Posts Tagged ‘funeral services administration’

SUNY Canton Student Earns Funeral Service Scholarship

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

The American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) has awarded a $1,200 scholarship to a SUNY Canton student.

Ashley Massillon, ‘14, a Funeral Services Administration major from Brooklyn, was among only seven students from across the country to receive the award.

“Ashley has many sensitive and caring qualities; she is an example of what a future funeral director should be when graduating from SUNY Canton,” said David R. Penepent, SUNY Canton assistant professor and Funeral Services Administration program director. “She is an exceptional student and most deserving of this scholarship.”

Ashley Massillon

Ashley Massillon from Brooklyn was awarded a scholarship from the American
Board of Funeral Service Education. She is pictured with David R.
Penepent, SUNY Canton Funeral Services Administration program director,
left, and Barry W. Walch, visiting assistant professor of Funeral Services

Massillon is also active in the College’s Funeral Service Administration Club. After graduation, she plans to become a licensed funeral director and aspires to own her own funeral home.

The College’s four-year Funeral Services Administration program is one of the very few mortuary administration majors of its kind in the United States.

The ABFSE serves as the national academic accreditation agency for college and university programs in Funeral Service and Mortuary Science Education. ABFSE is the sole accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation in this field. SUNY Canton’s Funeral Services Administration program received its initial accreditation from the ABFSE in 2012.


About SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton offers a variety of career-driven bachelor’s degrees in addition to its associate and certificate programs. In the past year, the College added two new bachelor’s degrees and expanded its facilities with a new athletic center, nicknamed Roos House, and the Grasse River Suites Residence Hall. The College’s faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to their academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers flexible and convenient online courses and programs. The College’s 14 athletic teams compete as provisional members of the NCAA Division III as well as the USCAA.

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SUNY Canton’s Funeral Services Administration Program Receives Initial Accreditation

Friday, November 30th, 2012

The funeral services administration program at SUNY Canton recently received its initial accreditation from the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE).

“By meeting stringent demands of the accrediting agency, we further highlight the strengths of one of our most intensely career-driven programs,” said SUNY Canton Interim President Carli C. Schiffner. “This accreditation is the result of months of work and the cumulative efforts of Program Director David R. Penepent and Interim Dean Kenneth Erickson, with help from many departments and individuals.”

David Penepent and Carli Schiffner

Funeral Services Administration Director David R. Penepent presents SUNY Canton Interim President Carli C. Schiffner with the certificate of accreditation for his program.

The College’s funeral services administration program is one of the very few four-year mortuary science majors in the United States. It is also one of the only programs of its kind within the SUNY System.

“The funeral services administration program has been designed to place a greater emphasis on the skills and knowledge needed to equip graduates with practical information that can be used in the rapidly changing funeral profession,” Penepent said. “Students in the program have an opportunity to apply the knowledge learned in the classroom in their practicum and internship experience in a funeral home of their choosing.”

Currently, the funeral services administration program has approximately 40 students. The program is designed for first-time first-year students and working professionals.

Student pouring embalming fluid

Marissa L. Caskinette of Norfolk, James A. (Andrew) Podeszedlik of Highland, and Justise R. DelFosse of Norwood prepare embalming fluid during a funeral services administration lab.

One of the program’s many advantages is that funeral directors who are currently licensed and working in the profession have an opportunity to complete their degree online and complete their bachelor degree at their own pace, Penepent said. The program grants licensed funeral directors life experience credits for their skills and knowledge in the profession.

“I wish a program like this existed when I was going to mortuary school because I would have had an opportunity to see how mortuary theory was applied in a real-life setting before graduation,” the program director said.

Future plans for the program include new classrooms, a restorative art lab, and a new multi-purpose chapel to be used for mock funeral services.

The ABFSE serves as the national academic accreditation agency for college and university programs in Funeral Service and Mortuary Science Education. The U.S. Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation recognize it as the sole accrediting agency for academic programs that prepare funeral service professionals. Receiving programmatic accreditation ensures that the program has been evaluated and meets, or exceeds, set standards of quality determined by the ABFSE.

The four-year program was unveiled in 2010 and replaced the College’s two-year mortuary science program. Previously it was a candidate for accreditation through the same agency.

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Manager, or call 315/386-7527.


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SUNY Canton Unveils New Four-Year Funeral Service Administration Degree

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

SUNY Canton has created the first four-year funeral services administration degree in the SUNY System.

The bachelor of technology program recently received approval from SUNY and the New York State Education Department. It is one of only five comprehensive four-year programs of this type in the United States. Applications are now being accepted for first-year, transfer, and returning students to begin the new major for the Fall 2010 semester.

Ralph L. Klicker, director of the new four-year funeral services administration program in SUNY Canton’s practice funeral chapel.

“Nearly everyone who graduates from this program will step directly into their chosen career,” noted SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. “A bachelor’s degree is rapidly becoming the minimum level of education necessary to pursue a career in this field. By expanding from a two-year program, we’ll give students greater access to emerging technology, more opportunities for advancement, and the appropriate level of training for immediate success upon graduation.”

During the first two years, students will be taking general education requirements pertaining to their advanced subjects of study, in addition to curriculum specific courses. In the final two years, students take advanced courses within their major while utilizing the College’s on-site embalming labs and practice funeral chapel. Students research, plan and implement all stages of a funeral as part of their studies. The final two years of study also allow for flexibility. Students can opt to specialize in management, take coroner preparatory courses, or study grief counseling, among other options.

“In our four-year program, students will be able to participate in job shadowing, a clinical practicum, and on-the-job internships,” said Ralph L. Klicker, director of the funeral services administration program. “The program is designed with flexibility for incoming freshman as well as working funeral directors desiring a bachelor’s degree. Several of the courses, particularly the 300 and 400-level courses, are available online, and we are offering experiential credits for working directors.”

SUNY Canton allows up to 30 credits for prior learning or life experiences for this major. “We’re one of only a few schools in the country to be able to do that,” Klicker added.

At least six working licensed funeral directors have already approached the College expressing interest in the new four-year degree, among those was Carl Trainor, who earned an associate degree at the College in 1977. Trainor is the owner and president of Trainor Funeral Home in Boonville. “The entire death care industry has changed in the last ten years,” he said. “Everything from societal and religious changes to the green movement has impacted the service oriented profession.”

Trainor said the College has done an excellent job integrating the changes with the newly created program. He expects to learn more about technology and its role in the industry by earning his bachelor’s degree.

The program prepares students to become a funeral director or an embalmer in any state. About a dozen first-year students have already expressed interest in the new program.

The career outlook for funeral directors is expected to increase through 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median salary for funeral directors was approximately $52,000 in 2008, and the top 10 percent earned approximately $93,000.

The four-year funeral services administration degree will be replacing the College’s renowned associate degree in mortuary science.

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.

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