Students interested in a career as an embalmer or funeral director will no longer have to drive outside of Shelby County to pursue a degree.
Beginning in January 2019, Southwest Tennessee Community College will launch the first publicly funded funeral service program in Tennessee by offering an associate of applied science in funeral service education degree at its Whitehaven Center.
“This is a very worthy program needed in our community,” said funeral director Karl Bond, president of Bond Funeral Home, who is a member of the advisory board for the new degree program. “This program will ensure students are highly qualified and trained for a rewarding professional career in funeral service and will prepare them to take the national board exam.”
Ron Johnson, a dual-licensed funeral director and embalmer who has been practicing in Mississippi and Tennessee for nearly 20 years, has been selected as the department chair of the new funeral services program.
Johnson has an Associate of Applied Science degree in Funeral Service Technology from Northwest. He also holds a master’s degree in Natural Sciences from Delta State University and bachelor’s degree in biology from Mississippi Valley State University.
Additionally, Johnson is working on an MBA in Health Care Administration from Delta State with an expected date of completion in December.