Cape Cod Community College (4Cs) has taken over the Funeral Services program from Mount Ida College, which closed earlier this year. 4Cs plans to start offering classes this fall to nearly 30 students at Mount Ida Ccollege who were displaced when the school announced its closure in April.
WCAI Morning Edition producer Hayley Fager sat down with John Cox, president of Cape Cod Community College, to hear more about the transition.
Fager: Can you tell me about the program and why did Cape Cod Community College decide to pick it up?
Cox: When we found out that Mount Ida was closing and we were aware that they had the funeral service program, we inquired with the folks at Mount Ida about bringing on the program and trying to do the teach-out for the students who were caught up in the unfortunate closure.
We pursued that, we worked with UMass, and really collaborated on taking the curriculum, reviewing the curriculum at our campus, going through the process to get the Board of Higher Ed approval--which we received--and now we're moving ahead with the specialty creditor and funeral services to achieve that, probably by the end of this month.
We're looking at starting the classes as a teach-out program for the Mount Ida students, but also continuing on getting the approval to run the program into the future for new students, as well. Because, clearly there's a need in the marketplace for training people for funeral service.
Fager: Can you talk more about that need--why are there so few programs? Are the students in this program definitely going to come out with a job?
Cox: Well, the job opportunities are clearly there, and when we talk to the funeral home directors and we've talked to several, we've talked to the president of the Funeral Directors Association from across New England. They're having challenges filling their needs on an ongoing basis, so we're trying to tap into that market, establish some continuity to the students who are already in the program with funeral service, and then building off of that for the future.
Fager: Which parts of funeral service does this program prepare people for?
Cox: The program prepares students for both the preparation aspect of the body for the funeral service itself, and there's the aspect of the nature of how to run the business.
Fager: Will students have to pay more in this transfer? Will people have to repeat classes; will there be extra costs that students incur as they switch to Cape Cod Community College from Mount Ida?
Cox: The transcripts are all being reviewed for the students coming in from Mount Ida. Generally, I would say, almost without exception, they're not looking at repeating any courses. This would be a continuity of the program and the courses that they had connected with Mount Ida; they would be graduating with a Cape Cod Community College Degree. I would say this--when we are up and running this will be a more cost-effective program than what it was at Mount Ida; it will cost students less money.
Fager: Thanks for taking the time to talk, President Cox.
Cox: We certainly appreciate the opportunity.
This transcript has been lightly edited for grammar and clarity.