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Home Archived News Ozark Campus, ASU-Mountain Home form unique partnership

Ozark Campus, ASU-Mountain Home form unique partnership

ozarkBeginning this spring, Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus will offer classes toward an Associate of Applied Science in Funeral Science through a partnership with Arkansas State University-Mountain Home.

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Arkansas Tech-Ozark Chancellor Dr. Jo Alice Blondin sings a Memorandum of Understanding that allows the Ozark Campus to offer funeral science classes through Arkansas State University-Mountain Home. Also pictured, from left: Bruce Sikes, Arkansas Tech-Ozark Chief Academic Officer; Dr. Pat Bailey, ASU-Mountain Home Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs; State Rep. Karen Hopper of Mountain Home, ASU-Mountain Home Associate Vice Chancellor for Special Projects; and Matthew Buel, Director of the Roller Funeral Science Program.

Beginning this spring, Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus will offer classes toward an Associate of Applied Science in Funeral Science through a partnership with Arkansas State University-Mountain Home.

A Memorandum of Understanding was approved Friday, Oct. 26, by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education during a meeting of its Coordinating Board in Little Rock.

Dr. Pat Bailey, ASU-Mountain Home Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, formally announced the two campus’ joint venture during a press conference Monday, Oct. 29, at Arkansas Tech-Ozark.

In attendance were Arkansas Valley area representatives of the funeral science industry and State Rep. Karen Hopper of Mountain Home, who also serves as ASU-Mountain Home’s Associate Vice Chancellor for Special Projects.

Hopper and Arkansas Tech-Ozark Chancellor Dr. Jo Alice Blondin said having the two colleges work together to consolidate resources is a “win-win situation.”

Bailey said, “It just makes sense to share our resources the public has entrusted us with to meet the education needs of our communities.”

The Roller Funeral Science Program, which was founded in 1997 and is headed by Director Mathew Buel, now offers classes on five campuses: ASU’s main campus in Jonesboro, ASU-Mountain Home, ASU-Beebe, Arkansas Tech-Ozark and Northwest Arkansas Community College.

Blondin said, “The Ozark Campus was approached by industry representatives to offer a funeral science degree on our campus. ASU-Mountain Home has a nationally accredited program with a strong reputation, and our students and area business will benefit from its experience and leadership.”

ASU-Mountain Home is one of only two institutions in Arkansas offering a two-year funeral science program. Its Associate of Applied Science in Funeral Science is a 60-credit hour program offering the theoretical and practical application of funeral service education.

Students are prepared for entry into the profession after graduation. The National Board Examination must be completed prior to graduation.

Through the partnership, the two campuses will combine their course offerings for students to complete the degree. Students may complete 32 credit hours offered from Arkansas Tech-Ozark, with ASU-Mountain Home providing the remaining 28 credit hours.

The funeral science program is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE), which serves as the national academic accreditation agency for college and university programs in funeral service and mortuary science education. The ABFSE is the sole accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation in this field.

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Front row, from left: Matthew Buel, Director of the Roller Funeral Science Program; State Rep. Karen Hopper of Mountain Home, ASU-Mountain Home Associate Vice Chancellor for Special Projects; Arkansas Tech-Ozark Chancellor Dr. Jo Alice Blondin; and Cody Purdion with Roller-Cox Funeral Home in Clarksville. Top row, from left: Bruce Sikes, Arkansas Tech-Ozark Chief Academic Officer; Marshall Clatchey with Roller-Cox Funeral Home in Clarksville; Dr. Pat Bailey, ASU-Mountain Home Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs; and Ormand Peters, Owner and Funeral Director of Shinn Funeral Service in Russellville.

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