San Antonio College To Become First To Open On-Campus Funeral Home

The mortuary will serve two purposes: as a full-service funeral home, offering a comprehensive burial and other related services, and allowing the students to learn and gain hands-on experience in the real funeral world. 

San Antonio College, which is known for its University-like atmosphere, celebrates a ground-breaking moment, as it has become the first in the entire nation to house an on-campus funeral home. According to the school’s administration, the mortuary will serve two purposes: as a full-service funeral home, offering a comprehensive burial and other related services, and allowing the students to learn and gain hands-on experience in the real funeral world. 

The funeral home is like a chapel, consisting of a room that can accommodate up to 60 people, a meeting room and offices. The funeral room is equipped with a podium for the minister, a casket display, and a keyboard for a musician. 

In Texas, tax-exempt properties are prohibited from having funeral homes. However, San Antonio College lobbied the state government to amend the law for education purposes and got the exemption. 

Mary Mena, the mortuary science program director at SAC, said that it had been a dream for over 16 years. She also said that it started with one of her predecessors. The dream turned into reality when the president’s office was relocated within the campus. However, they had to halt the progress, due to the state law prohibiting funeral homes operating on tax-exempt buildings like educational institutions.   

Mena believes that SAC’s two-year mortuary science degree has already a practicum. So this new funeral home will serve as a hub for the students to practise their skills in a more lively environment. 

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What Is Up At San Antonio College’s Funeral Home?

San Antonio College’s funeral home will be offering full-funeral services under the supervision of a licensed funeral director, who will be assisted by the mortuary students. 

Before opening the on-campus funeral home, the students gained hands-on experience only through internships at local mortuaries. It will no longer be a concern, as the new mortuary can demonstrate to the students and enable them to learn how to present caskets to the public, how to move them inside the chapel, make arrangements for the grieving family and so on..

However, students will still have the opportunity to complete off-campus internships at local mortuaries.

Floyd, who has been appointed as the new funeral home director, stated in a press release, “We do mock arrangements. I take them to go pick up our hearse. We put caskets in and out of the car, to give them an idea of what it is like to put a person in the car and take them out of the church.”

She added, “Our focus will be on serving the families that come to us, but at the same time it’s going to be a training funeral home. We want to give the funeral directing students the same opportunities our embalming students have.”     

For customers, when customers choose SAC’s mortuary, they have a variety of options, including caskets, urns, and other funeral goods, similar to other local mortuaries. Moreover, the prices for the services are also relatively comparable to other funeral homes. 

About San Antonio College

SAC was founded in 1961 and offers an associate of applied science in mortuary science. This program includes funeral directing and embalming along with certification in funeral directing. Currently, SAC’s mortuary sciences program has 314 students, three full-time faculty members and one adjunct professor.

The initial two semesters of the program concentrate on funeral directing, while the final two semesters focus on the scientific aspects, such as anatomy, embalming, microbiology, and chemistry. Only upon completing the program, students are qualified to take a national board exam that is required to work in funeral homes and become fully licensed.

The mortuary is located in the Ashby House on the SAC campus at 1819 N. Main Ave

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