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					Mortuary Science Student Expectation Study
February 2013

For Internal Use Only
Table of Contents

Objectives ...................................................................................... 3
Methodology...................................................................................... 3
Key Findings ..................................................................................... 4
Appendix A - Main reasons why you decided to enroll
             in mortuary college.......................................................... 17
Appendix B - Greatest challenges facing
             funeral service ......................................................... 41
Appendix C - If you had no prior college and mortuary
             school was four years, how likely would
             you be to enroll? ..................................................... 61
Appendix D - What could NFDA do or offer that would
             make membership valuable to you? ............................. 73
Appendix E - What suggestions or ideas do you have
             for future enhancements of NFDA benefits
             and services? ............................................................. 81


The purpose of this study was to survey mortuary science students in order to determine expectations
upon graduation. Among the expectations being measured were salary, hours, job responsibilities,
and benefits. These results will eventually be compared to the expectations of funeral home owners
in a separate study that will be conducted in the Spring of 2013.

This was a follow-up survey to the NFDA 2010 Mortuary Student Expectation Survey. In 2010, the
survey was redesigned to be more comprehensive but still maintain longitudinal integrity of previous
surveys that were conducted in 1990, 1995, 2007, and 2010. Where applicable, the results presented
track student expectations over the past two decades.


The American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) provided NFDA with a complete list of
mortuary science schools in the U.S. All schools were invited to participate. School administrators
could choose the way they wanted the survey administered. They had one of two options:

            Administrators could send a list of student email addresses to NFDA. NFDA then sent
             students email invitations to complete an online survey. Two reminder emails were sent
             to students in the three weeks following the initial invitation.
            Administrators could send a survey link to schools to be posted on the school’s Website
             or to be emailed directly to the students by the school administrator. A reminder email
             was sent to these administrators encouraging them to send out reminders to their
             students to help encourage student participation.

The surveys were administered from January 15, 2013 through February 15, 2013. To encourage a
high response rate, participating schools were offered a customized report showing the results of their
school compared to national level results. Also, an incentive was offered to students completing the
survey to be entered into a drawing for a chance to win one of ten American Express gift cards. Out
of 58 institutions accredited by ABFSE, 31 mortuary science schools participated in this online
survey. A total of 616 students completed the survey (three students didn’t identify their school),
yielding a total response rate of approximately 21.9% and a margin of error of approximately +3.7%.
Given this margin of error, the actual overall scores obtained in this research could fall either 3.7
percentage points higher or lower than what is predicted by this survey.

                                                                2012 Total   Number of   Response
School                                                          Enrollment   Responses     Rate
Arkansas State University - Mountain Home Funeral Service
Program                                                             84          33        39.3%
Bishop State Community College Funeral Service Education            10           2        20.0%
Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science                             110          16        14.5%
Carl Sandburg College Mortuary Science Program                      29          21        72.4%
Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service                          327          77        23.5%
Community College of Baltimore County Catonsville Campus,
Mortuary Science Program                                            65          23        35.4%
Dallas Institute of Funeral Service                                124           5         4.0%
Delgado Community College Department of Funeral Service
Education                                                           36           1         2.8%
Des Moines Community College Mortuary Science                      123          27        22.0%
Fayetteville Technical Community College Funeral Service
Education Department                                               274          15         5.5%
Holmes Community College Funeral Service Technology                 62          16        25.8%
Hudson Valley Community College Mortuary Science Dept.              88          41        46.6%
Ivy Tech Community College - Central Indiana Department of
Mortuary Science                                                    86          14        16.3%
John A. Gupton College                                             159          40        25.2%
John Tyler Community College Funeral Service Program                55          30        54.5%
Lake Washington Institute of Technology Funeral Service
Program                                                             46           6        13.0%
Mercer County Community College Funeral Service
Curriculum                                                         133          19        14.3%
Milwaukee Area Technical College West Campus Funeral
Service Department                                                  30          24        80.0%
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Funeral Service
Technology                                                          27          16        59.3%
New England Institute At Mount Ida College Department of
Mortuary Science                                                    84           3         3.6%
Northampton Community College Funeral Service Education             52          13        25.0%
Piedmont Technical College                                          54          18        33.3%
Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science                           336          78        23.2%
Salt Lake Community College                                        n/a           2         n/a
St. Louis Community College At Forest Park Department of
Funeral Service Education                                           42          12        28.6%
St. Petersburg College Funeral Services Program                     90          14        15.6%
University of Arkansas Community College At Hope Funeral
Service Program                                                     31          14        45.2%
University of Central Oklahoma Department of Funeral
Service Education                                                  150          16        10.7%
University of Minnesota Program of Mortuary Science                 87          17        19.5%
                                                       Total:      2794         613       21.9%

Key Findings

     The main reasons why students enroll in mortuary college are they want to help
      people in a time of need (42.3%), they felt they had a calling or it’s something they
      have always wanted to do (25.2%), they want to get a job or change their career
      (18.9%), or they find the field interesting (16.1%).

                   Main Reasons for Enrolling in Mortuary College
                                             2013      2010

               Want to help people/community                                                42.3%
            "Calling"/always wanted to do this
                    Get a job/change careers                             18.9%
            General interest in funeral service                       16.1%
         Previous experience at funeral home                   9.7%
                           Family in business                  9.3%
                           Get degree/license               6.6%
                         Interested in science             6.0%
  Personal experience with death of loved one              6.0%
                    Learn techniques/industry             5.4%
                 Honor/care for the deceased             4.6%
                                  Job security          3.8%
                            School reputation         2.6%
          Want to own funeral home someday            2.4%
                                                  0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45%

   Once hired, students expect to be funeral directing/embalming (83.2%), funeral
    arranging (78.6%), restorative art (75.4%), and removals (72.6%). There was a
    noticeable decrease (-8.6 points) in embalming from 2010 to 2013.
   Most students do not expect to be doing staff training (29.9%), fleet maintenance
    (27.4%), cemetery operations (26.9%), information technology (26.1%), or own their
    own funeral home (17.3%).

                        Expected Job Responsibilities
                                        2013     2010

       Funeral directing/embalming                                             81.7%
                 Funeral arranging                                            79.4%
                    Restorative Art                                          76.6%
                        Removals*                                          72.6%
                Preneed arranging                                       62.2%
                        Embalming                                       63.2%
                  Funeral directing                                 55.7%
                Bereavement Care                                46.9%
              Community relations                                 50.7%
             Administrative/clerical                          45.0%
    Custodial tasks (Bldg./Grounds)                        38.0%
             Crematory operations                          39.0%
                         Marketing                      33.2%
            Business management                           36.3%
           Accounting/bookkeeping                     29.6%
                      Staff training                    32.4%
                Fleet maintenance                     29.2%
              Cemetery operations                    28.0%
            Information technology                   27.0%
              Owning funeral home                   25.5%

                                       0%      20%      40%      60%       80%     100%
      *Removals added in 2013 survey

    In general, student expectation of receiving job benefits has decreased somewhat from 2010.
     However, the top benefits students expect to receive once employed at a funeral home have
     remained the same since 2010. They include medical insurance (76.8%), sick time (76.3%),
     paid vacation (64.9%), and funeral leave 61.7%).
    Less than 10% of responding students expect to receive paid military leave, living quarters,
     and/or loan services.

                             Expected Employee Benefits
                                             2013      2010

                Medical insurance                                                      80.6%
                         Sick time                                                   76.9%
                     Paid vacation                                                68.4%
                     Funeral leave                                              64.0%
                     Paid holidays                                          57.8%
    Time for professional seminars                                        54.9%
                  Retirement plan                                         55.3%
          Maternity/paternity leave                                   47.3%
                    Life insurance                                     50.0%
               Paid personal days                                      49.6%
              Paid jury duty leave                                   46.9%
                          Bonuses                                   44.9%
               Disability insurance                               41.8%
               Clothing allowance                          30.2%
    Paid membership to civic orgs                       24.9%
                         Flex time                      25.5%
            Tuition reimbursement                     21.8%
               CE reimbursement                   15.1%
                Vehicle allowance                  17.5%
                Paid military leave             11.9%
                   Living quarters           8.1%
                    Loan services          5.6%

                                      0%       20%         40%         60%         80%         100%

   Similar to 2010, just under half of respondents expect to have a job upon graduation,
    one-third expect to have a job within one to three months, and 22.5% expect it will
    take four months or more to find a job.

               How Long Do You Expect It to Take Before You are
                      Employed as a Funeral Director?
                                            2013   2010
    50%        46.2%
    35%               33.7% 33.2%

    10%                                                                      7.0% 5.6%
    5%                                              1.8% 2.8%    3.3% 2.7%
          Will have job 1-3 months    4-6 months   7-9 months     10-12      More than 12
              upon                                                months       months

   The median expected salary remained the same since 2010 ($40,000).

                              Annual Expected Salary
                                                       $38,000     $40,000      $40,000
     $25,000                           $27,000
     $20,000           $22,000
                    1990             1995          2007          2010         2013

   Similar to 2010, students expect to work 45 hours per week (or more as needed).

                           Expected Work Week Hours

                       45                            45             45

          40                          40


                    1995            2007         2010            2013

   Almost all students expect to work evenings, work weekends, and to be on call. These
    results have remained consistent since 2010.

                        Work Schedule Expectations
                                      2013 2010
           99%           98.8%         98.9% 98.9%


                   Expect to work     Expect to work      Expect to be on
                     evenings           weekends               call

    Similar to 2010, students perceived the top challenges facing funeral service as rising
     cremation rates (27.3%) and changing trends/fewer traditional funerals (24.8%).
     However, these two items were rated much higher in 2013.
    Today’s students were less likely to perceive the bad economy (-6.3 points) and being
     able to serve families (-5.0 points) as major challenges facing funeral service
     compared to responding students in 2010.

                         Greatest Challenges Facing Funeral Service
                                                   2013      2010

                        Rising cremation rates                                                     27.3%
    Change in trends/fewer traditional funerals                                                 24.8%
     Bad image of industry/uneducated public                               10.7%
                             Trying to get a job                           10.6%
     Families without funds to pay/profitability                       8.6%
                          High cost of funerals                      7.7%
                                   Competition                       7.5%
                                  Bad economy                       7.1%
                   Being able to serve families                     7.1%
        Unqualified/dishonest funeral directors                   6.1%
     Low salary/long hours of funeral directors                4.6%
    Funeral directors that don't want to adapt*             3.1%

                                   Technology*             2.5%

                      Legal issues/regulations             2.3%
      Being a woman/minority (discrimination)              2.1%
         Environmental issues/green funerals              1.7%
        Goods sold online or by other retailers           1.5%
                                  Corporations           1.0%
                                      Diseases          0.7%
                                                   0%       5%       10%    15%        20%   25%    30%
*New codes added in 2013.

   Most students surveyed will be first generation funeral directors (90.0%).

                   Generations of Funeral Home Ownership
                                          2013     2010

        First generation funeral director

     Second generation funeral director

      Third or earlier generation funeral        5.0%
                    director                     6.8%

                                            0%     20%     40%     60%      80% 100%

   Just over half of responding students (56.3%) had a career prior to enrolling in mortuary

                       Did You Have a Career Before Entering
                                Mortuary School?
                                          2013     2010



                  0%      10%       20%        30%        40%       50%       60%

   Only 17.3% of respondents did not have any college experience prior to enrolling to
    mortuary school, 40.4% stated they had completed some college course work prior to
    enrolling in mortuary school but did not earn a degree, and 40.5% had an associates
    degree or higher.

                   How Much College Did You Have Prior to Mortuary
       20%     17.3%                 17.8%      18.4%

        5%                                                                        1.8%
               None       Some      Associate Bachelors     Masters   Doctorate   Other
                        college but
                        no degree

   Only 13.3% of students stated they were very familiar with NFDA and 49.7% were somewhat
    familiar with NFDA, while 37.0% were either not very familiar or not at all familiar with NFDA.

                        How Familiar Are You with NFDA?
        30%                                               27.7%

        20%           13.3%
                 Very familiar      Somewhat              Not very         Not at all
                                     familiar             familiar         familiar

   Only 14.4% of students surveyed have an NFDA membership.

                     Do you currently have a
                     student membership with
                     NFDA?                                   2013
                     Yes                                    14.4%
                     No                                     85.6%

   Most students stated they were either very likely (56.6%) or somewhat likely (37.7%) to join
    NFDA upon graduation.

                     How Likely Will You be to Acquire a
                      Professional NFDA Membership?
           60%         56.6%


           40%                         37.7%



           10%                                          4.5%
                     Very likely     Somewhat      Not very likely Not at all likely

   If mortuary science school were a four year program, most students stated they would still be
    either very likely (49.6%) or somewhat likely (27.5%) to enroll. Students verbatim comments
    about this topic can be seen in Appendix E.

                 If You Had No Prior College and Mortuary
                 Science School Was a Four Year Program,
                     How Likely Would You Be to Enroll?


        30%                           27.5%

        20%                                            16.4%

        10%                                                               6.5%

                  Very likely      Somewhat        Not very likely Not at all likely

   In 2013, less than half (42.8%) of the respondents were 25 years old or younger and 35.5%
    were between the ages of 26 and 39. Almost 22 percent (21.7%) were 40 years old or older.

                                         2013      2010
     40%                    35.5% 33.8%


     20%                                   14.0%
     10%                                                   5.8% 5.5%
                                                                          1.8% 1.0%
            25 or Under         26-39         40-49          50-59            60+

   Approximately two-thirds of respondents were in their first year of the mortuary science

                   First Year in Mortuary Science Program?



   Most respondents were White (79.6%), followed by African American (14.9%), and Hispanic

                                  Race/Ethnic Origin
    70%              64.1%
    30%                                 24.2%
    20%                          14.9%
    10%                                                3.5%                2.0% 3.6%
                 White         African-American         Hispanic           Other Race
                                          2013     2010

   Approximately two-thirds of student respondents were female (62.7%) and one-third male

        70%                                              62.7%
        50%                      42.9%
                             Male                            Female
                                        2013    2010

Appendix A

Please tell us the main reasons why you decided to enroll in mortuary science college.
(Verbatim Comments)

“Calling”/Always Wanted to Do This
     A career in funeral service has interested me for a number of years. I have wanted to enroll in
      mortuary college since early on in high school. I not only find the anatomy and other natural
      sciences involved fascinating, the work with people involved gives me an enormous sense of
      gratitude knowing I can help someone in their time of need.
     A life-long interest in funeral customs and embalming practices was my primary reason to
     always been interested
     Always been interested in the business. My grandfather worked for a funeral home when I was
      young, now working part time for a embalming service while going to school.
     Always wanted to work in a funeral home and figured that the jobs would always be around.
     A life long desire to serve people in this manner.
     As strange as it may sound, I have always been fascinated with death. I am very respectful of
      death as well. It is a part of life that everyone endures. I hope that I am able to help the family
      in some way as they mourn the loss of their loved ones.
     Because I have always been interested in funeral preparation and taking pride in making
      families happy.
     Because it’s something I have always been interested in. Plus I work at a funeral home
      whenever i get the chance.
     Because of my love of planning and helping others with their life's events (wedding planning,
      etc.), I chose to go to Mortuary school to help ease the transition between life and death for
      families who have lost a loved one who are in need of help of somebody to do and direct and
      guide things for them.
     Been lifelong work and wanted to become licensed
     Childhood Dream
     Ever since I can remember death has been apart of my life, I have always wondered what
      happens after you die. This is in part because my father passed while my mom was pregnant
      with me and my twin sister. I have always had an attachment to him even though I have never
      met him in a physical form. I also had a boyfriend pass. When I attended his service I fell in love
      with the profession, everything from what the funeral director was doing (I found myself
      watching him) to the people gathering together to remember their loved one.
     Felt it was a calling on my life to serve my community. It is a profession of immeasurable value
      to others.
     Funeral Service has always been an interest to me. There is a wide variety of options in this
      market, and good job security.
     Funeral Service is something that I have always wanted to do, but didn't have an opportunity
      until it became a second career choice. While trying to decide what to do with myself after
      retirement, it became obvious it would be the funeral industry as all roads seemed to lead back
      to the program.

“Calling”/Always Wanted to Do This
     Funeral Service was my calling at age 12. I had always been fascinated with the profession
      from attending many services for relatives and friends that had died closely together. Because
      of the frequent visits to funeral homes I had developed an interest at a young age. I have been
      working in the funeral home since my early teens and because Mortuary Science is my chosen
      profession it is only natural that I enroll into a Mortuary Science program to obtain my
      certification to practice.
     Funeral services has always been interesting to me every since I was 14 years old. I always
      wanted to see how embalming was done and how to care for the deceased. When I retired I
      decided to enroll into the program and I am really enjoying it. I have learned so much and my
      school has some really great instructors.
     Have always wanted to do funeral service, worked in the funeral home all through high school.
     I always wanted to be an embalmer, and I just wanted to do something different...
     I am passionate about funeral service and I wish to pursue a career in it. I love helping people
      and I feel like I am meant to be a funeral director and embalmer.
     I believe that this is a ministry. I changed my major 5 different times before I received the calling
      to become a licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer.
     i cannot see myself in any other profession
     I decided to attend Mortuary School because I felt that it was my calling to serve people. What
      an honor it is for me to serve those in the worst time of their life. Funeral Service is my passion.
     I decided to enroll in mortuary college because its my passion and not a lot of people say they
      want to do mortuary science.
     I decided to enroll into the program when i was in high school. A local funeral home needed
      some help with a removal and i was hooked. I began helping during visitations and with more
      removals and decided it was something i wanted to do.
     I enrolled into a mortuary college because i have always wanted to be a funeral director.
     I Enrolled to pursue my Lifelong dream and to be an help to people in their times of need. I
      enjoy being there for people and this is only an extension of who I am to begin with.
     I Feel a great respect and love the families I get to work with in the funeral home. I feel called to
      serve the families who's loved ones have past. This is a career I can do until I pass away.
     I feel called into the “ministry” of serving God's people in their time of need through providing
      comfort and a way to respect their family at the one of the most vulnerable time in their lives.
     I feel that this is my calling in life.
     I feel this is the direction God is calling on my life. I have been in full time Pastoral Ministry the
      last 18 years helping and counseling people. I have also worked part time the last 6 years in
      the funeral home.
     I feel this profession chose me. I can do it and like what I do.
     I felt as though I was meant to do this. I had excitement for no other major and felt that this field
      was perfect for me.
     I felt it was a calling.
     I felt that was God's Plan for me. Throughout my life, I believed working in the funeral industry
      was very similar to working in the ministry. I am naturally caring and compassionate. I have
      always believed in the “Golden Rule”. The funeral industry seemed to be the perfect profession
      for my personality.
     I felt the need to help people.
     I finally decided to answer the calling that I had been ignoring for a long time.
     I had a higher calling, plus I wanted to show respect to the dead because they may have not
      got the respect in living.

“Calling”/Always Wanted to Do This
     I had a higher calling, plus I wanted to show respect to the dead because they may have not
      gotten the respect in living.
     I have a desire to serve others. I lost my father when I was 20 years old and have always been
      curious about the funeral service ever since. If I can help a family who is grieving and make a
      positive impact on their life, than I have done my job to the best of my ability.
     I have a purpose in helping and healing of the people that are dealing death.
     I have a true passion for helping families through this life changing moment.
     I have always been interested in being a funeral director. Ever since my parents would ask me
      what I wanted to be, a funeral director was my answer.
     I have always been interested in funeral service, I enjoy working in the service industry and
      working with people and want a career that gives me the opportunity to be an owner of a
     I have always been interested in the industry and felt called to be involved in it.
     I have always been interested in this field of work. I have finished my associates degree and
      now was a good time to start my mortuary schooling.
     I have always been interested in this field and I feel that I would be an asset to whatever funeral
      home I work for with my people skills and what I've leaned and have yet to learn at Carl
     I have always been intrigued by the process and found myself in recent months rediscovering
      myself and this is where I have been led by these revelations.
     I have always had a passion to pursue my career in this major.
     I have always had a strong passion for the funeral industry. I want to help people going through
      difficult times.
     I have always seen myself as a funeral director. Ever since I was young I knew I wanted to do
      this. I remember being about 7 or 8 years old as an alter server at our catholic church. That was
      when I was first exposed to funerals and the profession. I also experienced a couple of family
      funerals and was amazed by how my grandparents, for example, looked in the casket when I
      had seen the effects of their disease. I was intrigued and curious as to how it was possible that
      they looked like their healthy past self and as though they were sleeping. That's how I became
      interested in embalming.
     I have always wanted to be a funeral director (2)
     I have always wanted to be a funeral director.
     I have always wanted to know about Funeral Directing
     I have always wanted to see corpse in all aspects of death. I have been a Certified Nurse Aide
      for 22 years and wanted a change. All I ever though about was working in a funeral home. I
      want the dying to know that they can trust when they die that I will make them look their best. I
      also can still do part of my CNA job by being there for the families and walking them through the
      tough decisions that they will have to face along the way. I look forward to giving the families
      the determination to do the best they can for their loved ones after death.
     I have been interested in funeral service since I was a child. I have seriously been researching
      the profession since I was 2007. Recently, I had an issue and left teaching and felt called to
      this. I love helping people and also I am very interested in the science of embalming.
     i have been working in and around funeral homes since i was a teen
     I have wanted to be a mortician since I was a kid

“Calling”/Always Wanted to Do This
     I have wanted to become a funeral director and embalmer for a couple years now. It's not in my
      family or anything just something that has been calling me.
     I have wanted to do this for a very long time. When I was 9 years old my great uncle passed
      away and the Funeral Director gave my cousins and I a tour of the selection room and
      preparation room. Ever since then I have had the passion that I want to help people in their time
      of need and be trusted with their loved to take care of them with dignity and respect.
     I have wanted to go to mortuary college since early in high school just haven't had a chance
      and finally able too now. It has been a passion of mine to help people in need and give them
      the care that they need at that time.
     I truly believe it to be my calling - that one profession that I was born to perform.
     I wanted to be what I was called to do. Be a funeral director and embalming.
     I was called by God to become a funeral director.
     I was in high school and was looking into going into nursing school. Through that experience I
      wanted to be the last person to take care of someone.
     I was looking for a profession that would compliment my gifts and skills and callings and a
      profession that i could do as i mature in years
     I'm 42 years old and wanted to pursue this goal since 17 years old. However, I was never
      fortunate to live near an approved mortuary college while serving time in the military and in law
      enforcement while the nearest school was 2 hours away.
     I’m in love and dedicated to funeral service
     I’m very interested in the work. It’s my dream.
     it felt like a true calling for my career and future.
     It has been a calling from God since I was a young girl.
     It has been a dream since childhood. Truthfully, it's more of a calling than a dream
     It has been a life long ambition to pursue a career in funeral directing. I've explored other areas
      of study to please my family, but was not able to give it my all because it was not what was in
      my heart to do. Funeral service has been my passion and therefore I chose to enroll in
      mortuary college so that my dream can finally come true.
     It has been A long life goal to become a Funeral Director.
     It has been my dream since I was in the eighth grade.
     It is a calling I first heard when I was very young.
     It is a profession I've had an interest in for some time - and I feel it is a rewarding profession.
      DMACC has a Funeral Home Based program that works for me.
     It is something I always wanted to do. Can't explain why just knew I wanted to do it! When I
      graduated high school my mom would not let me pursue a career in the field, so I came back to
      school at 37 years old! I am very much looking forward to completing my education and getting
      out in to the work force! I find it to be a very rewarding job.
     It is somewhat of a calling for me. If I can help someone on one of the worst days of their life
      through funeral service, that means a lot to me. I also enjoy the science behind it.
     It was a calling to help others in time of need. A ministry if you will. I love every aspect of funeral
      service and look forward to becoming an excellent member of this profession one day!
     It was my calling, and it was the profession I wanted to go into.
     It was something I felt was my calling at a very young age and due to financial reason I am now
      just able to complete it.

“Calling”/Always Wanted to Do This
     I've always had an interest in the funeral industry. Originally I thought that I would really enjoy
      ministering to families who are grieving. I now am excited about the “science” part as well.
     I've always had the thought in the back of my mind since High school, but went into
      management instead. Then 18 years later the family grocery store I worked for closed due to
      the economy. Now here I am making another accomplishment come true.
     I've always wanted to work in, for lack of a better term, the “death” field
     I've had a high interest in funeral services and mortuary sciences for a long time. The classes
      sounded interesting, considering it touches base on psychology, anatomy and physiology,
      chemistry, microbiology, pathology and so on. I've had a lot of personal experience with death
      and funerals within the past couple years and that spiked my interest even more. Finding out
      that I was only an hour away from the only college in the state that offered the program, it
      seemed like a good idea.
     I've wanted to do it all throughout high school.
     Life long dream
     Life-long interest, loss of Father and other family members. Sincere want to help families
      experiencing a loss. It's a calling for me.
     Lifelong passion to be a funeral director. Geographic limitations prevented me from pursuing a
      career in the funeral industry until I discovered the program was available at Ivy Tech
      Community College in Central Indiana.
     Longtime interest in the profession.
     My decision to enroll into mortuary school was more of a calling, rather than decision. I felt that
      in this industry it takes special people to be able to carry out these duties, and I feel that these
      are duties that I can do.
     Passion for the industry
     Something I found myself doing since I was in high school, family friends who are in the
     The field has always interested me. I am a social person so I like to engage with people and the
      opportunity to help those who have lost a loved one sounded like a good fit,
     The funeral industry has always been a passion of mine. I love serving families and helping
      them during that time of need.
     The funeral industry is my calling and a major career change for me from the healthcare &
      hospitality industry.
     The love and compassion that I have for the funeral industry. To further my career
     This field has been an interest to me all my life. I tell everyone it is a calling. I want to help
      others on the emotional side of grief and move on with a healthy productive life. I want to help
      bring some kind of closure for families. I am also very interested in the way human bodies are
      constructed and the phases of preserving our loved ones.
     This is my calling. I have been around the business my entire life with a father who was a
      funeral director. In 3rd grade this is what I said that I wanted to be when I grew up. Life took
      me in other directions and jobs. Coming up on my 30th birthday, I decided that it was finally
      time that I scratched the itch that was there and finally go for the career that I have always
     This is something I have wanted to do for a long time. It took me a long time to save the money
      to move from Germany to Dallas to complete this program, but I worked hard and now I am

“Calling”/Always Wanted to Do This
     This is something I wanted to do since I was in high school. I feel a need to provide a service to
      the living that are left behind by the decedent, and give them comfort in their time of mourning.
     This is something that has always interested me. I lost my best friend in a car accident and did
      not agree with the way he looked at the final viewing. From then on I always said I want to
      make a family happy even when they are sad. I looked more into this major and just went with
     This is something that I have been wanting to do for a while. I just didn't realize it until the last
      three years.
     To fulfill my dream to become a licensed funeral director.
     To pursue my dreams of helping love ones at a time of needs....
     What I have wanted to do for as long as I can remember!

Want to Help People
     Because I want to be there for families in their time of need. I want to show the respect and
      compassion for the deceased as well as the families I will be serving
     Bereavement care.
     Death is a scary thing when it involves loved ones. Why not be in a field where you can make
      that feeling a little less frightening and offer comfort through their grief process. It has to do with
      respect-- how I would want my loved ones treated! It is an amazing process that has a wonderful
      outcome by seeing families having that peaceful moment for one last time with their family
      member. So far I am in love with this field and am filled with excitement on learning more each
      day! Our instructors at MGCCC are wonderful teachers who really love their field and respect the
      deceased! They are truly passionate about the death process and its an honor to learn from the
     Desire to help others.
     Desire to serve.
     Families need someone compassionate and professional to handle their funeral arrangements. I
      have seen way too many luke warm funeral directors and I want to make a difference!
     help families deal with loss
     Help families through the grieving process and learn embalming. It's very interesting to me.
     Help families when in need.
     Help people at their time of need
     Help people in their time of need and loss.
     Help people in there time of need
     I am a people person, to me it all about serving, and from God perspective we are here to serve
      and not be served. It brings me joy to serve. That is why I decided to enroll in mortuary college.
      Serving families is the joy of the profession.
     I believe that I have a gift that helps me to demonstrate my creativity.
     I decided to enroll in mortuary college because I am a servant. I believe that God has called me
      into funeral service.

Want to Help People
     I decided to enroll in mortuary college because I wanted to be able to leave a positive memory
      with grieving families. My purpose in choosing this field of work mainly rests on the fact that I
      want to help in anyway possible because many times families aren't always able to understand
      what it is that they are having to deal with and I want to be there to reassure them that someone
      cares not just for the deceased but also for the family's well-being after the funeral.
     I decided to enroll in mortuary college because I wanted to help people in a time of need, to be
      able to give them a positive picture of their loved one the last time they will see them. I want to
      be able to help people grieve the loss properly and help them to be able to move on with their
     I decided to enroll in mortuary college to assist families in their greatest time of need.
     I decided to enroll into mortuary school simply because I have a heart for the families that losses
      love one; no matter the race or creed. My goal is to extend myself in making the final decisions
      less stressful and to help provide peace of mind knowing their loved one is honored with a burial
      of the choosing.
     I decided to go down this career path because I love to help people, and it takes a very special
      kind of person to do this profession. When my grandmother passed away and saw how the
      funeral directors took care of her and her funeral, I knew I wanted to do the same for other
      people. This is something I want to do for the rest of my life.
     I enjoy helping others in their time of need and i plan to take over the family business.
     I enjoy helping people and serving others in a time of need
     I enjoy the benefit of knowing I can make a difference in someone’s life, everyday.
     I enrolled because I want to make a difference in someone's life. A good majority of the funerals
      that I have been to have not so great prepared bodies. In some cases the deceased looked
      nothing like the person I once shared so many memories with. I do not want for someone to go
      through what I along with my family did. Funerals are a very sensitive time for families, they
      should not have to deal with poorly prepared bodies that leak embalming fluid. The bereaved
      should have a good final memory of their late family member or friend. I would love to help these
      families in their time of sorrow.
     I enrolled in Mortuary college business I loved helping people in their time of need. I love visiting
      the funeral homes. So why not go to school so I can work in one some day.
     I enrolled in mortuary college to serve the families of those who have lost a loved one. I want to
      help pay tribute to a life that was lived as well as relieve stress from the family by helping them
      complete necessary paperwork involved in arranging a funeral.
     I feel like it's career I would be good at. I see it as a way to help families with one one the
      hardest if not the hardest thing in like. to lose a loved one.
     I feel that as a funeral director I can help grieving people with the death of their loved ones and
      that I can restore the body to look how the family would want them to look.
     I find it a fascinating career and believe I can help people through one of the most difficult times
      in their lives with great comfort.
     I have a great desire to serve the public.
     I have always love helping people
     I know that when it comes time for me to make decisions about my families funeral
      arrangements, I want someone who is going to give me the advice and have the patience that I
      plan on having with the families I work with.
     I liked that I would be working with the living during a difficult time and also working with the
      deceased and preparing the body. I really love the balance of psychology and anatomy.
     I love assisting families and being a voice of comfort to them.
     I love helping people

Want to Help People
     I love working and helping others along with finding an interest in funeral directing.
     I really love to help others and encourage them when they need it the most. In funeral service,
      you can do this is more than one way. Not only are you with the family to make arrangements,
      you also assist them by allowing them to see their loved one like he/she looked when he/she
      was still alive.
     I really want to help people during one of the toughest moments in their life, and to create a
      unique and memorable way for them to remember their loved one.
     I want the opportunity to have a positive impact on people during a very difficult and emotional
      time. I also feel that there are many job opportunities available to me upon graduation and I am
      looking forward to many years of making a difference.
     I want to be able to give people some satisfaction and closure, getting the chance to have a
      positive last experience with their loved one.
     I want to be able to help people in their time of need...
     I want to be able to help people through a tough time in their lives. Also help there family make
      some decisions that will help them get through the grieving process.
     I want to be an advocate for the deceased and their family
     I want to become a NY state licensed funeral director in order to give people a proper last
      viewing of their loved ones.
     I want to help families through what they consider the worst time of their life, and be able to offer
      my empathy and support to help make the process a little smoother and the memory of their
      loved one special.
     I want to help people and be there for them when they need me. I want to change how people
      think about death.
     I want to help people at the time in their lives that they need help the most.
     I want to help people (3)
     I want to help those in my community.
     I wanted a career that gave me an opportunity to help
     I wanted a career where I could help others when they need it most.
     i wanted to be a hospice nurse but think i can help people more with the funeral and taking care
      of their dead loved one.
     I wanted to be able to give the families a positive last memory of their loved one.
     I wanted to be able to help people in one of the hardest times in their life.
     I wanted to get into a career where I got to be hands on in helping people and mortuary science
      seemed to be a great fit.
     I wanted to give back to my community in a way that not too many people can. With hopes of
      furthering my education in pathology if given the opportunity.
     I wanted to help people through a tough time in their lives.
     I wanted to make a difference, and enjoyed my minor in Forensics at Purdue.
     I was enamored by the responsibility of caring for families and descendants at a time most
      people would not want to; I feel very honored to be in the position of caring for someone for their
      last event in life.
     I would like to also help the Asian community with broken English. As a trilingual student, I can
      take it to advantage.
     I would like to help families in a way that allows them to find peace from the loss of a loved one.
     I would like to help families in the time of need and make sure they are taken care of properly.

Want to Help People
     I would like to obtain work in a field in which I provide a vital service to my community.
     I'd like to help people in their times of need. I've never wanted a “cubical job”, and mortuary
      science interests me.
     It is a great way to help people through possible the roughest time in their life.
     It is not a profession that all can do but I can therefore I feel as if I owe it to myself and others to
      perform a role and service that I know i can perform , and perform well.
     I've enrolled in a mortuary college to complete the task of counseling and preparing a family to
      forever lose a loved one that will never return.
     Love helping people
     Profession I was good at. Obligation to serve families and also the science aspect of it.
     The knowledge of knowing that I can help grieving families, with their loss is a dignified way.
     The main reason i enrolled in mortuary school was because I wanted to serve families better in
      their time of need. I have had multiple experiences with unprofessional funeral directors and
      found it disheartening.
     The passion to help those in need and their deceased friend/family members. Also to carry on
      the family business.
     The program offers me a career serving the public.
     There are too many people today suffering with complicated grief and I want to have a part in
      changing that.
     To be instrumental in helping families to cope with the hardships of death, and to embalm and
      help preserve human remains.
     To better myself and my family and because I enjoy helping people and consoling families.
     To better serve families during their time off need
     To continue my roll as a public servant.
     To further my desire to help people during a difficult time in their life.
     To help families during the grieving process of the death of a loved one.
     To help families in their time of need.
     To help families with proper closure and give the deceased a dignified funeral.
     To help families.
     To help grieving families and to leave a previous career
     To help others at a time when they may need the most help
     To help people during their time of need.
     To help people in their time of need.
     to help people in this aspect
     To help people that are grieving.
     To help people that cannot take care of themselves.
     To help people through the most difficult time in their life.
     To help people with their grief and loss of a loved one(s).
     To help survivors in their darkest time of life.
     To help those in need and the science of the profession.
     To help those who have lost a loved one handle their loss and be a helping hand to ease the
      process of planning the services.
     To provide a meaningful service for families.
     To provide exceptional services that were afforded me when, my dad passed away 2 years ago.
      I was 25 and he was 49

Want to Help People
     To provide the up most customer service to our families. I find it interesting as well.
     To serve bereaved families.
     To serve families in a time of need, to further my education and become a funeral director
     To serve people in their time of need, with compassion.
     To serve the community and to help people when they need it the most
     To service families in a memorable way as was done for my family.
     Want to help people in a time when they need it the most. I want to make a difference for
      someone when they are experiencing a loss.
     Wanted to help people who are at their worst moment in their lives.

Family in Business
     Family business (5)
     Family owns Funeral Home
     Family tradition.
     Funeral directing runs in my family and I want to be able to help others during one of the hardest
      times in their lives.
     Gain full access to job at father's company. Working with my father and earning a living.
     I am working to get my funeral director's license to move alongside my father in our family funeral
     I basically grew up in the funeral industry, helping out, volunteering at my Grandparents family
      owned funeral home. As I grew older I became more interested in learning more about the
      business. I wanted to know different ways to help better the business and cater to families in their
      time of need. This is why I chose to go to mortuary school.
     I decided to enroll into mortuary college because my father has been a funeral director his whole
      life and I see how much he enjoys it. Also It makes me proud to follow in my fathers footsteps
     I grew up around the business and plan to go into the family business.
     I grew up around the funeral home all of my life and becoming a mortician is something I really
      want to do.
     I grew up around the funeral industry, and a child, being exposed to the business grew on me. My
      uncle was an embalmer at a local funeral home, and often let me watch. The profession grew on
      me so much as to motivate me to enroll in school for it.
     I have always been interested in the mortuary field because my uncle worked for a funeral home. I
      was exposed to the funeral home at a very early age. I wanted to help people like I saw the funeral
      directors help my family when we lost 3 members within a seven month period of time. I also
      wanted to bring another woman to a typically all male field of work.
     I needed to become a Director in order to take over the family funeral home.
     I wanted to do something different, based on the fact that not many people are fond of going to
      school for Mortuary Science. It is also a family business on my father's side.
     I will be taking over my family business and i just really the industry.
     I will be the 4th generation funeral director in my family
     It is a family business, and I am 6th generation!
     Mother in the business and enjoy helping and guiding people through the tragedy of losing a loved
     My family business and I love helping people.

Family in Business
     My family has 3 funeral homes in the state & I am very interested in continuing the family
     My family has been in the funeral business for over 35 years. I decided to continue the tradition
      and take over the family business.
     My family owns a business, and I already have my BA in Psychology.
     My family owns a small funeral home which I intend to manage in the future with my brother.
     My father also attended school at Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service and graduated in the
      80's. After he passed away my sophomore year in High School, I became more interested in the
      business, so I decided to follow in his footsteps and establish a future for myself and make him
     My father has a removal business for Funeral Homes which is how i got started, after high school i
      knew what career i wish to pursue.
     My father owns 2 funerals back home and Hudson Valley was the most convenient place to attend
      for me.
     My husband and I own a funeral home and I wanted to be licensed so that I could help with the
     My mother owned and operated a funeral home for over 20 years before she passed away. It is a
      family business which I have dedicated my life to continue her legacy.
     Opportunity at a family funeral home on my wife’s side.
     Strong family history in Funeral service and I have always been interested to provide families with
      care in a time of need.
     To be able to work in our family business
     To carry on the family business.
     To follow in the footsteps of my father and grandfather who are both morticians
     To help my mother in her funeral home, embalmers keep leaving the area.
     To obtain a career in family funeral business

Honor/Care for the Deceased
     I Believe the dead should be taken care of in the correct manner.

Want to Own My Own Funeral Home
     I want to be a funeral director and I want to purchase and operate my own funeral home someday.
      I enrolled so I could get my license and become a caring and hard working funeral director.
     I want to own my own funeral home. This is the profession I know I can help and care for the
      deceased and their grieving families.
     I would like to one day own and operate a funeral home
     i would like to open my own funeral home.
     plan to operate a funeral home
     The desire to own my own business that contributes to the betterment of the community in which
      I'll serve.

Get a Job/Change Careers
      20 years of EMS, wanted to change professions.
      2nd career. As a fire fighter I have been active many years with local and state honor guards,
       developing an interest in mortuary science.
      A career
      A couple years ago I was working as a teller in a local bank. I had the opportunity to get to know a
       funeral director who would come in to do his banking. Funeral services have always sparked my
       attention and that was the little extra push I needed to convince myself this is a good business to
       get into. I'm a passionate, and organized which is why I feel this industry is the right choice for
      After being laid off from my job of 23 years in manufacturing, I wanted a more meaningful career.
      As a second career I enrolled to help a friend who owns a funeral home. I have also helped other
       Funeral Directors and thought having my license would be a good way to help them also.
      Career change
      Career change, I grew up with my grandmother who taught us to respect the dead and help those
       in need when a loved one passes.
      Career change. To learn the profession of funeral directing.
      Change in careers and an interest I have had for many years. Helping people at their final
       moments would be an act of grace.
      Enrolled to do a third career.
      For a change in career
      For a life long career.
      I am a former firefighter and paramedic. I also worked with residents in skilled nursing facilities
       that had traumatic brain injuries and forms of dementia. I lost my father to a motor vehicle
       accident and found out how long it took a medical examiner to come out to our area and the mess
       that the autopsy left my fathers body in. After this I took a 20 foot fall and broke my back, making
       me unable to do the work that I previously did. After my thoracic injury I decided that the only way
       I could help people in need would be this program.
      I am a nurse and a mental health therapist. I have always felt I could help guide families through
       such a very difficult time. I have also personal experiences with deaths in my family that were
       handled unprofessionally and lacking compassion. I feel I would make the experience more
       manageable and bearable for families. I lost my job and it opened to door to return to school.
      I am an EMT-B Firefighter, I wanted to be able to help families who have lost loved ones.
      I am entering a second career. I have been a pastor for 25 years and found that serving in the
       funeral industry is closely aligned to what I enjoyed most in ministry, helping people.
      I am no longer able to practice in the field I am currently employed in due to a serious accident, I
       have always wanted to work in the industry.

Get a Job/Change Careers
      I am retired and looking for some new adventures. Getting closer to the end of life generated a
       need to learn the history of the traditions of funeral science.
      I currently have an A.A, majoring in Criminal Justice, life happened and I didn't pursue the BA
       after graduating. I joined the work force and eventually became a Project Manager over a DOD
       contract at Stennis Space Center. Due to budget cuts by the current administration, I became
       unemployed in 2011. Luckily for me, the last several years working for me became an option, not
       a necessity. I have 3 young children, so I have plenty to do, but I was compelled to go back to
       college and learn about things that always interested me. Mortuary Science has always been an
       interest of mine, as well as the Forensic aspects of Criminal Justice. I considered completing
       my BA in Criminal Justice, but found myself searching for Mortuary Colleges within the state. I
       suppose I can credit that program for inspiring my curiosity. In particular, it was the field trip we
       had taken to Jackson, MS. We viewed an autopsy and visited their crematory. When I enrolled,
       I wasn't really sure if this was something that I would actually consider doing, but I knew I was
       interested in learning about it and knew that if I didn't enroll, I would never know. So, I just went
       with my gut and enrolled. It became very apparent to me during my first week in class, that this
       was a very honorable, often underappreciated and underestimated profession. We viewed an
       embalming on DVD, and the transformation I witnessed was nothing less than inspiring. I
       consider this field to relate closely with art, as skill and technique play an important role in the
       outcome of your efforts. I have painted with oils, acrylics, watercolors, sculpted and created
       many different types of artwork over the years, but nothing compares to the feeling I felt just by
       watching a video in class my first week at MGCCC. The mere thought of transforming someone's
       loved one into a natural looking, peaceful appearance is an honor, and it's not the recognition i
       aspire for, it is the unsung blessing of being able to help the surviving loved one's in some way.
       The video I watched, was very ritualistic and solemn; as they prepared the cadaver for injection.
       The transformation that occurred thereafter was very inspirational. The embalmer had produced
       a natural looking appearance and the cadaver looked at peace, which was not the case when he
       began. I have never worked in the funeral industry, nor do I have relatives in the industry. The
       best I can surmise about why I enrolled, is I felt compelled to do so and know that after every
       class, I learn something new and look forward to learning more.
      I decided to enroll in mortuary college because I would like become a funeral director and own my
       own funeral home.
      I had considered this as a career option before I attended college. I was in need of a career
       changes, so I decided it was time to pursue this goal.
      I moved to New York City when I was 18, pursuing a career in special effects makeup. I
       graduated from school with my certificate, but soon realized that wasn't the right career for me.
       Wanting to continue my schooling, I attended a local community college and graduated with my
       associate's in Criminal Justice. After speaking to my grandfather and expressing my concerns
       about not knowing what I wanted to do in life, he suggested I go to his work ( a funeral home) and
       speak to the embalmers there. That I might enjoy that line of work because it was along the lines
       of what I was looking for. So I went to speak to them, and felt right away it was the right choice for
      I wanted to change careers and was specifically interested in a career where I feel I can make a
       difference in people's lives.

Get a Job/Change Careers
      I was diagnosed with late stage colon cancer is 2007. I was working a career in my field. I ended
       up being out of work for 5 years. Cancer gave me a new outlook on life so I decided to start fresh
       and pursue my dreams and interests. I had always wanted to be a Funeral Director.
      I was in healthcare and just felt like I was not helping people like I wanted to. Also, in the fields
       that I was in, it seemed there was no room for advancement. I had been interested in the funeral
       business or as a Pathology assistant before doing medical training, but there was not a school
       that offered training where I lived. I want to be able to help people through what may be the most
       difficult time in their life. In the end, the deceased my only have the employees of a funeral home
       to attend the funeral. That is sad, but at least I can say I cared enough to be there.
      I was looking to change careers after an extended period in the healthcare industry . I have long
       been interested in the Funeral Service profession .
      I was previously enrolled in another mortuary school several years ago. I did drop out of the
       program for personal reasons. Currently, I had the opportunity to go back to school and decided
       to enter the program at Commonwealth. My passion for the funeral home began in 2000 when
       my father and grandmother died. The care and compassion offered by the funeral director, but
       also curiosity of funeral home operations. After more then 10 years of working in the funeral
       home at various capacities, my love and passion to help those most in need in a time of grieve
       and loss has not changed.
      I worked closely with end of life care as a CNA for two years and enrolled in nursing school. After
       a semester in nursing school and helping my mother take care of her dying father I realized
       nursing isn't what I really wanted to be doing and I was impressed by the care provided by the
       funeral director at my grandfather's funeral and out of curiosity I asked him about the business
       and proceeded to enroll in school and I've never been happier
      I would like to become a successful funeral director and an embalmer
      I've chosen to enroll in mortuary school to become a funeral director who can blend tradition with
      Job closed and ex-employer paid for us to go to school, take up another trade.
      My main reasons to be in the mortuary science program is to become a funeral director and one
       day own my own funeral home. I love helping people so j would love to help a person(s) to say
       good bye to their loved one.
      New career after being laid off from previous job.
      Opportunity came up after being unemployed from previous education
      Professional opportunity in management within funeral industry.
      Second career, and the fact that I enjoy helping people in their time of need.
      So that I could become a funeral director and begin my career at a funeral home helping the
       community through the difficult time of their loved ones' passing.
      something i have put off and now i finally got a chance to go back to school. The will to help
       people in their time of need and the ability to make the decrease look at natural as possible
      Sounded like a great career--second career. Enjoy helping others and thought I could put my
       psych and socio degree to use
      The funeral service is my second career. I would like to help and serve families in the area at the
       most difficult time in their lives. To utilize my accumulated skills (medical, counseling,
       management, spirituality, sales, anatomy, chemistry and marketing).
      To be able to get a job in the funeral service profession.
      To become a funeral director (6)
      To become a funeral director and embalmer. I feel the need to help people during this time.
      To become a funeral director to help families in their time of need.

Get a Job/Change Careers
      To become a funeral director/embalmer.
      To become a licensed funeral director
      To become a licensed funeral director and embalmer, it's a wonderful career field.
      To become a licensed funeral director and obtain my own funeral home.
      To become a successful funeral director and to “give back
      To become funeral director and embalmer
      To begin my career in funeral service
      To begin taking steps toward a career that has purpose, but remains unique in nature.
      To find a career that was outside of the box and offered an opportunity to do something different
       each day.
      To fulfill my desire for a major career change to care for families in the same manner my family
       was cared for when I lost my father in 2012
      To further my career in the funeral industry.
      To improve my employee position and opportunities and advance myself in my chosen career.
      To make a career in mortuary science.
      To obtain a career in funeral services; specifically embalming.
      To pursue a career in the funeral home industry
      To pursue a career in funeral service as a licensed funeral director
      To pursue a career in funeral service as a second career.
      To work in funeral industry believing that it's the best service that I can be to mankind.
      Wanted to become a Funeral Director/Embalmer
      Was led to change careers after many years in another field

General Interest in Funeral Service
      A desire to work in the funeral profession in which I consider an honorable career. I also feel that the
       degree will afford me many opportunities in a progressive industry. I enjoy the science aspect as
       well as the social involvement with the public that a career in funeral service provides.
      After research, thought it would be a good career fit for me.
      Funeral service is interesting to me and I feel I can do a good job as a funeral director.
      Had a lot of death in the family and was curious as to what was going on in the back room. Ended
       up with a job in the funeral business for a few years while I finished my degree elsewhere. The initial
       exposure to the funeral business prompted my eagerness to pursue this field as a career and
       enrolled in mortuary school from that point.
      I am interested in the funeral industry field.
      I am interested in the processes that take place after one dies.
      I am like being on the morbid side.
      I chose this profession for the well -roundedness of the career. It has social interaction, paperwork
       and technical lab skills and for the self fulfillment aspect of helping those in need.
      I enrolled at John A. Gupton to start my career as a funeral director and embalmer. It started as
       curiosity then it got to where i enjoyed doing it. so why not go to school for it.
      I enrolled because I really respect this profession. I want to be able to help someone during their
       time of sorrow.

General Interest in Funeral Service
      I enrolled in mortuary college because I felt this was a profession that I would be comfortable with,
       and there is definitely a need for the funeral business.
      I find this career to be very rewarding. The interest in psychology, anatomy, and pathology seemed
       to be quite fitting for this career. I also am the type of person who likes to do the same thing every
       day, but in a different format (i.e., embalm, meet with families, etc. but every case is different).
      I find this to be the most noble of all careers, and am more then excited to be attending
       commonwealth. I want to help people that are in this gentle, fragile time in any ones life because i
       am equipped with the right skills to do so.
      I found it to be a rewarding career and provide the financial stability to achieve my own personal life
      I found it to be an interesting profession and different and unique from any other profession. I
       wanted to also help people in there time of need.
      I had always thought being a mortician would be a wonderful job. Then one of my really good friends
       who moved to town in 7th grade, her parents purchased one of the funeral homes in town and got
       me really interested.
      I had picked a FST class for an elective, and it turned out to be more interesting than becoming a
      I have always been fascinated by the funeral industry.
      I have always had an interest in mortuary science.
      I have always had an interest in this field.
      I have finally found a practical creative career outlet I can also be passionate about. Very interesting
       degree path.
      I have interest in this program this is why I entering this field
      I like to be around the whole aspect of funeral homes
      I love how funeral directors have such a diverse job from doing arrangements to working in the prep
       room. I want to work with families on a personal level and help them honor the loved one who they
       recently lost.
      I love the business and would like to help my community.
      I love the deep history and atmosphere of the funeral service industry. I also love helping the living
       and the dead.
      I originally wanted to be an autopsy technician. After doing some research, it turns out I need to
       have a degree for Funeral Service. I like the funeral service field so much that I have decided to
       stay with it instead of autopsy technician.
      I think it is a very interesting career
      I thought it was an interesting program to be in and I had a family member who used to work in this
      I thought it would be an interesting field of study and wanted a position in life in which I could help
       people in some way or another.
      I took an online assessment for a career and Funeral Director was on the top of my list. I believe it
       was the most accurate assessment and I am so happy that I enrolled at Carl Sandburg College.
      I truly care about the process and I feel its the last way to help someone.
      I want to become a funeral director. This decision came after I examined all of my strengths. I work
       well with others especially in crisis or stressful situations. I have demonstrated excellent leadership
       qualities in my previous employments. Death is not something that has a strong effect on me. And I
       firmly believe that every person despite their background deserves to be treated with respect and
       dignity even in death.

General Interest in Funeral Service
      I was going to join the Air Force for Mortuary Affairs but I had foot surgery so I couldn't go.
      I worked for a flower shop all threw high school and I always loved when I got to go set up flowers at
       the funeral homes, later when it came to time for me to decide what I wanted to do with my life in the
       future. I did some job shadowing in many different places from ridding with police officers to working
       for a orthopedic surgeon.... Finally after a horrible accident a classmate of mine passed away the
       man whom ran the funeral home had had an employee have a heart attach and he asked me if I
       was free for the evening and could use the extra money so I helped out with the visitation and, in
       that moment I decided this is an amazing process and people appreciate what I am doing (greeting
       people being myself friendly). From this point on I started to help out more and more and then I
       decided to find a school in which I could make my dreams come true!!!!
      interest in funeral directing
      Interest in the career.
      Interest in the field
      Interested in this career.
      It feels like a good field to get into.
      It is a very honorable profession with many diverse opportunities.
      It is something I am really interested in doing.
      It seemed interesting
      It’s an interesting field to me and there will always be a job.
      It's the only major that appealed to me.
      I've always been interested in the funeral service industry.
      I've always been interested in the mortuary side of funerals. Death is a part of life and funerals are
       the essential part of the grieving process. I like being able to help people and give comforting advice
       in times of trouble. I would feel like it would be a mistake not to follow my dream.
      Respectable profession.
      Respected profession/love helping people.
      The idea of being a funeral director interested me. I thought it was something I would be good at
       and be a good service to the public.
      Thought it would be a career that would fit my objectives and ambitions for my life.
      took an interest in dealing with families at their time of need.
      Very Interesting in the profession. I wanted some type of medical unique way I could serve and help
       the community daily.

Interested in Science
     Fascinated with embalming and interest in helping families say goodbye to their loved ones
     Have a bachelors in Human Biology, but had a calling to attend mortuary school.
     I enrolled because of my interest in Psychology and Science, as well as my experiences in the
      Fine Arts.
     I feel that mortuary science is the ultimate combination of everything I want in a career:
      psychology, science, counseling, problem solving, working with people, and working apart from
     I have a great interest in human biology and have worked in varying positions in health and
      medical fields. My eye for detail and a compassion for others leads me to pursue specialize in
      restorative art and eventually working as an assistant in medical examination.
     I have a large interest in human anatomy.
     I love Biology and I get a healthy dose of that here!! Also I love the options that i have working in
      the field.
     I wanted to be involved in the health field. I wanted to be able to help people in a different way,
      such as grief. I am also interested in everything that is involved in this field.
     I was drawn to mortuary science for many reasons. I love that it brings both science and
      psychology aspects into one. It also is one of the best ways, I feel, to help people. By enrolling in
      mortuary college I am taking steps forward in my plan to ultimately serve others in their time of
     I was working toward a degree in Psychology, but I got side tracked for several years, and decided
      upon returning that this was a more productive way for me to help people.
     I would like to obtain a job somewhere in the medical field and I decided that trying out funeral
      services might be a way to go. I have decided that it will help me decide on what I want to do in
     It seemed like a good mix of areas I feel I do well in. anatomy, art, and social work. I also find
      mortuary science to be very interesting. I think of embalmers as very intelligent and ethical people.
     To have a hands-on career that dealt with people/anatomy. To help people.

Previous Work Experience/exposure at Funeral Home
     After being in the funeral industry I felt it was time to pursue licensure as a funeral director.
     After shadowing a funeral home and speaking with funeral directors, I found that mortuary
      science is a good fit for my skills, interest, and personality.
     Been working in funeral home since 2005. Licensed director since 2008. Wanted embalming
      license to go along with career. Like the embalming side very well
     Began position with Dignity Memorial
     Business opportunity presented itself.
     Currently work in Funeral Home
     I am and have been involved with a family owned funeral home and finally decided to take the
      plunge and joint the ranks
     I babysat for a Mortician's kids in my town. He got me interested in this career. I also worked
      with hospice patients and wanted to know more about the death process and what happens after
      the removal.
     I began working in a funeral home and decided this would help me understand the business.

Previous Work Experience/exposure at Funeral Home
    I began working part time as a funeral assistant at a local funeral home to supplement a full time
     income (when my children started college!). Two years later, I accepted a full time position with
     that funeral home as an admin / account manager. My manager encouraged me to think about
     becoming licensed as a funeral director and the “plan” accelerated when one of our directors
     retired. I enjoyed what I had experienced up to that point and accepted the challenge!
    I currently work part-time for a funeral home. I will better able to help my employer by getting my
     degree. I also enjoy working with those who are in a time of need.
    I desire to be a funeral director and licensed embalmer. I am currently employed at a funeral
     home and enjoy helping families.
    I had a job working for a lively service in high school and liked the work so I decided to pursue
     this career.
    i have been in the funeral trade for five years ,its time ha ha
    I have been provided an opportunity to train to work within executive realms of a cemetery and
     funeral home, so I opted to obtain dual licenses to better prepare me with the knowledge,
     background, and expectations of funeral directors.
    I have been working in the funeral and cemetery industry for 10 years now in an administrative
     role and decided to pursue a funeral director's license now that the State of Florida has made a
     funeral director only option available. I never wanted to do the embalming part.
    I have played for many funerals over a 30 yr. span and have always had a desire to help those
     who are grieving. I feel this is a ministry first and for most, as well as a way to reach out to help
     those who are hurting.
    I have working in a funeral home for 2 years and know this is where I am supposed to be. I
     know funeral directing is my calling.
    I started working at a funeral home in high school washing cars, mowing the lawn, things like
     that. As I got older the funeral director taught me more, allowed me to do more, and I decided I
     wanted to be a funeral director
    I started working for Roller Funeral Home and discovered I enjoyed the role of helping people in
     their time of grief. I look at it as a ministry to others, since I am a preacher already I feel this job
     is a good extension of being a preacher. It gives me great satisfaction just knowing I’m helping
    I was hired to become a Funeral Director by my employer who is putting me through school.
    I was inspired by the loss of the funeral director of the place where I am employed.
    I work for a local funeral home in my home town I enjoy working with families and enjoy the job I
     do there. I would like to one day have my own business and to be able to help and minister to
     families in their time of grief.
    I work in a funeral home and would like to be more involved with families and the whole process
     in the future. I have a science background and like working with people.
    I work in the funeral business and I enjoy my job, like meeting people, and want to make more
     money at doing what I love.
    I worked at a funeral home in Alaska for a few years as an admin & watching the funeral
     directors there made me realize that is what i wanted to do with my life.
    I worked for a funeral home several years back, and it was the first job that I actually enjoyed. It
     took some years but I found my way back to it.
    I'd been in the field and decided that getting licensed was the way to go

Previous Work Experience/exposure at Funeral Home
    Inspired by another funeral director.
    I've became interested in Mortuary Science because of my past experience with funeral director.
     When I experienced a close death of a family member the funeral directors went beyond
     expectations to take care of us and support our family. They helped us celebrate the life that was
     lost and helped remind us of the fond memories we still have. I want to do the same for families
     and give back to my community.
    I’ve worked in the funeral business for 6 years now. I’ve been at my current Funeral Home for 4
     years. I love my job and I am doing everything I can to be more knowledgeable and better
     perform my job.
    Working part-time at a funeral home and would like to have FD license and embalming
     certification as well for second career after I retire from School Counseling.

Get a Degree/License
    A desire to advance my education and practical knowledge applied to serving my community.
    career enhancement
    I came to educate myself to better myself and learn the skills I need in order to best serve
     people in a community.
    I felt it was a great place for me to further my education so I can help people in the community.
    I need to get my funeral directing license
    I want to further my career with embalming and funeral directing, I currently work at a funeral
     home, an it is with such gratitude when a family comes in and says thank you for taking care of
     my love one. I love to be in that position to help.
    I wanted to be a Funeral Director and Embalmer
    I wanted to be a licensed FD & E. I want funeral service to be my life's ministry. Mortuary
     college, along with the license was the next step.
    Requirement for completing my license
    To advance my education and obtain my license.
    To become licensed.
    to complete the education requirement and to obtain a license in mortuary science.
    to continue my education
    To earn a degree in a growing field that interests me. It will also suit my financial needs.
    To fulfill the educational requirements for the state in which I will be licensed. I choose PIMS
     due to its high academic standards.
    To gain a funeral service license.
    To get licensed and learn.
    To get licensed as a funeral professional and serve my community.
    To get my license.
    To obtain degree
    Wanted a vocational degree

Job Security
    I thought about another depression will come and embalming is one job that doesn't die out.
     Besides there are numerous jobs at a funeral home you can rely on in case there are others
     doing the embalming at that time. You can get your associate degree, and become a funeral
    I wanted to have a job with good security.
    It makes for a good living, and it is a job that is very rewarding in everyday.
    Job Security
    Long term career and financial opportunities. Ability to take classes online.
    Profitability and desire to help my fellow man
    Steady work that suits my disposition.
    The job market for this field. and I was always interested in becoming a funeral
    This is an up and coming field.
    To make more money

Learn Techniques/Industry
    First of all to learn the art of taking care of the deceased. I am an R.N. and have been working as
     a nurse since 1982. I worked hospice the last few years and worked with funeral directors. I was
     impressed with them and how they handled families and also the deceased. The respect for both
     the families and the deceased was an inspiration to me.
    I decided to enroll in mortuary college to help people, to improve the standards of embalming
     bodies and presenting them to families.
    I enrolled in the program because I'm fascinated by the art of embalming and restoration and
     because I enjoy helping people in their greatest times of need.
    I enrolled to enhance my knowledge of the funeral service education and to learn more and
     become more involved in my family's mortuary service.
    I have been interested in learning the aspects of a funeral service and how the decedent's are
     prepared for burial for quite some time. I should have been involved in this process years ago but
     I didn't understand what I was seeing in my mind until years later in my life after I completed
    I wanted to learn about embalming and restorative art.
    I was always wanted to know how the business was ran. interested in the funeral business so I
     decided too learn more about the business, I always like helping people I believe that I had a
     strong mind and heart to do the job So I choice Commonwealth Institution of funeral
    I wish to learn more about the dead an all of its aspects.
    The art and science of embalming is very appealing and interesting to me. Also, the career
     outlook for funeral directors is very strong.
    To further my understanding/knowledge of the funeral industry and obtain my funeral director and
     embalmer's license
    To get a better understanding of the funeral business.
    To learn how to do it.
    Wanted learn more about funeral services and helping those in need of losing a loved one. I lobe
     working with people and serving the community

Personal Experience with Death of Loved One
    Because after dealing with the death of my 2 grandparents in the last 2 years, I came to admire
     how our local funeral director made my family feel at ease and comfort them.
    Death of parents and personal growth want to help people
    I had a child die 8 yrs ago. My child had a really bad embalming job performed on him at the time
     of his death. It was rather horrific. I wanted to get really good and funeral services so another
     mother will never have to experience as i have. I can at least try to make a difference
    I have always been a compassionate person even as a child. My great-grandmother passed
     away when I was 12 years old and was very interested in the funeral home and aspects of the
     job. This was also the first time embalming was explained to me and I also found this quiet
     interesting. From that point in my life forward I was always interested in this field and when my
     music career came to a stand-still in early 2010, I decided it was time to go to college to have a
     solid profession to stand on. The first thing that came to mind was mortuary science. By that fall I
     had moved back to the Ozarks and was enrolled at ASU-MH and had began working at Roller
     Funeral Home approximately a month before that. Now, after working in the funeral service
     profession for over a year and a half I am so glad I made this choice. It is not only a job to me like
     all my other jobs before, it is beginning to define me. There are times things are hard to deal with,
     but the real event that sealed my fate with this business was when I started working directly with
     these families. Every family I deal with, I can say at the end, I am so glad I had the chance to take
     care of them. I have already witnessed many wonderful returns from being in the funeral service
     profession, and I look forward to being a part of it until I am unable to work.
    I have attended a few funerals, and was not pleased how my loved one was cared for. Also i
     wanted a better career, and i have a big heart, i felt it could be needed in this career.
    I lost both of my parents before the age of 13 and this field seemed like something I knew I'd be
     good at and enjoy.
    I lost my dad to cancer two years ago and had an amazing interaction with the funeral director we
     used. I was looking to change careers and everything worked out.
    I lost my grandmother as a child and my experience was not good. I want to make a difference in
     society and hope to impact the world in helping individual to better understand the importance in
     taking part in the grieving process and in the decision making process with regard to their
     deceased loved ones. There is a need to rid the funeral industry of cookie cutter funerals in
     addition to the body snatcher views.
    my brother passed away in 1997 complication of cancer and when I arrived at the wake service
     and looked in the casket I was horrified and scared they brought the wrong body to the service he
     look pitiful and from that moment I myself nor did I want another family to feel what I felt that day
     and still I feel the disappointment of the work that was done to on my brother so I am doing this to
     take a stand and with my education and experience I will make a positive difference for the
     families that I encounter this means so much to me and I hope my brother is with the creator
     looking down on me with joy and happiness and my father also was a funeral staff member when
     I was a kid I guess it is in my blood

Personal Experience with Death of Loved One
    My grandfather died four years ago due to Alzheimer's Disease and I was able to watch the
     Funeral Directors as a young child. I loved the way they made everything run so smoothly and
     seamlessly, and how they were there to answer my questions and the questions of my family. I
     decided that I wanted to do this for other people and help make funerals a more positive
     experience for mourning persons. I am also in love with science so this program seemed to be
     perfect for me and exactly what I was looking for.
    My grandfather passed away when I was 17 years old from a long ugly battle with liver cancer. At
     the time of his death he had lost over 100 pounds and was jaundiced and bruised. He looked like
     a corpse. My grandmother opted for an open casket despite his appearance. At the family
     viewing, she broke down and said, while leaning over him in his casket, “Hello there, old sailor.” I
     didn't TRULY understand until it was my turn to visit the casket. I walked up and there lay my
     granddaddy, from 20 years ago. THIS was the man my grandmother married. THIS was the man
     that I knew and loved dearly, who had taken me to pick strawberries, taken me to the local
     tobacco plant, taken me to Pappy's Ice Cream Store, who let me drive his station wagon when I
     was 14......He was clean, and pink, and full, and his hands were without bruises. He had his
     glasses on, and his hair was neatly combed and parted just the way he always did it. We all got to
     say goodbye to the man we remembered.....not the sick old man he had become for the last
     several years of his cancer ridden life. At 17, I had no idea what a mortician was, but I decided at
     that moment that I wanted to be able to give that gift, that same exact thing that mortician from
     long ago had given my grandmother, to somebody else. I’m 35 years old and have waited half my
     life to do this and here I am.
    My grandmother and I were very close. When she died, I went in to help finalize her funeral
     arrangements. There, I met her funeral director. He helped me in ways that nobody else could.
     He even allowed me to go in the back room and paint her fingernails. I felt the need to help others
     the way that he helped me.
    Personal experience in family and was told I had always interested in the field.
    The directors who picked up my dead grandmother were very respectful.
    The main reason was my Grandmother. She had stated in her will she did not want a funeral, but
     one was held anyway and she wasn't even dressed properly. This alone is the sole reason why I
     first decided to do this, because I wanted to make sure that the wishes of those who pasted were
     fulfilled unlike my nana.

Reputation of School
    I enrolled in the Piedmont Technical College Mortuary Science Program to not only continue my
     education but to also because it is one of the top programs in the region and will give me the
     credentials that will allow me to succeed in the Funeral Directing industry for years to come. I also
     chose to go attend mortuary college because for me it is a family affair, my father started his career
     as a funeral director and embalmer over 30 years ago and I am eager to learn and follow in his
     footsteps. I am eager to learn and broaden my knowledge of the field but I am most excited about
     being able to care for individuals and families in their most distressing times of need, and to be able
     to treat them with the utmost care and respect that they will need so that they may have closure
     and peace of mind in the end.
    I heard it was a good college to learn from.
    It was the only school I could find that offered all of the classes on line
    They were one of the few that offered a bachelors degree
    This program is convenient for the student that works in the industry full time.
    This was the closest school to home.

   Close to home.
   Closet facility to my home.
   I like the variety in the work and helping people.
   Interest after reading the novel “Stiff” by Mary Roach
   Shorter time then pathology school
   Was able to complete my education online and in class.

Appendix B

In your opinion, what are the greatest challenges facing the funeral service today?
(Verbatim Comments)

Bad Economy
       Bad economy
       Declining economy
       Economic issues and changing the public's view of the profession along with the importance of
        the funeral itself.
       Economic sustainability with an increasing cremation rate.
       Economics, secular influences, unemployment. no insurance
       financial issues and implementing technology
       Greatest challenge is the economy changing more cremations than traditional funeral services
       I believe that, since starting the program, my class alone has tripled in size. I feel that people
        are beginning to go into fields that are more practical in this economy for job security. Though
        this is a smart move, this particular field is one that takes passion and commitment. It is not a
        job for everyone. If they're hearts not in it, they may make the grades, but not be cut out for this
       I think the economy will push us toward a clientele that will want a lot for little; we must be more
        expressive about the benefits of a full funeral service; we will need to be very creative in our
        approach to each case; a lot of people today talk of being cremated, and either including this
        service in our business or showing other options if we don't is necessary to stay competitive.
        Perception is the key-what do potential customers perceive about our business
       the changing economy
       The economy (5)
       The economy being down.
       The economy is down and if individuals don't have life insurance or a substantial savings they
        will be prone to go the cheapest route possible when a loved one dies. This will affect the
        funeral service until our economy grows and we become more stabilized as a nation.
       The economy is limiting what consumers can spend on funerals
       The economy, and getting paid for services rendered
       The economy. People do not want to spend money on elaborate funerals anymore.
       The funeral service has been affected by the economy as much as other industries. I think the
        challenge is going to be how to provide a family with a meaningful funeral at a cost that is
        reasonable. This may cause the funeral service to get creative with the services they offer.
       The greatest challenges are the economic situation, family expectances, non-acceptance of
       The recession
       The recession, making people desire cremation mostly out of necessity and a lack of spending
        ability at a funeral.
       The state of the economy.

Increase in Cremation Rates
      Adapting to a higher cremation rate versus burials.
      Being able to adapt to more people wanting cremation.
      Burial vs. cremation rate
      Choosing cremation over a traditional funeral.
      Cremation (13)
      Cremation How to keep a profit in funeral homes with the rising cremation rates
      Cremation and how traditional funeral homes and tradition funeral directors should handle
       cremation cases.
      Cremation and natural funerals
      Cremation and other low price options in the industry.
      Cremation and the people's thoughts of everything has to go quickly. The impersonal families that
       do not want anything done.
      Cremation being on the rise.
      Cremation is becoming popular, therefore funeral homes are losing money.
      Cremation on the rise
      Cremation on the rise.
      Cremation rate
      cremation rate is steadily increasing
      Cremation rate, alternative funeral services.
      Cremation rate, and how to deal with it continually rising.
      cremation rates
      cremation rates, we are at fifty percent where I live. Its sad but true give us twenty years and the
       days of big funerals will be over as well as huge elaborate funeral homes . the decrease in jobs
       and increase in jobless families .we are forced to lower our GPL
      Cremation Rates are soaring
      Cremation rates at 37% and climbing.
      Cremation rates rising
      Cremation rates rising - will have to adjust to this and offer more choices.
      Cremation vs. Burial
      Cremation vs. Traditional services.
      cremation, cemetery expenses, ownership not being open to change
      cremation, financial burdens/obligations, and lessening presence of empathy in society
      Cremation, the old timers getting burnt out, people who have been in the industry for a long time
       thinking that they know everything.
      Cremation/direct cremation. We'll have to educate our families on the traditional services still
       available to those families who opt for cremation.
      Cremations are on the rise.
      Cremations are rising.

Increase in Cremation Rates
      Direct cremations without services are becoming the predominate choice of several families. Our
       job as funeral directors is to explain to the families the importance of a funeral/memorial service
       and the benefits, both psychological and sociological, they get out of having them verses a direct
       cremation. Somehow this needs to be expresses, but in a way that doesn't seem as though we are
       trying to sell funeral services, but rather that we are trying to help them grieve and obtain closure
       in the difficult time that they are experiencing. Too often do people just want to get things over with
       as fast as possible so that they don't have to “feel their feelings”.
      Every facet in the funeral industry is surely a challenging one. As a funeral service student that will
       be graduating upon May, I expect to encounter every situation one would recognize as a funeral
       director/embalmer. This includes but may not be limited to: Rise in cremations, the existence of
       family-owned funeral homes (compared to larger corporations), the financial needs of client-
       families, the renting of caskets, the growing popularity in Eco-friendly funerals, longer life
       expectancy, and difficulties in embalming due to medical care from hospitals, various drug-uses
       and more restorative art due to suspicious deaths and rise in suicide.
      Families wanting more cremations and less visitations and funerals. Less burials
      Financial challenges as choice of disposition is trending toward cremation.
      Financially, there has been an increase in cremation in the US. This takes away from some of the
       income that a traditional funeral would bring in. Emotionally, I think that a lot of
       directors/embalmers may get burnt out. It takes an emotional toll and some people can't cope.
      For embalmers, the cremation sales are increasing, therefore, the embalming sales are
      Growing trend towards cremation.
      Higher cremation rates, Difficulty for families to pay.
      I believe that the while a growing industry, with the increase in popularity of cremation services,
       that funeral homes are becoming more competitive. That leads in my opinions to a concern of
       increased or decreased business for locally owned versus corporate funeral homes. This may
       also lead to perhaps more overhead to make up difference to maybe some funeral homes closing
       because don't have enough business due to the competition. Lastly, I think that a new age has
       taken over the funeral home with many of the “old school” funeral directors retiring that the I'm
       concerned with many of the old traditions or customs may change with new age funeral directors.
      I think the greatest challenges the funeral service industry is facing are, the transition to a mostly
       cremation society, and people not wanting to pay for elaborate funerals, and opt instead for the
       fastest cheapest funeral they can buy.
      I think there are numerous changes occurring with the popularity of cremation. I also think that
       many people are struggling financially. This could very well impact the funeral industry.
      In my opinion, one of the greatest challenges besides rising cremation rate in Funeral Service
       would be employers hiring employees based on competency and what they bring to the table
       along with being reliable. Not just hiring someone because they know someone you know or
       because they are family.
      In the changes being made to how we view death I personally believe the switch to direct services
       (Direct cremation/burial) will have a major impact on the grieving process for any surviving family
      Increase in cremations
      Increase in direct cremation
      increasing cremation rates
      Less burials and more cremations

Increase in Cremation Rates
      Less embalming due to cremation
      Many people are choosing cremation as a means of disposition. With the computer technology
       today, people have more ways to shop around for the best price instead of going to the “family”
       funeral home.
      More cremation than embalming. Less full funerals and more services at the mortuary. Less
       church services, people going to church less nowadays.
      More cremations People not wanting to spend money on high end funerals
      More people are doing cremation and less formal services.
      Rise in cremation rate (3)
      Rise in cremation. Rise in green burial. Younger generation not seeing the value in funerals.
      Rise in direct cremation, reduction in technical skills of embalmers/RA as more client-families opt
       for closed casket or no services at all.
      Rise n cremation and tough economical times
      rising cremation rate, third party distributors, older generation owners not embracing technology
      Rising cremation rates, foreign manufacturers
      The ability for funeral homes to take cremation into the next stage and make money at it.
      the cremation is bigger and we need to learn how to up sale the merchandise.
      The fact that cremation is becoming the most popular form of disposition and it is hard for a funeral
       home to make a profit when doing direct cremations. Most families are not going to perform the
       traditional services anymore
      The fact that cremation is more common.
      The greatest challenge is directing people towards actual funeral services, instead of taking the
       direct cremation routes.
      The greatest challenges facing the funeral services is the increase in the number of direct
       cremations and the growing scrutiny of the public regarding funeral service costs.
      The growing number of cremations and lack of traditional funerals.
      The growing popularity of cremation, the burn-out of current funeral directors and current funeral
       director going into auto drive within a business that should always be personal
      The growing popularity of cremations and the new trend for green burials.
      The growing popularity of cremations.
      The increase in cremation rate, falling of economy. And media portraying the industry as money
      The increase in direct cremation is one of the biggest challenges facing funeral service today.
      The increase of cremation and the want to get the ordeal over with.
      The increased desire for cremation, decreased demand for embalming, lower profit margins,
       saturation of market with direct disposers doing cremations for $695.
      the increasing cremation rate, the decreasing rate of traditional funerals, more families choosing to
       have no services at all
      The more educated consumer, cremation being viewed as immediate service only, price shoppers
      The move towards cremation is highly concerning at this point, and it worries me that I could be
       without a job within a few years. I am 19 years old right now, and one of the youngest in my class;
       It worries me that some possible employers may not take me as seriously as they would an older
      The movement toward cremation
      The rise in cremation, poor economy, and the growing movement in American society that
       devalues the purpose of the funeral ceremony as a whole.

Increase in Cremation Rates
      The rise in the amount of direct cremations.
      The rise in the popularity of cremation, and people wanting to do things themselves to save money
       ( i.e. buying a casket from Walmart).
      The rise of cremations, the lack of respect for the dead.
      The rising cremation rates. I feel funeral directors need to offer more merchandise and more
       varieties of merchandise in order to make up for the loss of revenue due to the rising cremation
      The rising demand for cremations.
      The rising rate of cremations as opposed to traditional funerals.
      There are many greatest challenges. The biggest being the 2 that go very hand in hand these
       days; 1. This generation does not have the same values as the ones previous which means there
       are many more direct cremations, no services, instead of traditional services. 2. The economy is a
       big factor that is even more incentive for this younger generation (and older for that manner) to opt
       for things like direct cremation. Another challenge is an internal challenge; the students. I have
       personally observed many students that have no earthly business in this profession. I hope that
       the funeral homes they apply for will weed out these problems because the second scary thing
       about these unfit people is this; they are making good grades.
      There are more people doing cremations, which makes our job, at least as embalmers, less

Getting a Job
      actually getting a job, simply because most communities don't have but maybe 2 or 3 funeral
       homes and sometimes is very hard to get.
      Actually getting your foot in the door. A lot of these funeral homes are family own so they will only
       let family and friends in the doors.
      Being able to find a job seems to be the greatest challenge.
      Being able to find a job, especially for a woman
      Choosing the right funeral home for you. Deciding who will truly care about the families and not
       just the business and money side of it.
      Employment because many funeral homes are family run and don't need/want any outside
      everything not an easy business to get into
      Finding a full time job
      Finding a funeral home that is in line with my morals. Met a lot of disrespectful funeral directors
       (funerals I've been to).
      finding a funeral home that is more family orientated and less corporate
      Finding a good funeral home to work In.
      finding a good person to work under
      Finding a job (2)
      Finding a job in PA
      Finding a place you actually like to work
      Finding an Apprenticeship and completing the required 3,000 hours within the time limit given, as
       well as the National and State Board exams.
      Finding an apprentice
      Finding an internship is probably the hardest part
      Finding employment in certain locations.

Getting a Job
      Funeral homes giving you a chance to learn the business and complete your hours
      Getting a job
      getting an intern and learning how to run the proper business
      Getting hired at a decent pay.
      How closed-off the industry is and how hard it is to get your foot in the door.
      I find the greatest challenge is getting into the Business....someone to give me a chance...
      I think that the most difficult challenge would be starting and owning my own funeral home. There
       is a lot of competition and rising costs.
      Interest in the program itself, particularly people who did not grow up within the business.
      It is very difficult to obtain apprenticeships for students entering the profession. Funeral Homes
       that have been established for years see no reason to update facilities to accommodate the
       changing needs of families and often fail to offer possibilities for meaningful services because
       they simply don't want to put forth the effort. Many of the services I have attended, on a personal
       level, have shown what appears to be a lack of pride in their work. If they continue along this
       path, the traditional funeral will become obsolete.
      Job availability
      Knowing when jobs are available
      landing a job right out of college. Most Funeral homes are all family owned so its hard to get in.
       There are also some that are not family owned and might easier to get into.
      Not enough Funeral Homes participating in Internship programs.
      Not many funeral homes are looking to employ newly graduated embalmers and less and less
       people want an actual funeral service.
      obtaining an apprenticeship, getting paid a fair and equitable wage as apprentice as well as
       respected. Owning my own funeral home and it's logistics (location is crucial).
      Obtaining employment, catching up to technology and today's environment.
      Outsiders being welcomed into family businesses that have been passed down several
      Since CCBC is the only accredited school for mortuary since in Maryland, finding apprenticeships
       in the surrounding area can be quite challenging.
      The difficulty 'breaking into' the business--finding a good job and being able to keep it.
      The greatest challenges are finding a decent and respectful funeral home to work at.
      The increasing number of individuals joining the funeral industry. Many students are taking the
       mortuary program into consideration which creates more competition in the future.
      The lack of good teachers that are working/hiring funeral directors.
      There is a lot of competition, and it is very hard to get in to the funeral service if you are not part
       of a family owned business or if you do not know someone.
      Trying to find a job after graduation.
      Trying to find a opening to do your apprentice.

High Cost of Funerals
      Affordability
      Affordability and the amount of time and money that goes into running the business.
      Devaluing the profession/having to find new ways to profit.
      Families don't want to pay very much these days for funerals. Instead of looking for a funeral
       home that fits best with their personal taste, often they are simply “shopping around” for the
       cheapest option.
      Funeral Cost, because a lot of people do not have life insurance.
      I think price is the greatest challenge. Prices are high and people don't like that. More people are
       choosing cremation over burial and this is affecting the industry greatly.
      I think the biggest challenge with funeral service is the fact that people aren't prepared for the cost
       of an average funeral. Many people do not plan financially for a funeral and burying a loved one
       becomes a financial burden.
      In my opinion the rising cost of everything effects we do business.
      Keeping prices low and still making a profit
      Money
      Needs of families/financial
      Not enough reasonably price funeral homes
      People no longer see the value in a service. Our culture sees death as something we want to
       avoid, so people are starting to avoid the funeral industry.
      Pricing - Most consumers are unwilling and are not financially capable of paying thousands for
       burials Updated/Theme based services - Understanding the sacredness of the funeral ritual - we
       need to assist and encourage families toward honoring their loved ones life via their
       hobbies/passionate interests (golf, baseball, etc.) .
      pricing and the rate of people being cremated. That are not having a actually full funeral
      Quality of services for the services fee being charged.
      Rising cost of funerals and lack of life insurance for most lower income families.
      Rising cost of funerals with consumers wages decreasing
      The cost of a funeral
      The cost of funerals and the amount of unemployment of families not having money
      the fee schedule, the corporate face the lack of follow through when a client meets one person
       and the family is handled by several people after initial contact.
      The growing cost of funerals, and families with little or no insurance.
      The prices of everything going up for several reasons. People are not going to be able to afford
       the casket they want or any other merchandise they want.
      The rising cost of funerals.

Poor Image of Funeral Service/Uneducated Public
      Averages people's assumptions on what funeral directors do
      Bad press
      Bad publicity threw mass media and social networking.
      coming up with new and innovative ways to bring knowledge to the public of what funeral service
       is all about
      Consumer perception on the funeral industry and increasing belief that a funeral service is a

Poor Image of Funeral Service/Uneducated Public
      Consumers not having enough knowledge of the industry
      Continuing the public awareness of the value of a traditional funeral service with viewing the
      Educating people and having them not look at us all like morbid, weird people.
      getting people to trust you in their funeral business
      How people view people in the funeral industry.
      How the public perceives our industry.
      How to overcome the community's negative opinion of the death care industry, and the overall
       decline of social values pertaining to an organized funeral service.
      I believe it is still the views that people have about directors and morticians. Also, that people are
       not able to get to know a funeral director personally.
      I believe that public awareness and public opinions on what service we offer can be improved.
       We need to let communities know that we offer a vast amount of services and programs.
      I feel at times people for get that we are a business and we are for profit. We are no robbing
       them blind with the prices that they are paying and sometimes they feel like we are taking
       advantage of them when they are dealing with the loss of a family member. They also fail to see
       the amount of time that we out into caring for their loved one and making sure that they get the
       best lasting memory.
      I feel that the greatest challenges facing funeral service is that our client families are not educated
       enough about funeral service. Therefore it makes it difficult for someone to come into the funeral
       home without having any doubts that we are just trying to sell them things and that they do not
       realize that our commitment to them is eternal.
      I think the greatest challenge is the public opinion that the funeral director is no longer needed
       and/or the funeral industry is only in it for the money aspects.
      In my opinion, the greatest challenge lies in the portrayal of the mortician to the public; particularly
       as our society becomes more technologically, as opposed to traditionally, intent.
      Maintaining trust with the public.
      Many people do not take the time to learn what is needed to be done in funeral services.
      Misconceptions from families about the importance of taking the time to grieve.
      misinformed consumer awareness
      Misunderstanding
      Overcoming the negatives placed on our profession by other funeral service professionals that
       aren't as efficient as could be.
      Overcoming the typical perception of funeral directors as being cold, callous, and well like Lurch
       off the Addams Family. Also the balancing of personal life and work life is a very hard thing to do.
       Having a family will be difficult and you must be able to leave work at work and when you walk
       through the door at home, your focus has to be on the people within your house.
      People do not understand death in a death denying industry, and have strange ideas over what
       funeral service people are really like. The stereotype is twisted by those who do not know. I feel
       funerals and death are not considered “real” enough in peoples lives.
      People have no concept of how expensive these services are and are not well prepared to take
       care of this when the time comes. They are choosing direct services in some cases to save
      People thinking that this is a job similar to mechanics. It is the misconception that it is all about
       the money.
      Perception of the public that the funeral industry is looking to take advantage of the public, which
       is an unfair perception.

Poor Image of Funeral Service/Uneducated Public
      Poor image, poor customer relations, poor community outreach.
      Preconceived notions about the industry by the general public & lack of respect toward women in
       the field.
      Public
      Public perception of the funeral industry, direct cremation and immediate burial
      Showing families the value in embalming and full services. As far as from a student aspect just
       having FH's return phone calls and emails!! If FH's won't answer/return phone calls and emails
       from students then I really don't expect that they are returning families calls and emails as they
      The general public's opinion of funeral directors has become negative. They think that we are
       just merchants of death that want to take people for all they're worth and then some.
      The greatest challenge would be trying to educate the consumers the importance of having a
       funeral service.
      the image others have of the profession as a whole
      The media
      The misconception that funerals have to be scary or depressing.
      The misinformation present in the public
      The opinions of others, affects social life, and the outlook of those who feel that people just go
       into the business for money, which is not the case at all.
      The perception of taking advantage of grieving people. The cost of a funeral collides with the
       difficult economic realities of our times. I can't tell you the number of people I worked with in
       ministry over the years that felt ripped off by a funeral home.
      The public is uninformed of its options.
      The public misconception of what it is that we do. Dispelling the myth that we are immoral money
       grubbers who are seeking to make hefty profits off of grieving families.
      the secretive nature of funeral service since information is brokered between people incredibly
       fast due to the internet.
      the stigma and taboo of death. These two things make it hard for people to make the decision to
       work in the field.
      The stigma that all funeral directors want is more money
      The stigma that has been applied to the profession.
      Trust, having the public trust the company
      uneducated public and growing cremation trends

Low Salary/Long Hours of Funeral Directors
      As I become more familiar with the precautions when dealing with potentially infected remains
       and the regulations imposed by DHEC, OSHA, and FTC, I believe the greatest challenge is being
       compensated fairly. Unless there is a funeral home with a high volume of calls, I believe they are
       probably undervaluing their services. Also, with the trend toward cremation, I feel this will be a
       greater problem moving forward.
      benefits, insurance
      burn out
      Fair wage. I listen to all of the talk from owners/managers about how they cannot pay the salary
       they would like. However, it seems this has not infringed on their standard of living.
      Hours, lack of sleep, crazy emotions, and people thinking you must be a little crazy to do the job
      It is hard for the funeral director / embalmer to be a single parent like me with an underage son

Low Salary/Long Hours of Funeral Directors
      Limited pay for the hours & hazards, limited time with family.
      low pay and being overworked,
      Low pay long hours
      Low salary and benefits.
      Pay and interstate licensing procedures, along with state requirements for apprenticeships. New
       “green” methods of disposition, and the disclosure of the deceased medical records to the FDIC
       particularly cause of death and Pre-existing conditions, CJD, AIDS, MRSA, etc...
      Pay for employees Keeping up with the new technology
      Salary, no sick time, working a lot of extra hours
      The demand of the job. Hours worked
      The fact that the funeral business is on call 24/7. There are many going into the business that
       leave it in a matter of a few years from not being able to handle the work.
      There are so many! If the hours don't kill you or your marriage/family, you are dealing with the
       struggle of increasing cremation and the balance of keeping your profits up. What's not to love?
      Work scheduling

      1) Discount Funeral Homes 2) Corporate Funeral Homes 3) Rising Cremation Rate 4)
       Decreased Number of Religious Services
      All the competition in the industry in the metro cities.
      Competition (5)
      Competition between funeral homes. Pleasing families from start to finish.
      competition with neighboring funeral homes
      In this area, there is a lot of competition is the funeral business. There are lots of people wanting
       to be hired and not enough job openings for everyone.
      Lots of people are getting into the industry
      more and more completion
      More competitive.
      Other funeral homes. Competition. Being the best of the best. Making sure families are happy no
       matter how hard it is.
      People are shopping around for the best deal
      People are using other facilities than the funeral home for funerals, direct cremations
      Price competition
      Price increases by all third party vendors, especially casket companies, etc.
      pricing
      Some of greatest challenges facing the funeral service industry today are the competition for
       business and people not wanting to put the money out for a nice funeral, but rather wanting
      The choice of which funeral home to use with a vast number around. Its about reputation and
       public relations. People working in this industry must have respect and humility.
      the competition as opposed to a camaraderie between funeral services.
      the competition upon black funeral homes in one particular area.
      The competition, there is nothing in place to stop a family who haven’t paid one funeral home to go
       to another

      The constant number of new funeral directors opening up a new business in similar areas. Also
       direct cremation is lowering some of the profit funeral directors used to receive on service/burial.
      The rise of immediate dispositions
      There will be more and more competition and maybe it can get hard to get the position you want
       but that does not make it impossible.
      Too many funeral homes in one neighborhood.
      Too much competition.

People Without Funds to Pay for Funerals
      ability to pay funeral directors/embalmers reasonable salary for the amount of time and efforts
       needed to support quality family services.
      Challenges today are financial difficulties. Funerals are expensive and people are tending to go
       towards cremation because it is cheaper. Finding ways to make a funeral affordable and
       meaningful can be difficult
      Collecting money from families
      cost and trying to find ways to more economically friendly to customers
      Cost of preparing to be a funeral director and the cost of funerals.
      Families with no finances at all.
      getting monetary reimbursements from customers
      Liability for funeral expenses
      Non insured people
      The greatest challenge facing the funeral service industry today is having insurance; and people
       with no insurance have to come up with a plan.
      The greatest challenge today is most people do not have Insurance and have no concept of what
       a funeral cost or paying for a funeral. We as a funeral Industry have to get the word out about pre-
       need and get more Licensed life agents on the streets going door to door selling our product.
      Maintaining enough profit margin to keep a privately owned funeral James open.
      Non-profit for services provided.
      Profit margins due to increased cremations. The egos of current funeral directors.
      Redistributing costs. Reassigning caskets sales that once covered overhead to other parts of
       our services in order to compensate for the increasing cremation rates.
      Stability in number of calls
      Where to cut spending when needed

Environmental Issues/Green Funerals
      green burials without embalming. better marketing.
      green funerals, more cremations
      The different types of chemicals that are coming out and the new techniques that are always

Being a Woman in Funeral Service (Discrimination)
      As a female I feel that it is going to be harder to find a job, also how time consuming it may be.
      As a female, and being rather young, I feel the greatest challenge is having someone
       underestimate me based upon my sex, age, and size.
      Being a female is different for funeral directing because it is mainly dominated by men.
      Being a woman in the industry, being young in the industry, not having family ties to the industry,
       cremation rapidly becoming highly chosen disposition.
      Being a woman.
      Being a young funeral director, people think that we have no idea what we are talking about.
      From what I hear the funeral service industry is a sexist one to be in for a female. so my main
       obstacle is going to be proving myself to a funeral home that I can do just as good as any guy out
      Male funeral directors that are older and do not believe females shouldn't be doing this job.

Funeral Good Sold Online or Mass Retailers
      3rd parties selling merchandise that we cant stand behind
      Walmart.

      Consolidation of firms might limit job opportunities.
      Publicly owned firms Higher cremation More push back from baby boomer generation

Legal Issues/Regulations
      Changes in laws and making sure you follow laws in each individual towns. Also, adhering to the
       needs of the families. In addition, a challenge would be competing funeral homes in towns. For
       example, there are about six funeral homes in the town that I live in.
      changes in regulations changes in services due to changes in society
      I believe the greatest challenges facing the funeral service today are the state and federal
       regulations, documents, and record collections. Due to the increase in restrictions, regulations,
       OSHA, FTC, and state regulations, managing all of these needs along with maintaining a funeral
       home and quality service is difficult. Now that the economy is struggling, funeral homes operating
       cost have increased with smaller cash flow entering the door.
      I feel that keeping up with all of the paper work of the funeral service would be the biggest
       challenge. By paperwork I mean all training, OSHA regulations, and proper inspection of
       everything in the funeral home.
      Legal issues
      Liability
      Making sure that OSHA requirements are met in the prep rooms and making sure of the party
       responsible for taking care of the decedent's bill.
      regulations
      The greatest challenges facing the funeral service industry today are, -chasing doctors down for
       death certificates -NYS strict regulations -Lack of schools in NYS
      The increasing liabilities and possible law suits

Being Able to Serve Families
      As an employee the hardest challenge would be facing the family of the dead.
      Being able to adjust to the changes in the needs of the families, for example, preneed, more
       cremations, the families inability to provide a proper burial because of finances.
      Being able to provide professional service to customers.
      Challenges for me would be learning exactly what the consumers are looking for.
      consumers looking for the best services and the lowest prices.
      Dealing with different types of family
      dealing with dysfunctional families and providing them with the best services
      Dealing with families
      Dealing with grieving families
      Dealing with the families and meeting their wants and needs.
      Demanding and Difficult customers. Customers who don't pay their funeral bill Welfare/County-
       call funerals Youth services Competition between funeral directors
      difficult people
      Expectations of families and the community at large will be high .... and rightly so . However , we
       in the profession are well aware that not everyone's expectations will ( or in fact can ) be met to
       their complete satisfaction .
      families expect miracles when sometimes it is not possible like patients expect doctors to be
       miracle workers with all the answers
      Gaining the trust of families we work with. It seems like many people see funeral directors as
       people who are out to take their money.
      Having patience
      having to help the families deal with the loss of their loved one.
      Helping and dealing with the people during their lost as well as people who don’t have insurance,
       Life insurance is a big deal.
      I hope to help the family with the best of my ability for their final closure.
      I think that the greatest challenges facing the funeral service industry today are showing people
       that funerals are helpful for them.
      I think the greatest challenge is having a sensitive heart, but at the same time a strong one. You
       want to share emotions with the family, but not show it!
      In my opinion the greatest challenge will be reassuring the family that life goes on
      Making people happy
      Pleasing everyone.
      Quality service, consistent service, respect for the situation
      the great challenge facing funeral directors is giving quality funerals (services) at a price that
       consumers can afford. Some services are so out of reach and it forces families to opt for
       cremation when they really don't want to.
      the reaction when dealing with grieving families
      Working with families.

      health issues, the economy, price of funerals,
      So far what I personally have observed is that restorative art creates various challenges. I also
       think upon hospital removals that we should be in the right to know about any diseases an
       individual may have in order to take extra precaution on top of already mandatory PPE.

Unqualified/Dishonest Funeral Directors
      Attracting true, caring and ethical professionals.
      Below average prep work (embalming, make up)
      Finding excellent, true and caring professionals to enter our field and maintain it to the highest
       ethical standards.
      Finding loyal, and trustworthy people to work with
      Honesty, Integrity
      Ignorance of funeral directors.
      Integrity
      Lack of employees that put effort into the job. Employees that come to work on time, understand
       to turn off cell phones and not spend all day on their cell phones. If they see something that has to
       be done do it don't wait to be told to do the job. Help others. Keeping the funeral home back
       offices and the other areas the public does not see clean and sanitary.
      Lack of hard-working, energetic and forward-thinking funeral directors
      Maintaining integrity and not falling victim to shortcuts or bad habits
      Making sure that those who are pursuing funeral service as a career have the tools to properly
       serve client families
      Moral & Ethical Standards
      Need more people caring and wanting to be in the profession for the right reasons and able to do
       a good job at it.
      People that don't have the utmost respect for the job.
      Poorly trained funeral directors/embalmers, death-denying public.
      Qualified licensed staff.
      Quality of employees. Quality of employees. Quality of employees. Educational internships that
       adhere to state expectations. Adaptation to changes in the business
      Rumors and some truths of malpractice.
      The greatest challenges facing the funeral service industry today is competing with some directors
       who sometimes do unethical things.
      The technique or lack there of when it comes to embalming a body, restorative art and make up
       technique. I would strive to improve the overall presentation of the body.
      There is a large lack of compassion in the industry. To many it is just a job and not a calling.
      Training the new funeral directors to the changes ahead.

Change in Trends/Decrease in Traditional Funerals
      A large majority of people are going for direct cremation due to a lack of financial resources and
       due to the fact that many people are “too busy” for traditional funerals.
      Acceptance of change and ability to adapt to a changing consumer
      Adapting to families that are separated.
      Adapting to the constant change and idea of society.
      Always changing, new ideas
      baby boomer population ripening untraditional funerals personalizing each consumer
      Being able to maintain a current state of change equal to societies
      being able to personalize and adjusting to the baby boomers
      Change
      Change
      Change from traditional

Change in Trends/Decrease in Traditional Funerals
      Change from traditional funeral services to cremations.
      Change in funeralization to simpler and less expensive funerals.
      Change, new advancements in embalming, etc.
      Change, the world is changing the young generation look at the funeral process very differently
       they aren't as involved in church. My goal is to keep the old ways alive and continue to keep the
       older generations happy and serve them the way they would like to be however, encourage change
       a be flexible to new peoples ideas. People should be able to be comfortable in the funeral home
       and they should all feel welcome and be able to express there feeling. Death isn't is easy for
       anyone to face and we should help one another to over come these instances so that we can
       continue to live are lives and help prevent the emotional disturbances that continue to happen to
      Changes in family unit, faith considerations and environmental issues.
      Changing consumer wants and funeral homes refusing to change
      Changing culture
      Changing demand of consumers and having the older generation funeral directors cater too it.
      Changing views on traditional funerals
      changing with the times and helping and educating client tell with their needs old and young
      Client satisfaction and inflation.
      Decreasing public interest in full-service traditional funerals, pressure from discount direct
      Depersonalization
      Devaluing of caskets and traditional funerals and the rise of inexpensive cremations.
      Discovering how to show today's consumers that we not only have what they need, but can provide
       what they want for funeral services.
      Fewer visitations
      Firms stuck in the past. Not being aggressive in their business dealings. Not providing families with
       what they want. Letting 3rd party vendors (casket companies, stationary, etc.) dictate the course
       and scope of a funeral homes business. Thankfully, this is changing.
      Funeral service needs to offer personalized funerals - people want originality. People may opt for
       direct cremation. It is important to offer traditional services prior to cremation.
      I believe that the industry is having to accommodate diverse cultures and moving away from
       traditional funerals more and more now. People are changing their religious beliefs, there is a
       higher demand for cremation each year, the unstable economy could influence some families, etc.
      I believe the greatest challenge facing the funeral service industry today is the ever changing
       society. People are doing out of the “norm” funerals, and I believe funeral homes need to be
       prepared for any request a family or client wants and asks for.
      I think Funeral Directors need to keep an eye on the future and stay up on new trends. There are
       many new ideas and opportunities appearing everyday. The personalized funerals seem to make
       the event more special and almost happy to an extent, making people want to attend funerals
       instead of having to . If we keep the public interested, they are more likely to continue the traditions
       of services and not choose direct disposition.
      I think keeping up with the times of today.
      I think the reactions of funeral directors to the rising cremation rate are the biggest challenges.
       Most of them see it as a death sentence, but I think it only necessitates change.

Change in Trends/Decrease in Traditional Funerals
      I would say people in the industry that are unwilling to be open-minded and accept change. Not
       everyone is going to want what is traditional. The funeral industry is changing and there are some
       that are unwilling to compromise.
      I would say the biggest challenge facing the funeral service industry is the need for everything to
       happen fast and with little expense. This is why i believe more and more people are using funeral
       homes for just a cremation and maybe a memorial service.
      It's not your average cookie-cut funerals today. We have to adapt and for some that can be
      Keeping up to date on trends
      Keeping up with changes that consumers expect.
      Keeping up with the demands of society. Understanding that just because someone wants
       cremation, doesn't mean that a viewing and or memorial services are out of the question.
      Lack of originality and lack of change.
      limited ability for those involved to be confortable with change.
      Making people understand the importance of viewing their loved ones before final disposition.
      more diverse types of services due to the increase of immigrants entering our country.
      Not having enough choices for people
      People are always changing, most funeral homes are privately owned so its harder to get into.
      People not interested in funerals, family only hires
      Personalization from funeral home.
      Personalization of each funeral
      Personalizing the services with opening new ideas of merchandise. People have so many choices
       yet stick with cremation or burial. Wood or metal caskets but what about pushing other products
       like coffins, or burial at sea. Or instead of making a cookie cutter service showing we can do more
       which helps us be paid more. And worth every penny of our service.
      Societies change in attitude towards funeral service, Along with the alarming amount of apathetic
       and unsympathetic funeral directors in the field.
      Society is changing. People have a fear of death and do not want to think about it or prepare for it.
       Challenges will be people not having planned; therefore, not having money to pay and wanting
       credit. Embalming is going downhill. I have seen so many situations where I wish there had been
       embalming but the family didn't want it because of cremation, yet they wanted a viewing.
       Advantages of embalming need to be shown to families. On top of all this, one bad apple ruins the
       bunch. A high ethical standard is important and needed.
      Staying relevant and separating yourself from the competition.
      staying up to date on new ideas/innovations, cremations
      That not much has changed with the times, a lot of things can be done better, new technologies
       could be used to make our jobs safer, easier, and more environmentally friendly. Attitudes about
       funerals and death could be changed.
      The change in attitudes about funerals and the increase in cremations.
      The change in people's desire to utilize a funeral director. It seems the consumer does not want nor
       trust our capabilities and might as well do it on their own. We have to fight for our careers from
       being service oriented to just being a transporter.
      the changes in society, such as how the funeral/memorial service is performed, and cremation
      The changes in the services provided. More cremation.
      The Culture. We need to push more celebrations rather than the old traditions.
      The decrease in traditional funerals, the increase in direct burials and cremations.

Change in Trends/Decrease in Traditional Funerals
      The deviation away from traditional funerals and increase in cremations.
      The different and various forms for service people would like to have
      The ever changing needs and demands of the public.
      The greatest challenge is secularization. I fear that the more secular society becomes, the less
       funerals will be needed. Some intellectuals are too smart of their own good, and don't realize the
       repercussions of not having services on the psyche.
      The greatest challenge is trying to explain to people the importance of a funeral.
      The greatest challenges facing the funeral service industry today is how society perceives
      The greatest challenges facing the funeral service today is the transitioning to meet the changing
       types and styles of funerals offered.
      The greatest challenges today would be keeping up with changing trends, OSHA standards and
       practices, trying to make a profit and run a viable business when the economy is so tight.
      The lack of knowledge of funeral customs and rising cremation rates.
      The lack of original ideas
      The main challenge is keeping up with the trends that are ever-changing. Older funeral directors
       may be set in their way but people's opinions and wants for funerals is modernizing and the funeral
       directors will need to too.
      The move from funeral services to direct cremation and direct burial
      The number or funeral and memorial services is decreasing because people don't realize they can
       still have a service even though the body is or was cremated. It funeral and memorial services
       decrease to nothing, funeral directors will be out of a job. If everyone's body is cremated,
       embalmers would not be necessary and the jobs for embalmers would decrease as well.
      The profession isn't as personal as it once was.
      The public not seeing the value in a funeral service.
      There will be some serious challenges in changing the way funeral service, as a whole,
       accommodates families who desire ever-more personalization in the way funerals are organized
       and presented. As society becomes more secular, families do not desire the straightforward
       religious funerals that they have attended in the past, but rather, desire something new and
       meaningful to them (if not necessarily for the deceased themselves).
      Traditional vs. Cremation
      Transition from embalming/burial to cremation
      Varies depending on culture and region in which I choose to live.
      We are facing a generation of different values; society now focuses on celebrating life and making
       every experience unique. It's our job now to incorporate traditional directing with the personalization
       that families now desire...It's a challenge to stay necessary and relevant with these expectations.
      We as a culture have lost the value of a funeral and what it can do for us in the time of grieving.
       This has had a domino affect to the rise of cremation rates as well as more people needing county
       assistance in order to pay for some type of service commemoration their loved one.
      what the future holds for funeral service such as embalming.
      With the American population being so death denying it makes it tough on the funeral business.
       With the amount of direct cremations going up and the number of traditional funerals going down
       it's become a whole new challenge for the industry.
      Younger generations are tending to lead away from the traditions of their parents and
       grandparents, we need to find a way to accommodate to their needs and wants.

Funeral Directors Not Adapting to Change
      Funeral Directors don't embrace new technology and the new “traditional” funeral. Funeral homes
       are living in the past. Just for instance I called a funeral home to ask about doing an interview and
       an old man commented merely with the name of the funeral home. For instance, “Johnson's”. That
       was it. That is not professional.
      I think the greatest challenge will be working with the older group of funeral directors and
       embalmers who do not want to conform to modern ways of practice. I have had an older (65) male
       embalmer tell me that when I graduate, forget everything and do things by the book of his business.
       Unfortunately for him I have found somewhere else to practice.
      it is so outdated compared to the rest of the world.
      not willing to adapt to change
      The industry has been mired in tradition with a failure to adapt quickly to changing social, religious,
       and family conditions.
      The mind set of older funeral directors that simply because something was done to or expected of
       them, even though it may not apply to today, that it must be done to “new hires.
      The waves of time change, some of the older people are set in their ways, and they do not like


      I believe the greatest challenge facing funeral service today is being able to keep up with
       technology and innovation and being able to apply that to the funeral service industry.
       Technology is a rapid and fast moving industry and to be able to keep up and understand what is
       going on is almost a job unto itself. If funeral directors and people who work in the funeral service
       industry could find a way to stay on top of the already mobile and technologically advances
       society we live in today and could use that technology to be able to service families more
       effectively would be a key factor.
      New technology has definitely impacted the funeral business, especially internet
      Offering services to be viewed on the internet. Families are spreading out and employers aren't
       as willing to give paid days off to attend funerals.
      Technology and Cremation
      the internet

      Absence of electronic signature service for expedition of death certificates between Funeral
       Directors and Physicians. Currently in New York State there is no such provision. The time and
       expense of travel in addition to the inconvenience for physicians given their very limited time for
       signature, is not at all a very “Green approach.
      Being able to move from state to state and continue to move smoothly in our field.
      Better medicine, causing longer life expectancy
      Creating an environment in which young people are willing do the job they need to do.
      dealing with the death of children at the hand of parental negligence.
      declining lack of respect for elderly and the dead
      Everyone knows everyone. It is a word-of-mouth industry and if you don't know the right people,
       you may not succeed.
      finding somewhere to do resume
      First call, I think would be the greatest of all challenges of funeral service today.

      first calls emotional of the families
      Following up with aftercare of the mental and emotional health of those experiencing grief for the
       first time.
      From my perspective, the challenges that funeral directors are facing are the baby boom and
       cremation is rising.
      Good graduates and breaking of traditions
      If someone wants to succeed in a funeral business we would most likely have to move.
      In my opinion, there should be a better system between the funeral business and the organ
       donation service. I hear many complaints on the times it takes to get the deceased for their
       families and because of this many more people are deciding not to be donors.
      Lack of preplanning.
      maintaining the “family owned” funeral home and educating and retaining Funeral Directors.
      Marketing and continue education.
      Marketing towards the specific funeral home you work at. Dealing with competition. Restorative
       art cases and charging amount for time spent restoring.
      not enough turn around. people stay in forever/ no room for new people.
      Obesity and financial climate
      Obesity and the need for change.
      Obtaining CEU's online. The fact that the economy is so bad that many will want bare minimum
       spent on the funeral service process. The lack of knowledge of funeral directors to keep their
       funeral homes up to date and their knowledge of what a resident/apprentice can do.
      One of the main challenges to face would be the preparation of a child. They're too young to
       already have their life taken from them, they have yet to fully live. Another challenge to face
       would be dealing with the families. I feel like it can be very hard to be sensitive to their needs
       while also discussing the business standpoint. One must also be cautious when it comes to the
       families religion as to not offend them. The third challenge in my opinion would be restorative art.
       I would assume that filling in parts of ones face can be tremendously difficult. The facial structure
       would have to be made to look exactly how the person originally did.
      People are very informed with regard to funeral services and therefore, the funeral director needs
       to always be more informed.
      Removals of larger individuals
      Right now, to get through school
      Servicing families who have lost a child
      Successful aftercare, having a good cremation selection, having a great service, caskets sold
       from Costco
      Sue crazy people. long hours
      The education and challenging tests taken for certifications
      The fact that it is not an industry. It is a profession. The word industry has a negative connotation
       behind it. I feel that people do not understand the reasons that funeral services and products cost
       them so much. Many people feel they deserve a handout when it comes to death.
      the greatest challenge I see, everyone wants to own their own business and become their own
       boss, no one wants to work for someone else. I look at it this way if everyone want to become
       head who will be left to do the work.
      The greatest challenges would be the way in which states give licenses and do not manage to
       stay the same for all states. Which may cause people to steer away from having to take their
       license test for fear of forgetting the material.

      The lack of personnel in the industry and the NBE
      The more and more kids you have to see and do a funeral for.
      The state boards not helping funeral homes and directors. The state boards are becoming no
       more than money grabbers.
      There are not enough schools available that are close to home.

Appendix C

If you had no prior college and mortuary school was four years, how likely would you
be to enroll? (Verbatim Comments)

Very Likely
       1) I feel as though the program should be spread out over a longer course of time. There is a lot of
        information crammed into 15 months! 2) I only got my 1st A.S. degree so that I could attend
        CCMS. Had I not have to have that, I would have enrolled right away and saved myself a lot of
        time and money
       A four year liberal education is not only essential in providing enough time for being educated on
        mortuary practices, but also in providing necessary training in life skills and personal management.
       A goal is a goal regardless of how long it would take
       As long as the classes where in relation to the field of mortuary science,
       Attending a school that specializes in Mortuary Science is the ultimate. Training would be much
        more in depth and exciting.
       Because going to mortuary school has always been a dream of mine
       because it's my dream to work in a funeral home and i love helping people in their time of need
       Becoming a mortician is a calling. You can't deny what you are supposed to be. Anyone would do
        what ever it took to become one, if called.
       Because of my passion of the industry, I believe that regardless of the length of school required, if
        you have the “stomach” for it, then why not do it! I think that it's relatable with any other profession
        that currently does require a 4 degree, whether it be nursing or criminal justice. The length of the
        program should not be a factor!
       By having a bachelors degree and expanding the number of courses and number of cases
        required students would be better prepared. Esp. the number of cases that we are required to
       cause i want the degree to show that accomplished something
       Coming out of high school I expected to go to college for 4 years.
       Either way I plan on getting my Bachelors. If I could get it in Mortuary science I would, but since I
        can not I will have to go with business, counseling, or a related field.
       Family business (2)
       Family business and I like it.
       Four years would be better. As it is now, they cram SO MUCH INFORMATION in such a SHORT
        AMOUNT OF TIME, it is almost impossible to retain anything. Memorizing has become vital, and I
        don’t like that.
       Higher expectations in Funeral Service. Salary increase expectation.
       I already acquired an associates degree, equals the same time i spent.
       I always like bigger and better degrees that may further me along in my field. A bachelors degree
        or even a masters would be super appealing to me.
       i am already enrolled in a 4yr university
       I am interested in the field so I would take the classes necessary to obtain a degree in mortuary
        school regardless of the schooling program required.
       I am only going for two years, but if it was a longer course then i would love to be more in depth
        with this.

   I chose to go to college because I thought I needed more life experience in general and I wanted
    the well-rounded education that I would earn from having a degree.

Very Likely
        I don’t care how long the school takes as long as i get through it, and if it was a four year
         program then we could have more time to learn our material
        I eventually want a 4 year degree, I think it would have helped having some of the material
         covered in a longer format such as two semesters for a better understanding of it.
        I feel it could require communication, math, anatomy that could take 4 years
        I feel that the more you learn the better off I love school... and I feel some of the short term
         programs tend to rush things and you cram the info for a short amount of time rather than
         learning it!
        I feel that the need for good a education will be the best thing I did to help me into this field.
        I felt a calling to become a funeral director. I would not like to be in school for that long, but I
         would do whatever it took to get my degree.
        I had to receive a Associates degree in order to get into the program and along with the
         internship and other schooling it will about equal out to be 4 years of education.
        I have a dedication to this field. It is what I want. Although I do not feel 4 years would be
         necessary, I would do it.
        I have always been interested in this line of work. I care about people and would love to help the
         families of the deceased.
        I have always wanted to be a funeral director
        I have always wanted to study Mortuary Science since I was young, however, I was not able to
         be serious about the profession until my children were grown and I knew that I would be able to
         dedicate myself to the work schedule. I am at that point in my life now so I am pursuing my
         true desire, becoming a funeral director.
        I highly value education, so I do not see time commitment as a limiting factor in this decision.
        I intend to get a bachelor's degree in the future.
        I just came from high school and I was looking forward to a four year program but I like the
         school I'm at and the length to complete it.
        I knew this was what I wanted to do whether it was a 4 year or not would not have deterred me
         from entering this field.
        I like the opportunity to stay involved with people i can help, and that can help me grow too
        I like the range of focus and variability of the work. I like feeling what I am doing matters.
        I love helping other's on their journey in life.
        I love helping people
        I love this program it opened my eyes more about it.
        I mean, that's what I did, essentially. I took concurrent enrollment, which was my college
         coursework prior to enrolling in Mortuary College, but I had chosen to go into this field
         immediately after graduating High School.
        I originally wanted to go straight into a mortuary science program, but it was only 2 years and I
         really wanted to have a 4 year degree under my belt
        I picked this career regardless of education time.
        I really want to do this career
        I really like working as a Funeral Director.
        I really want to be a mortician
        I really want to do this.
        I started as a biology pre-med major, and changed to mortuary science. I was going to get a
         four year degree no matter what.

Very Likely
      I think it's important to have a bachelors degree or higher. I feel that the classes that are offered
        in mortuary school are not enough to fully educate someone for the “real world”. You can teach
        someone all the science you want but there are many other lessons to learn in life as well.
      I think more states are going to require more education.
      I this as a career
      I want to be an embalmer badly enough that I will pursue this path regardless of how much
        schooling is required.
      I want to do it regardless of school time
      I was enrolled in a four year program before deciding to switch schools to become a funeral
        director. I have had two years of college prior to this so it is like being in a four year program
      I would assume that having more training would not only increase one's earning potential, but
        enhance their skills.
      I would be very likely to enroll because this is what I've wanted to do for years and I'm
        determined to get my degree.
      I would choose to enroll into this program no matter what because this is the profession I am
        interested in and want to do this for the rest of my life.
      I would do anything I have to in order to earn this degree.
      I would do whatever it takes or took to be a funeral director.
      I would do whatever it took to get this degree.
      I would enroll because it would not change my wanting to be a Funeral Director
      I would enroll for 4 years if that is what it took to earn my degree.
      I would enroll no matter how long the program is because this is what I want to do with my life
      I would go whether it was longer or shorter.
      I would have enrolled in this program if it was a four year program.
      I would like the program to be longer to get more experience.
      I would not care if it was an 8 year program, I would still enroll.
      I would rather do more work to obtain a career in funeral service than in any other area.
      I would still attend the program because this is what I have wanted to do since my Junior year of
        high school and I'm now 21.
      I would very likely enroll because the four years allows you to see and process a lot more
        information than a two year program would.
      If a four year program was my only option I would apply regardless because this is what I want
        to do. But I had the choice to do 2 or 4 and with the price of school I couldn't afford to be here
        for four years for a business degree in mortuary science.
      If I had to attend mortuary school for four years, I would enroll. Working in the funeral industry
        is what I want and need to do, the number of years required of school to be able to work in this
        profession would not matter.
      If i hadn’t done 4 years already, i would definitely do a full 4 year program
      If my interest in that career was strong and I desired to be Full Service, I would definitely take on
        a four year program. I am very appreciative of the opportunity and division of education for a
        director vs. director/embalmer though!
      If there is a goal in mind the time frame shouldn't be an option
      If you love something and are willing to work towards it, it shouldn't matter the time length it
        takes to achieve it.
      If your desire is to work in a funeral home then the amount of time it takes to get there will be
        worth it.

Very Likely
      I'm very interested in this program and would've enrolled anyway as long as I had all the
        requirements to join.
      In my opinion, mortuary school should be a four year program everywhere. Insufficient training
        produces most of the problems I see in our profession.
      It is a career that I want to be in. If you want something bad enough, then there is nothing that
        should hold you back. Not even time.
      It is a four year degree in MN. I like knowing that I will have one of the best educations in our
        field in the nation. I work very hard for my high GPA. I value my four year degree.
      It is something that I always wanted to do.
      It just gives us students more time to learn
      It was my plan from the beginning to earn a bachelors in Mortuary Science.
      It would be very valuable to have 4 years of practice and education for this profession
      It would possibly detour a lot of the students due to the need to be out making a living with a
        great career.
      Its something i really want to do i would have still done it
      It’s what I want to do for my career and proud to say that.
      It's what I want to do so I would go to school for however long it took.
      It's what I want to do with my life
      I've always know this is what I wanted to do with my life. So I would have done anything and
        everything necessary to be licensed
      I've thought about going to mortuary school for a long time.
      Like many students, I hadn't decided on a major prior to enrolling in school. Therefore, I wasted
        much time on things I didn't have an interest in nor need for my major. I wish I could have spent
        as much of that time learning all that I could about funeral directing and embalming.
      Mortuary School was a four year program for me.
      Most four year colleges offer more things for students than just 2 year colleges. Things like
        campus gym memberships and more clubs to help you with community relations.
      No matter how long mortuary school would take to complete, I would surely enroll, because I
        know this is what I want to do.
      No matter how long the education is for this field, I would still pursue it because it is a passion
        for me.
      No matter how long the program or how short, I would still pursue my passion for the business.
      Nothing is easy, it takes time no matter what field of study you decide.
      Once I decided I wanted to be a Funeral Director, which was after almost 3 years of college
        focusing in the Arts, it took me 4 years to get my BA in Mortuary Science. So, in essence, I
        expected it to take 4 years.
      One school to attend
      Regardless of course length, I would still want to be a funeral director
      Regardless of how long it would take me to complete my studies, I am determined to become
        the best Embalmer I can be.
      The amount of time in school didn't affect my decision to enroll.
      The course material covered seems to warrant a four year course work. However, the internship
        should be related to the school and put in place prior to graduation. 3000 hours is unreasonable
        and only serves to control competition and promote extended free labor.
      The length of an academic program (for something I strongly desire to do) would not effect my

Very Likely
      The more you can learn the better. Have the whole program at a mortuary school so students
        don't have to switch to other schools.
      There are not many four year programs for Mortuary Science
      there are studies/classes that must be taken in addition to mortuary studies and this would take
        addition time. Maybe not two years
      This is a career that cannot be replaced by a machine or computer.
      This is a profession that I always wanted to be in.
      This is my dream career.
      This is my goal.
      This is something I have always wanted to do. I would enroll no matter how long it took to
      This is something that I've desired to do. Therefore, I would go to the lengths need be
      This is the career choice that I made, 4 years of college would not have scared me off. In some
        cases Mortuary School is like going to a four year college because I you had not had a degree
        you would have to complete all of the general education credits which adds up to roughly 4
      This is what i want to be and do so i would go to college for four years to get my certificate
      This is what I want to do so I will do what is needed to get the education needed.
      This is what I want to do. It doesn't matter if it would be a two year program or a four year
        program, I would go no matter what.
      This is what I want to do. It is worth it to me to become a mortician even if it took 4 years instead
        of 2.
      This profession is my passion, Id do anything to obtain my funeral director's license, even if it
        meant a 4yr degree in lieu of a 2yr one.
      This what I want to do
      to earn a Bachelors would be an honor.
      two year is appropriate
      Upon graduation, I plan to acquire a degree in Funeral Management
      What's to explain. As my chosen profession, I would enroll in the 4-year program.
      When you really want something, the length of time it takes to earn it is just fuel for success
      Whether this was a four year program or a two year program, this was something that I would
        have done no matter what. I would like to some time in the future go and get a Bachelors
        Degree in Funeral Services/Management. I want to be as educated in this field as I can be.
      Worth the education to pursue the career you desire.
      Wouldn’t have a choice i have to do this for myself i am determined to get my license
      You need several pre-requisites before entering the program. I had completed most of them
        before I decided to enroll. It only took me 2 summer classes to complete. Other people that
        have not completed the pre-requisites may not want to spend 6 years on college to get certified.
      The more I can learn about how to care for the families needs the better I am able to serve them
        in any capacity.

Somewhat Likely
    4 years for mortuary school seems a little much
    A 4 year degree doesn't seem overly appealing currently. I probably would have completed it
     though because this is what I want to do with my life.
    A 4 year program would be at a much slower pace which can be a good and a bad opportunity.
     What I liked most about looking into schooling for the funeral industry is that it is only 2 years.
    A person wants to go for 4 years to get their degree, they will.
    Age factor.
    As long as I would have the feeling that I have, then I would still have enrolled in
     Commonwealth because this is something that I wanted to do as a job.
    At my age, a faster program would be a benefit, but I would still likely attend as this is a passion.
    Because right now working for a funeral home the benefits don't outweigh the cost of tuition in
     the field. Therefore if you don't have the means in opening your own home then the opportunity
     is not all that satisfying
    College doesn't bother me.
    education is important
    enrollment would be greatly affected by the availability of grants and loans to the student
    financially I can only afford associate degree
       Four years in school is a long time so I would have to think about it. I have children at home and
        I am a single parent. That makes a four year degree a little harder to do.
       Four years of mortuary school would be extremely hard. Two years is hard enough, I couldn't
        imagine two more.
       four years seems to be overkill
       Four years would seem more acceptable if the training went further. For example, if one had the
        opportunity to work at a funeral home as part of a credit course. To gain further exposure to the
        program and to help with networking.
       I am 38 years old and wish i did this sooner, but at this age do not think I would be able to sit in
        class for four years.
       I am an older student. I don't know about going to school for that length of time.
       I didn't want to take four years of college.
       I don't feel that it takes anymore than a year to know the basics of funeral directing. I believe
        that more knowledge comes with experience. I love that my school is only a one year program. I
        don't really need anymore student loan debt, and I want to get out there and start my profession
        as soon as possible.
       I don't see me going another 4 years like that again in hindsight.
       I don't want to take forever in college. I want to start career.
       I enjoy learning about the different aspects of the funeral industry.
       I feel like the Mortuary Science program could be a four year program, but it could continue to
        diminish interest or become discouraging to certain individuals. I believe that this program only
        being two years is sufficient.
       I had to complete my pre-requisites first before attending
       I have been attending school part time for the past 5 years, so a four year program wouldn't be
        too terrible.
       I like the fast amount of time it takes, and I don't believe it should require 4 years to actually
        learn what we need to do in the business. There isn't enough information to really cover.
       I like to learn, I'd go to school for the rest of my life if I could.
       I may consider something different, I may not.

Somewhat Likely
    I prefer the two year program that Hudson Valley Community College offers because it saves
     me money and allows me to go directly into the field.
    I probably would have at some point in my life due to it being the family business
    I really enjoy mortuary school and feel it is a great opportunity for me financially.
       I think having the prestige of a bachelor's versus an associate's would be a plus, but i don't
        know if many could commit to that.
       I was going to go in the service so I was not interested in being in a long term school program.
       I was not positive coming out of high school that mortuary science was something I wanted to
        pursue. I still would have probably enrolled in the program, but it was nice to have some time
        prior to the program to make my decision.
       I was very unfamiliar with the Mortuary Field when I graduated High School, and didn't know
        anyone that introduced me to it.
       I would be a little apprehensive to completely dive into a single focus study if I had no prior
        college. I would be nervous about having such a limited scope. I feel like I was wise to have
        this previous education and some life experience before jumping into this. A 23 year old funeral
        director told me this week he won't ever have a family or kids because he won't have time. How
       I would be in support of a 4 year curriculum as long as the courses pertain to funeral service.
        Additional classes that are not relevant to the career would only take away from the ability to
        learn and comprehend the courses that are relevant. An overload of classes can hinder a
        student’s ability to focus on the classes needed to be successful in their chosen career.
       I would have taken the program anyway. My reason I can't see myself retiring at 65 or 70. I can't
        stand having nothing to do.
       I would have to really see the value in the program extending over the extra two years. The
        curriculum at CSC seems to cover the necessary information in 2 years with an internship.
       I wouldn't mind a four year, it would allow for less cramming into just a year of class work.
       If four years' worth of credit and tuition were required, the starting salary may not appeal to
        those who have to pay for four years of school.
       If I had no prior college experience and mortuary was a four year program, I may be somewhat
        intimidated by the amount of time it would take to graduate. However, since I have prior college
        experience and am currently in the mortuary program I can definitely see the positive aspects of
        making it a four year program. There is so much information to take in and retain in such a small
        amount of time. Having the luxury of more time may come in handy.
       If my intentions were to be a business owner, I would be more likely to take 4 years of school.
        My goal is more to be an embalmer or trade embalmer, so I do not believe it’s necessary to
        make it a 4 year program. Also, I'm paying for school on my own, and it's not exactly a small
        price for schooling.
       If needed i would of entered a four year college degree program in mortuary science.
       If you want be in the profession bad enough, time doesn't matter.
       If you want this kind of job, you must do what you have to do to get the job
       it depends on the timing in my life.
       It was because of something I read in English class that I decided to enroll without that I think I
        might have eventually decided on mortuary science.
       It would be just like any other degree
       It would depend on what educational components were included.
       Keep it short!
       maybe business management degree

Somewhat Likely
    No matter how long it would take I would still enroll at a mortuary college.
    Not sure the time invested would benefit the end result, may be too early to tell.
    Part of the appeal of mortuary school is that it is only 2 years. With quite a few years of prior
     college any more than 2 years would be daunting. However with no prior college, 4 year
     mortuary school would be fine. Especially if the general eds and electives you could take would
     go with your mortuary degree. It would be beneficial.
    Speaking specifically about me, I can say that a two-year program was appealing due to length
     of time of the program. I started this program at the age of 39, and had established
     employment, so a four year program may have made me slightly less likely, but I do feel it's
     been a calling for me, so I would like to think I'd still go through the program, even if 4 years.
    Still a good program.
    The only reason I seriously considered enrolling was because I have earned a degree.
    The starting salary needs to reflect a four year education if that is to be the requirement
    There would be hesitance due to not knowing just how much more you could need to know that
     isn't something that you wont use in the work place
    This is really what I want to do!
    This is where my passion is. 2 years or 4 years, I need the education to do what I love.
    Whatever it takes
    Whatever it would take to be out of school and working.
       While four years would insure that students would be very well trained. Funeral service is
        something that is real world experience almost more than just coursework.
       Would depend on costs and availability of length of programs.
       Moultrie school with a 4 year program I hope that would mean that there will be longer terms or
        quarters or semesters so that material isn’t rushed through but rather has time to soak in.
       Need training

Not Very Likely
    4 years/full time would not be an option for me as i work full time.
    A majority of the learning is from the funeral internship. The hands-on approach coupled with
      some school definitely works.
    As previously stated this was a second career choice for me. I'm afraid 4 years would be to little
      to late for me, but if I had had the opportunity when younger I certainly would do 4 years.
    at my age it would be too long of a process
    At my age, it would be a hindrance due to the longevity of the program and apprenticeship
    Cost and time, cost is the biggest factor and these could be trimmed by offering a program that
      did not include subjects that would never be used, such as history, etc. these extra subjects are
      a big cost factor and the course could be streamlined.
    cost of education would outweigh salary return.
    Dedicating 4 years is not appealing for those who are pursuing a mid-life career change.
    Due largely in part to my age i would not want to spend two extra years pursuing a career that
      really does not pay very well, and includes irregular hours.
    four years for a degree in mortuary science seems like over-kill. The reality's of the job are
      generally not made apparent no matter how well prepared the student is prior to leaving college.
    I already had degrees, so to do another 4 years of full time work does not appeal to me.
    I am 40 years old so this would not make sense to me.
    I believe the school education is very good however, I do not feel the job requires four years of
      education. A lot is learned during the year long apprenticeship and I feel that counters much of
      what you would need an additional two years for.
      I believe the two year program is enough to receive a profession and learn the trade with
       practice. It is an art, as well as, a science.
      I didn't really care for school when I was in high school, and once I found out what I wanted to
       do was only 2 more years I decided it would be worth a shot. If it was 4 years I probably never
       would have signed up.
      I don't believe becoming a funeral director should require a four year degree.
      I don't think this program would be served well by a four year program. I don't think it should
       extend past two years to be honest. I think you should require on the job training. Instead of a
       degree you should have a 2 year internship.
      I enrolled in Mortuary School because it would be a way to get an education in less than 2
      I feel a lot of what you learn in this profession is not learned in a classroom.
      I feel as it is more of a trade profession.
      I feel that a four year degree for mortuary school is excessive
      I had no knowledge of funeral service prior to going to college
      I like the fact that you can get a degree and go right to work
      I really like that the program is 2 year now.
      I started the program as a necessity when I was laid off. I was offered an opportunity to work
       with a new funeral home. If my family owned a funeral home, I would not have a problem with a
       four year program.
      I waited until I was 36 to go back to school. Two years seemed like a lot to me so 4 years would
       take dedication. I would have that dedication but I don't know if I could “put life on hold” for that
      I wanted to have a college experience so I would definitely have geared toward a college
       instead of a mortuary school.

Not Very Likely
    I would get a science degree first and then go to mortuary school afterwards.
    I would want a degree in a related field, but not mortuary science because it is such a specific
      field that I think it would limit my job opportunities outside of funeral service.
    In my opinion, I would not want to rely on one degree to get me through life. Things change and
      I never know something could happen to me and I could no longer be a funeral director. And
      what would I do with no “back-up” degree?
    It takes too long to finish without prior college. Also, I feel there should be a way to count hours
      and experience if already employed at a funeral home.
    It's a long time at my age to be in School. 52
    my husband and I chose to do this program because it was so quick and simple
    Never wanted to go to college in the first place. Would have moved to Colorado had this not
      been a short program.
    No reason to expand my education if i can get a job with a 2 year degree
    Pay would have to be greatly increased. ,!!!!
    Quit trying to be more than you are. Being a trade is perfectly acceptable.
    School is a major event and can cost a lot of money.
    The funeral service is a second career for me. It would be almost impossible for my to work to
      support my family and attend school for four years.
    The length of this program was also a deciding factor in my decision to pursue this career.
    The only way I could get into this business was to work full time as an apprentice and take
      classes online. If it was a four year program I don't think I could have waited that long.
    the program is already 2years long and that is enough don’t want to burn out
    There are classes required now that seem to be money makers for the university.
    This is a trade. It should not take 4 years to complete trade training.
    To much school
    Too old for a 4 year degree now
    Was going to enroll in a community college program in California but with intense competition
      for available seats in the program I would have been accumulating general education classes
      for 2-4 years before I could even begin the mortuary program.
    With working 50+ hours a week, wife and two young kids, plus school, I don't think I could
      handle two more years
    I was a transfer student from SUNY Canton's four year mortuary program. It was annoying not
      being credited and some classes felt like “filler” courses that had nothing to do with mortuary
      science. Two years is enough, I can not handle taking out more student loans.

Very Unlikely
   20 credits/trimester for 4 years would slowly kill me.
   Doesn't pay enough money to go to school for 4 years just to make pennies on the dollar. I can
      make twice as much as a Paramedic or RN.
   History has proven that to be an effective Funeral Director, 1yr of condensed studies prepares
      one for entry into the Mortuary field. Application of learned knowledge will be the vehicle to
      acquiring an expertise of applied knowledge, or intelligence within the field. As a first year
      student I am frustrated with some of the requisite courses. My time and money spent on gaining
      information or knowledge in some area that will never be applied within my chosen career path,
      i.e., while the computer concepts course I completed had its merits, I most certainly did not
      need to spend any time learning how to audit bank records. The study of cultures abroad
      “Sociology” again, I'd rather have spent my time going further into the business studies of
      Mortuary Science related fields. Hence, I cannot see where a four year program would keep the
      interest of the Mortuary Science student.
   I choose this program because it had a one year accelerated degree and it offered me a chance
      at helping my community. If it were a four year degree I wouldn't have enrolled because I am a
      single mother with three children and that wouldn't have been a option.
   I currently work full time, having to attend school at my age to achieve a 4 year degree would
      not interest me.
   I personally don't enjoy school. I do very well but want to just get out into the industry.
   I think that one can study mortuary science in less than 4 years.
   I would go for four years if the degree was half funeral education and half something else.
   It would serve no greater purpose within our profession currently to have a bachelor's degree.
   Just feel like that’s too long. Nurses only go 2 years as well
   Most people who decide to become a funeral director aren't right out if high school. Especially
      for veterans who have deployed, a bachelors plus a 2 year apprenticeship is just too much
   Need to go to work, I think there is already to much that does not concern the funeral business
   Not enough money to pay for more education.
   Second career, already spent 30 years in the coal mines
   Short programs are better.
   Starting a new career at 50 just don't have the time for a 4 year degree this late
   This is a second career for me and I would not be interested in spending 4 years and the related
   This profession is more about the hands-on/field aspects and not as much about the schooling.
      For instance, it's good to know some general chemistry, but that won't make you a good funeral
   We already have to do a year internship which delays us from getting our license in a timely
      manner, so adding more time to school would only prolong it.
   Why stretch it out. Nursing has both a 2 year and 4 year. What’s the point of stretching out the
      program you do not have people knocking the door to a mortician

Appendix D

What could NFDA do or offer that would make membership valuable to you?

      * Benefits: Life Insurance, Annual Seminars etc.
      1) Provide outreach support to ""new"" funeral directors / embalmers 2) Provide free
       membership for the first two years after graduation
      A discounted membership for the first year out of school would be nice. I have some serious
       expenses coming up and a boat-load of student debt. Coupling this with an intern salary, it
       would be nice to have a less expensive membership my first year in the field.
      a way to talk with other professionals in the industry to create round table discussions on
       certain topics in the field.
      Additional CE and career development info.
      Advertise more and interact with more funeral homes
      Allow opportunities to have seminars for the directors available
      Assist Funeral Directors of New York State in their plight with electronic signature service for
       death certificates.
      Assist in getting internships.
      Assist with finding a job after graduation
      Assistance in apprenticeship opportunities
      Assisted benefits that may not be covered in Employee benefits of a funeral home. Access to
       things like a clothing drive or special CE classes that can be arranged to be close by.
      At this point I am unsure, I will have to look more into the NFDA to be able to answer this
       question. Most likely I will join upon my licensure so that I can keep up on what is going on in
       the profession throughout the country.
      Attend training
      Awareness of continuing education and updates as well as the available jobs across the
      Being connected to a funeral organization, articles, workshops, CEU's?
      Beneficial status, better chance of finding job immediately, helping graduates find a job upon
      better pay
      Blogs that discuss the funeral industry
      Bring in more speakers like Mr. Jack Adams. And provide ceu's for attendance.
      By keeping me up to date with rules, regulations and information regarding the funeral industry.
      By putting on Seminar's with new ideas...
      can't think of any
      career field innovation, information
      CEU Classes
      Chances to further networking and social skills.
      Cheaper membership rates would lure me in. I am a 19 yr old that is paying my own way
       through school. I am pretty much broke all the time and cheaper membership rates/fees would
       be a lot more affordable for me.
      Cheaper or free
      College credit classes
      con ed

What could NFDA do or offer that would make membership valuable to you?
      conferences to help further my education
      Connections with other funeral directors, and access to new ideas and concepts that others are
       trying out.
      Contacts, info. about industry changes.
      continue doing what they do
      Continued education courses or seminars
      Continuing education
      Continuing Education
      continuing education opportunity to network
      Continuing education classes and conferences to learn more about the industry from different
       places and people.
      continuing education credits
      Continuing education offerings, trade periodicals included with membership
      continuing education opportunities retirement options
      Continuing education, conventions
      Could help me make a very successful business and tie up any loose ends I may have. You
       can never be too knowledgeable about your work place.
      discount on license price, and job listings.
      discounts
      discounts on merchandise that I will be using in funeral service, help and advice and keeping
       me up to date on the new rules and merchandise coming into the market.
      Do not charge students for seminars. People tend to invest groups that invest in them!
      Do not know
      Don't know yet
      Easy application process.
      Employment services,
      Employment information
      Employment opportunities
      Explain to me more so what's going on with it and send me more information
      For right now I would just like to know a little bit more about the NFDA and whey they are all
       about. I know that as a student I would like to be more aware of what groups are out there
       professionally for me to be a part of now and in the future
      free admission and lodging to conventions in first year or licensing.
      Free CE credit seminars
      Free for first year
      Free membership
      Free Membership t-shirts
      free studying for the national boards examinations
      Free subscriptions
      Friendly, caring staff
      Get out and talk to students and let them know what can be done for them if they join
      Get your name out there.
      Give a free trial membership

What could NFDA do or offer that would make membership valuable to you?
      Give a student discount
      Give me a membership pin and offer information as newly graduated student.
      give me an free year membership upon graduation also start sending me magazines now to
       peak my interest
      Give out more opportunities.
      Give perks to being a member
      Good information, along with some benefits.
      Grants or scholarships for school
      Great recognition.
      Greater Scholarship Opportunities; 'Junior' Member Classification for Interns and those with 5
       years experience or less in the industry with meetings, seminars, conferences, specialized CE,
      Have a student section
      Have access to a network of professionals in the career and sister careers.
      have more C.E. events
      Have more job listings
      Help find a job
      Help find internships
      Help find jobs/internships
      Help in certain cases.
      Help keep me updated on new stuff in the funeral business
      help lead me to a fulfilling and lucrative career
      Help locate apprentice positions and employment.
      help me achieve more credibility
      Help me network with other directors. Make it very affordable to join.
      Help me understand it's importance.
      Help set up broader funeral related job opportunities.
      Help the local guy in the Funeral business remember were are just as important as the big
      Help to seek a job in a funeral home
      Help with marketing and educating the public on the values of funeral homes.
      Hold monthly meetings to where I am able to attend so that Funeral Directors amongst my
       parish/city are able to meet and talk about different ideas, changes, etc. and also form a
       relationship with other funeral directors so that we are able to help each other out, despite
       working for different companies.
      Honestly, I'm not quite sure what they offer now? I have not had the time to look into it yet.
      Hopefully keep me up to date with what's new in the funeral directing/embalming community.
      I already consider it valuable.
      I already see it as valuable
      I am a fan of keeping funeral directors/embalmers checked for ethical standards and making
       sure every one is doing the ""right thing"". I just worry that the federal government will get into
       this field, that so many regulations and rules will cause good people to not want to work in this
       field and families will suffer because people are working for money, not for the dedication of the

What could NFDA do or offer that would make membership valuable to you?
      I am not familiar with all that they do.
      I am not really sure about what they do
      I am not sure if the school has signed me up, but I think upon graduation, you should be signed
       up through the school or where you are planning/doing your residency.
      I am not sure. to be honest
      I am not that familiar with the NFDA
      I am not very familiar with it so I could not say.
      I am really not familiar with that organization at the moment
      I am unsure. Current literature. Making The Conference tell us what we got wrong on practice
       test and boards. Advocating that the new material that The Conference wants goes into effect
       after a certain time so that students can be prepared with that information.
      I believe what they do is good.... Just keep doing what you are doing however try and put the
       light on more of the young and the women of course... see what are ideas are because we are
       the FUTURE!
      I did previously have an NFDA student membership when I was enrolled in mortuary school in
       2003-2004, however I didn't feel like the membership offered any that made the me feel
       honorable or privileged to be a member of. Perhaps because it was a student membership and
       I got a magazine monthly, but other than that, I'm not really sure what the student membership
       offered beyond that.
      I do not know anything about what the organization offers currently.
      I do not know enough about NFDA to know what is possible to offer me to make a membership
       more valuable.
      I don't feel I know enough to make an educated comment at this time.
      I don't know (5)
      I don't know a lot about it so I couldn't give specifics.
      I don't know yet, because I don't know much about it.
      I don't really know much about NFDA.
      I don't think you could do anything different at this point. I would have to have a need arise
       where I would need information from the site in order to join.
      I enjoy the magazines, and I would like to attend one of the seminars. Everything the NFDA
       does is already immensely helpful.
      I feel it is already valuable.
      I have been interested in joining. After graduation, I feel that I would benefit. I am always open
       to learning more about funeral directing.
      I have no idea
      I have no suggestions at this time.
      I have not yet made myself familiar with the benefits.
      I have read the benefits of membership with the organization and it had great benefits
      I have to talk with my instructor, a little further, i am not sure how to answer question as of yet.
      I have yet to see or come across NFDA Student Membership forms or flies at my school and
       would probably be better informed if there were.
      I honestly don't know (2)
      I need to be explained the benefits of this membership.
      I need to learn of the benefits of being a member.
      I really don't have an idea.

What could NFDA do or offer that would make membership valuable to you?
      I really don't know?
      I realty have little information on this organization
      i think it's a good resource for funeral directors to stay on top of rules and things that are
       happen in the industry
      I think they would offer updates on business practices and procedures of funeral issues.
      I would cherish the opportunity to be a part of the NFDA.
      I would have to first find out all that you currently offer before I suggest something.
      I would have to learn more about the association, but offering Continuing Education programs
       would be great.
      I would have to say nothing at this time , due to the fact that I don't really know all that much
       about the NFDA.
      I would like to be able to network face-to-face, conferences.
      I would like to know more about the future years and how it will effect the funeral industry.
      I would suggest having representatives, from different regions at a State Level to represent
      i would to join
      If it benefitted me in some way
      If there was some sort of way that they could help me get in contact with employers, then we'll
      Ill have to research more in order to answer this question.
      I'm not familiar with NFDA but any type of benefit or pay increases are valuable.
      I'm not sure (4)
      Include CE credit hours
      Inform students more about it or have their professors talk about it.
      Information about what they offer, free admission for first year.
      Information and updates on current funeral trends.
      Information mostly.
      Information of funeral homes hiring or looking for interns
      Information on continuing education, other options for funeral students just coming out of school
       besides working as a director or in a funeral home in order to aquire their one year
       apprenticeship, and access to websites or a catalog of businesses looking to hire individuals in
       our field.
      Information on how to better myself.
      information packages
      Information when I signed up for classes.
      informative articles on the death care industry and real life situations of my collegues, and
       options pertaining to investments.
      Intern opportunities
      It already is
      It already seems valuable! I just haven't signed up for a student membership yet!
      It isn't that the membership is not valuable, it would be the cost issue versus the inability to find
       employment. I do not know if the reduced price of membership extends to those serving an
       apprenticeship, but it should. It would allow us to be informed while working toward licensure,
       at a price we could afford on little or no salary.
      It would be nice if the NFDA could assist in the payment of tuition and loans.

What could NFDA do or offer that would make membership valuable to you?
      It would help be stay educated and keep current with funeral trends.
      it would help me with getting the business out
      It's just too expensive at the current time for my budget
      Job listings for local funeral homes
      Job opportunities
      Job placement (4)
      Job placement assistance
      Job search tools
      Just get me more involved
      Just helping me get a job then keeping me informed of the new merchandise that is out there
       that I can intern make money selling.
      Just keeping me informed on the latest news and information is important to me.
      Just keeping me updated with the current events that have to do with funeral service
      keep abreast of trends and issues at hand
      Keep me informed on how to be the best and how to stay ahead of the challenges in
       business...even down to the psychological and physical challenges involved.
      keep me up to date on all the pertinent information that arises in the industry.
      Keep up the good work! Can't wait to attend a convention!
      Keep us up to date with important information
      Keeping me up to date on current issues affecting the Funeral Home Professions
      Keeping me up to date with the changes in the funeral industry.
      Keeping up with the times such as this survey
      knowing if I have a problem I can turn to a professional service for help without reprieve or
       condemnation, retaliation of fear of being fired.
      Knowledge
      learning about opportunities in the business and of opportunities for those new to the profession
      Legal support if needed
      Let me know about it threw school as soon as I got into the program. I know nothing about it.
      Let me understand the merits of being a member.
      Local events to interact with other directors.
      Lower cost
      Lower entry fees.
      Lower the cost of membership dues.
      Make a deal with funeral homes to provide their directors with free or severely discounted
      make it affordable, tell me the the benefits of the membership.
      make it cheaper
      Make it free
      Make it FREE
      make it more acceptable
      Make it more affordable
      Make it more affordable for the new FD's. We are broke and we are the ones excited to stay on
       top of the technology and new ideas in the industry.

What could NFDA do or offer that would make membership valuable to you?
      Make it more prestigious to be associated.
      Make me more familiar with the NFDA. Give me all of the information.
      Make seminars available to students. Promote field trips, speakers, etc.
      Make the information available to students.
      Making the funeral law more clearer.
      market more to students. I didn't know that you offer a student membership
      Marketing, trending and updates on the most current national laws.
      Maybe have some stickers made with NFDA on them.
      Meet face-to-face so that people become more familiar and well educated with NFDA.
      Membership with the NFDA is already valuable to me. I just haven't yet taken the time to
       acquire one.
      More attractive and more beneficial to me as a member....
      more benefits
      More CUE/training
      More discounts to members and CE
      more information given to students
      more information like newsletters
      more information on the NFDA
      More networking opportunities, lower cost to maintain membership, community/regional
       connections and gatherings
      More publicity would be very helpful, I don't much about NFDA.
      more ways to focus on material that is given after graduation for state board
      nation wide insurance plan estate/retirement plan
      Nearly free magazines.
      Need more information
      networking
      Networking opportunities while in school to help find a job
      New / Changing legislation
      Newsletters/periodicals that would help keep up with trends, offer contacts in other areas of the
       country, etc.
      NFDA could lower the membership costs for students attending school or discount those that
       cannot afford to pay as much as others for membership.
      NFDA does enough I say.
      NFDA is over everything regarding my future career; the do's, the do not's, and even my pay.
      NFDA would make membership valuable by offering connections and networking potential
       along with providing opportunities to complete CEUs every other year.
      No too familiar with it.
      Not enough knowledge to answer this question..
      not familiar enough to comment
      not familiar enough with it to know
      not really sure to be honest
      Not really sure what they offer, in order to provide constructive feedback.
      Not really sure, I briefly viewed the website, but did not look further into membership at that
       time. I do plan to do so in the near future.

What could NFDA do or offer that would make membership valuable to you?
      Not too sure, it's already fair and reasonable.
      Not very familiar with NFDA
      Not very knowledgeable of this association
      Nothing it already seems like a valuable thing to have.
      Nothing. My employer will provide this for me.
      Offer a first time membership fee discount.
      Offer an opportunity to network with others who have less than 5 years of experience in the
       field. We could make some great connections and find a way to fit in right from the beginning.
      Offer benefits
      Offer CE opportunity and information to stay current in training and skill.
      Offer CE units; networking; conventions
      Offer courses and training annually to keep people current on new standards nationally
      Offer different trips or conferences members could attend to learn more creative and modern
       things happening in the funeral industry.
      Offer discounts for new members
      Offer exciting lectures
      Offer exclusive information in regards to the business as well as support in anyway possible to
      Offer great seminars to keep us abreast of changes in the funeral service industry.
      Offer help in finding jobs.
      Offer incentives
      Offer incentives that would help with job stress.
      offer it through school
      Offer job listings
      offer job listings for embalmers from different states
      Offer me a job writing industry articles to help pay back my loans.
      Offer more benefits
      Offer more information the Mortuary schools that can then be passed along to the students,
       especially the graduating classes.
      Offer more information to motivate funeral directors.
      offer more scholarships
      Offer more seminars with changes in funeral service and new innovative ideas
      offer scholarships
      Offer seminars on how to be the best funeral director and provide the best services to the
      Offer the 1st year of sign up free to newly graduated students. That gives us time to become
       familiar with our jobs or internships and stay knowledgeable of the industry news/trends..
      Offering services to rank and file, and NOT be the national Funeral Home Owners Association.
      Ongoing education through seminars/conferences (at no- or low-cost), ability to search and
       apply for positions, help with questions and concerns (since I am new to the field). In general:
       support and opportunities.
      Online Workshops Pay for students to go to convention
      Paid time off
      paid trips to the NFDA conventions for students

What could NFDA do or offer that would make membership valuable to you?
      Paid vacations and travel expenses for conferences.
      pay my school expenses :)
      Perhaps, help with placement of apprenticeship and further CEU training and seminars,
       scholarships, a mentoring program would be wonderful.
      perks
      Pertinent info. for young funeral directors.
      Plenty of information to keep my academics thriving.
      Post Job Opportunities
      Present membership materials through school programs
      Professional knowledge and networking opportunities.
      Progressive seminars helping the profession to grow in a positive modern day sense would be
       good. There are too many funeral directors stuck in the dark ages with no aspirations to move
       into the 21st century.
      Provide discounted membership for new licensees
      Provide information identifying the benefits of membership
      Provide information to new Funeral Service Students through the school.
      Provide information, resources, guidance and continuing education.
      Provide it to Mortuary Student at no cost
      Provide me with up to date info., technological advances.
      Provide support services; for example, someone to contact with funeral related questions.
      Push for higher pay for qualified newly graduated funeral service professionals.
      Reduce cost factor to students and allow those just graduated to have a one year free
       membership then charge after that so that the student has time to make some income first.
      Resource and on-going training
      Resources to continue educating about the funeral service industry and career opportunities.
      Scholarship opportunities or offer discounted books for school for members.
      Scholarships/grants, job-placement assistance, benefits/discounts with membership
      Scholarship
      Security
      Seminar
      Seminars, Publications.
      send great articles about funeral service and provide information about conferences
      Send me a student membership, if I qualify I will join.
      Send me magazines and emails on the most up to date changes in the funeral industry.
      Send me some information.
      Show more of the benefits of being a member and show students why they would want to join.
      Since I am not familiar with NFDA, I do not know of anything you offer now or what your
       organization does.
      speak at the colleges
      spread information
      Staying current
      Student scholarship

What could NFDA do or offer that would make membership valuable to you?
      Student seminar/conferences
      supply resources
      Support
      Support funeral directors nation wide
      Sure would be nice to have something while in school. However, CEU's, networking and other
       opportunities would be great.
      Tell us students more about it
      That's something I'd have to look into for I know very little about the NFDA
      the ability to keep up with the future of industry
      The ability to provide a discount in the membership cost for new members in an attempt to
       allow new members to join, while getting through the difficulties of a lower beginner's salary.
      The cost could be less
      the membership itself
      The NFDA is unquestionably the largest funeral service association worldwide. Therefor, I trust
       in the NFDA to provide me with an outstanding education while giving me the resources I need
       to become a better and more efficient provider of death care services. They can provide me
       with a continuing education, employment opportunities, and various funeral home products,
       services, and programs.
      The NFDA provides a great deal of services and information that I am happy with.
      The reason I have applied for a student membership is for the scholarship. After graduating, I
       will want to a part of the seminars that they have for continuing education.
      They already offer great things.
      They could offer a nice dental benefit.
      They could teach me things like allowing me to start directing along side of their funeral
       directors. I was talking to a pastor at Christ United Methodist Church on 6000 Old Canton Rd
       where I am a member Pastor Chuck Meadows he told me when I graduate to let him know, he
       knows where he will be able to get me in. I plan to go and talk to him about getting me in while
       I'm in school.
      to guarantee an apprenticeship
      to offer more incentives/ or discounts and resources to students.
      Trained on Many different aspects, regulations and codes and enforcements in the health
       safety and sanitary business.
      Training, education, partnerships
      updates on everything
      Use all means necessary.
      Well, since I am a online college student, I don't really have the full experience of meeting
       people who will be working in the same industry as I. I would find it beneficial if I could network
       through NFDA and meet my peers as well as those who have great experience in the industry.
      What ever best for them to make it valuable.

Appendix E

What suggestions or ideas do you have for future enhancements of NFDA benefits
and services?
      advertise to students. at least a leaflet or an email with a link.
      Again not very familiar with NFDA
      All I can hope for is a stable job, that will last me my lifetime, and to set up the necessary
       procedures, for life being a random ordeal.
      ALL students that are going to mortuary school should be able to just complete 1 year of
       apprenticeship not 2 years. This allowance should not just be offered to embalmers it should be
       offered to students who are going just as funeral directors.
      As a student that is about to graduate from a Funeral Service Program, my main concern is will
       I make enough money to actually be able to support myself. I do not expect to ""come out of
       the gates"" making $50,000-60,000 a year but most funeral homes are barely offering anything
       over $30,000.
      Assist with job/internship placement and recruiting
      At this point I am unsure, I will have to look more into the NFDA to be able to answer this
      Automatic enrollment of a Life insurance party
      be more available to students
      can't think of any
      Caring for the Funeral Director
      communication between members to discuss issues and come up with ideas for resolutions
      Conferences on implications for the field.
      Continued support of funeral professionals nationwide.
      Continuing education. Free energy drinks. ;) ha!
      Currently none
      Discount programs with companies (computer suppliers, etc.). Group insurance offered to all
       members. This creates a larger group and should reduce costs.
      Discounted Restorative Art seminars.
      discounts for expos
      discounts on conferences and continuing education classes, but otherwise, I'm not sure,
       because I'm not a professional member yet, so I do not receive all benefits offered....that I know
      Do more for FST students.
      do more for the student
      Easier accessibility
      Educational assistance with loans, scholarships, etc.
      Encourage licensed FD/Embalmers to ""pay it forward"" and offer more apprenticeship
       opportunities to students. Conduct themselves in a professional manner and teach the student
       what is important about the profession. NFDA could perhaps become a major resource for
       students needing apprenticeships in areas close to where they live. Ask them to be courteous
       enough to respond to those students who contact them asking for an opportunity to complete,
       not only practicums, but apprenticeships.
      Establish programs to influence firms to become more progressive

What suggestions or ideas do you have for future enhancements of NFDA benefits
and services?
      Faster decimation of information from the top down
      For seminars, conventions and symposiums in regards to the death care industry be affordable
       to students so we may be able to travel and attend and participate in those important
      Free Membership
      Free trial memberships for students.
      Get more involved with students
      Get more out there, I have herd of NFDA but be more involved in the United States
      Give more information.
      Have a weblink on the school website as well as a brochure that is inserted in our school
      Have little knowledge about the NFDA so unable to answer
      Help me find an apprenticeship.
      Help students acquire jobs
      Help with new graduates
      Helping the students to network with employers that truly interested in hiring.
      I am not currently familiar with what is offered; hence I have no suggestions.
      I am not fully knowledgeable of all benefits and services so I do not feel fully comfortable with
       answering this.
      I am not knowledgeable in what they offer now.
      I am not sure which are the actual ones at this moment therefore could not have better
       suggestions yet.
      I am not too familiar with what is all encompassed so I cannot say at this time.
      I believe that NFDA has the mentor program, maybe I'm wrong... Those things are valuable.
       Especially when it is done right.
      I believe that NFDA looks out for its members
      I cannot think of any improvements that could me made, however, I do feel that schools and
       funeral homes should place more importance on the NFDA not only for their benefit but for
       getting a great education after graduating.
      I cannot think of anything at the moment.
      I currently have no suggestions
      I do not have any as I am not familiar with all of the services and benefits at this time.
      I do not know about NFDA's past benefits and services to know how NFDA can enhance their
       benefits and services.
      I do not know what benefits and services it has right now.
      I don't have an opinion due to my lack of knowing the NFDA.
      I don’t have no suggestions they are doing a good job.
      I don't know a lot about it so I couldn't give specifics.
      I don't know because I am not familiar with the association.
      I don't know enough about NFDA to even have an idea of what current benefits are.
      I don't really know much about NFDA.
      I don't think I'm in a position to suggest anything, when I'm not even a member.

What suggestions or ideas do you have for future enhancements of NFDA benefits
and services?
      I feel like they run the association in a professional manner and have thought of every possible
       aspect they could have in order to help up and coming funeral directors.
      I feel that are continuing education that we have to have should be paid for.
      I have no idea about the NFDA
      I honestly don't know what all NFDA does except to make sure that qualified people are working
       in the proper establishments; and that, NFDA is a rather important group to belong to. If I
       understand right, it seems that NFDA keeps funeral homes current on policy changes and that
       to become a member a funeral home needs to be of good character and promise.
      I know as a student, I live a TIGHT budget and it would be great if you offered free
       memberships to students who are actively attending school. This would benefit both parties
       involved as it would give me as a student to see how valuable continuing membership after
       school by being able to see and/or use NFDA benefits that come with professional membership
      I need to be more familiar with NFDA to make an educated comment.
      I only suggest that they offer more for students who are still learning about funeral careers.
       When looking at the site for NFDA, it seemed to be mostly targeted towards people already in
       the business.
      I really do not have any now I have not used NFDA to this point. Would like to see NFDA paying
       for the students to get into national conventions so they have chance to learn more about the
      I think NFDA should find a way to inform people about the work that goes into funeral directing
       since most people do not know what all funeral directors do for the deceased and their families.
      I think that especially for students, making the membership more interactive instead of having a
       passive membership with a monthly magazine. Perhaps offering incentives of some sorts that
       will not only boost membership, but also provide cause to the membership would be a great
      I think that the meet the mentors program is great, but I think it is unfair that it is for people
       under 40!! I am 42 and decided to change careers, this program could be so beneficial to me!!
      I think that the NFDA should have a financial plan for funeral home owners to use as a guide on
       how to work with the expenses of running the funereal home.
      I would have to do some research on the CURRENT benefits and services!
      I would just ask that there be a useful connection between both the students and members to
       help further their education.
      I would like to see them at more events such as Continuing education events and seminars.
      I wouldn't know what I can suggest until I know a little more in depth what NFDA provides.
      Increased education to the public on why funeral service is important. Help fund studies that
       would help support the necessity of funeral service
      information packages
      It's hard for me to say since I am not very familiar with the NFDA's specifics.
      Job placement
      Job placement
      'Junior' Member Classification for Interns and those with 5 years experience or less in the
       industry with meetings, seminars, conferences, specialized CE, etc.
      Keep doing a good job. I do love to read the magazines.
      Keep doing what you're doing. The big name in the funeral industry is you!
      Let us have options as to what benefits we would like to utilize.

What suggestions or ideas do you have for future enhancements of NFDA benefits
and services?
      Mail tips for suggestions that would be helpful to me in my career (dealing with families).
      Make law so less funeral get sued.
      Make sure everyone knows what the NFDA is all about.
      Make the website print larger and label better for drop down information. I found website difficult
       to navigate.
      Making sure that all funeral service firms are made aware of the results of this survey
      Maybe reach out to new graduates or students.
      Mentor new members with each position and person holding a position, ensuring knowledge
       and processes of NFDA.
      More articles on regulations and I would like to see a story on the dying breed of Life insurance
       agents in the funeral Industry.
      more benefits
      more conferences
      More conventions for students. So they can become more aware of the industry of funeral
      more events
      more generated
      more info
      More information
      More meetings and conventions
      More PR in colleges.
      More promotion through the school i had no idea it existed
      more student services and scholarships
      More survey for the consumers to better the funeral directors' knowledge.
      Much more direct student interaction. We merely memorize your services and actually have no
       contact with your organization while in school. Doesn't make sense to me as a profession.
      NFDA has been very visible to me, even as a student, through my time in mortuary science
       school. I receive regular emails and updates and literature and feel at this time, NFDA has
       provided to me and made available to me everything reasonable for a student.
      NFDA should consider making their website more inviting because I feel it steers people away
       and confuses them if they want simple information.
      NFDA working closely with membership funeral homes to promote their existence and services
       to the general public. Promote the funeral homes that DESERVE the recognition because of
       their reputation.
      None at this time, I need to do more research on what benefits and services are being offered
      not familiar enough to comment
      not familiar enough to judge the NFDA benefits and services.
      Not familiar enough to make an educated suggestion.
      not familiar enough to make suggestions
      Not really sure right now but when I find out I will be sure to make a suggestion.
      Offer all the help possible

What suggestions or ideas do you have for future enhancements of NFDA benefits
and services?
      Offer discounts with useful shops and/or organizations (such as formal wear, housing, tools,
      offer free memberships to students a lot of students don’t have the money for books and
       supplies for school so every little bit could help.
      Offer help in finding jobs.
      Offer more scholarships
      Possibly enforce it more in the colleges to become a part of the association. Could even
       possibly advertise the benefits they have to offer a little more.
      Possibly have a representative come speak and inform new students about the NFDA and how
       to become a member.
      provision of information to students to enable appropriate decision-making for membership
      Publish articles regarding labor laws to ensure funeral home owners do not take advantage of
      put the light on more of the young and the women of course... see what our ideas are because
       we are the FUTURE!
      Rate funeral homes.
      Real discussion involving funeral service as a career. Start a dialogue that encompasses wage
       and benefits comparable to other service professions.
      Recruit high school students!
      Scholarships
      Send out information to students
      send representatives out to the mortuary colleges and inform the students about the NFDA
      Sending out more mail to student members would be very helpful.
      Since I'm not a member yet, I would suggest looking at options to add to the benefits/services
       useful to our daily lives and occupation. This would make NFDA equivalent to other
       organizations, and allows the organization to continue attracting new members, and retaining
       the senior members.
      Socials that gather everyone up for the fun of things. or gift baskets on your birthday. I don't
       know, little special things.
      speak more at the schools
      stay technologically current so people see you as relevant
      Stop making the State examination and the Boards exam cover different information. if the
       answer is one thing for the boards exam it should be the same answer for the state exam. I
       think more students would be able to pass if they knew what to study.
      Student forum
      Student seminars/conferences
      survey the needs
      That they should get serious about hiring people who are really interested in working in funeral
       services, and give everyone a chance. Maybe people would stop wanting to own their own
      The NFDA provides a great deal of services and information that I am happy with.
      The older funeral directors are set in their ways already. We are the ones that are looking at
       the future of the industry. We are the ones seeing the importance of the new laws and forms
       that make the job more difficult.
      The students that receive the scholarship should get the first year of membership free.

What suggestions or ideas do you have for future enhancements of NFDA benefits
and services?
      To help make more aware of changes to rules and regulations for funeral homes
      To keep everyone current and up to date on technology related issues, and new directions for
       the future of the funeral business.
      to make benefits cheaper for funeral directors
      to offer health insurance to students who do not have it, give greater opportunities for students
       to intern, especially the opportunity to visit other funeral directors for their expertise, ex: some
       funeral directors are known for their restorative art skills, some for management skill. Students
       should have the access to these funeral directors for questions, hands on experience and not
       be hindered by one being at one site.
      To pay students an amount that is desirable for students to earn and give nice health benefits.
      try to advertise more, let the students and professional know you are there and that you can be
      Try to promote yourself more at mortuary schools about who you are and what you do. I have
       no idea how having a membership to the NFDA will benefit me or what you are all about.
      Will tell you when that time comes, trying to pass school and score high on my NBE and State


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