Arkansas State University-Mountain Home (ASUMH) is expanding its funeral science program to include classes at Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus beginning January 2013.
The Memorandum of Understanding was approved Friday, Oct. 26, by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education during a meeting of its Coordinating Board in Little Rock.
Rep. Karen Hopper, R-Mountain Home, will formally announce the merger during a press conference Monday, Oct. 29, at ATU-Ozark, which will take place at 1 p.m. in the Student Services Conference Center, Room A.
“The Ozark Campus was approached by industry representatives to offer a funeral science degree on campus. Recognizing that ASU-Mountain Home had an accredited program with a strong reputation, I contacted them about a possible partnership,” ATU-Ozark Chancellor Dr. Jo Alice Blondin said in a statement.
Blondin reached out to ASUMH in response to the identified education need in the River Valley area, noting ASUMH is one of only two institutions in Arkansas offering a two-year funeral science program.
Dr. Pat Bailey, ASUMH Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs said, “This really is a win-win situation for both institutions. In these challenging economic times for higher education institutions, it just makes sense to share our resources the public has entrusted us with to meet the education needs of our communities.
“We feel confident the Ozark Campus has developed programs that we can utilize at the ASU-Mountain Home campus, and we look forward to expanding our partnership.”
ASUMH’s Associate of Applied Science in Funeral Science is a 60-credit hour program offering the theoretical and practical application of funeral service education. Students are prepared for entry into the profession after graduation. The National Board Examination must be completed prior to graduation.
Through the partnership, the two campuses will combine their course offerings for students to complete the degree. Students may complete 32 credit hours offered from Arkansas Tech-Ozark, with ASUMH providing the remaining 28 credit hours.
ASUMH’s funeral science program is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE), which serves as the national academic accreditation agency for college and university programs in funeral service and mortuary science education. The ABFSE is the sole accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation in this field.