Piedmont Tech Offers South Carolina’s Only Funeral Service Program

October 10, 2014

Piedmont Technical College’s funeral service education program is one of the fastest growing in the region. David Martin, program director, and Dedrick Gantt, funeral service education instructor, have been tireless in their efforts to improve and expand the department.

As the only program of its kind in South Carolina, and one of only a handful of public college programs in mortuary science in the United States, Piedmont Technical College’s ABFSE-accredited Funeral Service Education program is well equipped to prepare students for a rewarding career in the Funeral Service Industry.

The program offers both an Associate in Applied Science degree and a certificate.

The associate degree offers students the educational foundation needed to seek licensure in South Carolina or in another state, both as a funeral director and an embalmer.

The certificate, which is only available online, was developed for students interested in becoming licensed funeral directors in the Carolinas. The courses in this program will prepare students to take the South and North Carolina Funeral Directors’ Exams.

“Our program is a state program, not just regional,” Martin said. “Almost 90 percent of our students are from out of this area.”

“As the only program in South Carolina, we have students from all over the state as well as western North Carolina and parts of Georgia,” said Gantt.

Gantt says that because many students already hold bachelor’s degrees and are attending classes while working full time, it’s important to offer classes that can accommodate a busy life.

“Our classes are scheduled two days a week to increase your flexibility as you complete your degree, and, for funeral service professionals, we offer distance learning opportunities for continuing education,” he said. “We’ve also built in an online option for students who need even more flexibility.”

The certificate program is offered completely online, and all of the general education requirements for the associate degree are available online.

Students in the program learn the profession in a facility featuring state-of-the-art technology for embalming, cremation and restorative art.

Students also get in-depth instruction in the business side of the industry, including courses in business and mortuary law, funeral service directing, and funeral service management and merchandising.

“Our students plan, conduct, and direct a memorial service twice a year,” said Martin. “They’re learning every aspect of the business, from embalming and restorative art, to counseling and ethics.”

“Graduates leave us fully prepared to go to work, ready to serve the community and help others in their greatest time of need,” he said.

For more information on the funeral service program, call (864) 941-8774 or visit www.ptc.edu/funeralservice.