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VGCC offers Funeral Service Education through FTCC Partnership

News, Program News

Vance-Granville has teamed up with a sister school on an innovative hybrid program, paving the way for new career opportunities in its four-county service area.

VGCC’s partnership with Fayetteville Technical Community College will provide Funeral Service Education to Vance, Granville, Franklin, and Warren counties. FTCC runs the only program of its kind in North Carolina, accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education and led by licensed funeral professionals.

“This is extremely relevant to our area,” said VGCC President Dr. Rachel Desmarais. “We really want to open this up as a possibility.”

Hybrid Model Offers Students Flexibility

The agreement allows VGCC students to take general education courses close to home before applying to transfer into FTCC’s program. Much of the program’s specialized instruction is offered online and can be completed remotely. Students must complete certain practical requirements in labs at FTCC or during work-based learning at a local funeral home. The program requires students to visit FTCC in person a few times to demonstrate or learn key funeral service skills.

FTCC President Dr. Mark Sorrells noted how the program offers VGCC students the chance to accomplish much of their education without traveling to Fayetteville. “We think that’s a tremendous advantage. [It’s] a way that we, as the only funeral service program in the state, can extend that service out into the rural areas and the small- to medium-sized colleges that have a lot of employment demand and need.”

State Representative Frank Sossamon was one of several industry professionals at the partnership’s signing ceremony in Henderson. “The more people locally we can get who consider going into this industry, the more likely funeral homes will stay family-owned,” he observed. “I think that’s a valuable thing.” Sossamon owns three funeral homes in Vance and Granville counties.

Vance-Granville is the fifth community college in the NC Community College System to partner with Fayetteville Tech’s funeral service program.

FTCC President Dr. Mark Sorrells and VGCC President Dr. Rachel Desmarais