of cultures and religions, students in this program also learn about many of the different end-of-life traditions and requirements.
“There are currently a significant number of job opportunities for funeral directors and embalmers. And demand will continue to increase in the coming years as population ages,” adds President Eastwick. “Even better, the median annual salary of a funeral director is over $54,000.”
For more information on this unique program or other degrees offered by Eastwick College – Hackensack, call 201-488-9400 or visit them online at www.eastwick.edu/mortuary.