VGCC to offer Funeral Service Education through Fayetteville Tech Partnership
Vance-Granville Community College is teaming up with one of its sister schools on an innovative hybrid program, paving the way for new career opportunities in its four-county service area.
VGCC has partnered with Fayetteville Technical Community College to bring FTCC’s Funeral Service Education program to students in Vance, Granville, Franklin, and Warren counties. FTCC runs the only funeral service program of its kind in North Carolina, which is 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.”
The agreement allows VGCC students to take general education courses close to home before applying to transfer into FTCC’s funeral service 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, and they will be required to visit FTCC in person a few times to demonstrate or learn key funeral service skills.
FTCC President Dr. Mark Sorrells noted that the program offers VGCC students the opportunity to accomplish much of their education without having to travel the distance to Fayetteville. “We think that’s a tremendous advantage and 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,” he said.
State Representative Frank Sossamon, who owns three funeral homes in Vance and Granville counties, was one of several industry professionals to attend 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,” Sossamon observed. “I think that’s a valuable thing.”
Vance-Granville is the fifth community college in the North Carolina Community College System to partner with Fayetteville Tech’s funeral service program.