North Shore Community College’s New Funeral Services Degree Launched this Fall

Starting for the first time this September, North Shore Community College (NSCC) will be offering a Funeral Services associate degree. With the growth of job opportunities in funeral services over the next decade, this is good news for local students interested in this field. With the recent closure of Mount Ida College, NSCC is one of only two colleges in the state offering this program; the other being FINE Mortuary College in Norwood.


This two-year degree, with 24 courses and 72 credits, is offered in a one day a week format. Classes take place on Tuesdays each semester, making it easy for students to maintain employment while earning their degree. The classes are offered in a hybrid format with some classwork completed online and some face-to-face. Classes run for seven weeks, rather than the typical 15 weeks, which allows students to concentrate on three classes at the same time. Interestingly enough, Tuesday was the day chosen for classes because there are fewer funerals on that day than any other day of the week.


The program will be led by Jamye Jeter Cameron, a local third-generation funeral director and embalmer. The program was built on the standards of the Massachusetts Funeral Directors Association, which was monumental in making suggestions and recommendations as the degree came into fruition. The program was designed with significant input from local funeral directors, including the Solimine family. With the help of these funeral directors the school was able to develop a program suitable for students interested in earning a degree in Funeral Services. “We designed our program with substantial input from local funeral directors, including the Solimine family of Lynn, and we are very grateful for their interest, support and guidance,” the school's president, Patricia Gentile, said in a statement.


It was the Solimine family that led to the creation of this college program. A few years ago, David Solimine Jr. asked the college to consider offering a degree in Funeral Services to provide the area with an affordable program, as more and more funeral service jobs become available. David Solimine Jr. served on the NSCC’s foundation board, and he sits on the Funeral Services Advisory Board with his son, Joel.


Some classes offered through the degree program include:

  • Financial Planning
  • Death and Dying
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Funeral Directing
  • Embalming
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Great Religions of the World


In-state tuition for the degree is $16,500 which includes fees and tuition. A degree is required to further one’s employment in the funeral field. Specific roles that require a degree include an embalmer, mortician and funeral director. These three positions account for 27,000 jobs in Massachusetts. Over the next decade, it is expected that 3,000 new positions in this field will be available, in addition to the openings that occur when other employees retire and change careers. The average wages for embalmers, morticians and funeral service managers are $46,900, $68,500 and $91,600, respectively. With many opportunities available in this field, it seems that starting a career in funeral services and furthering one’s education can be an excellent choice.


NSCC was created by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1965 to serve residents on the North Shore as an affordable pathway to higher education. Currently, NSCC provides over 75 academic degrees and certificates. Its mission statement shares their focus on education and the community: “North Shore Community College is a diverse, caring, inclusive community that inspires our students to become engaged citizens and to achieve their personal, academic, and career goals through accessible, affordable, rigorous educational opportunities that are aligned with our region's workforce needs and will prepare them for life in a changing world.” With the offering of the Funeral Services Degree, NSCC seems to do just that, offering an affordable way to obtain the education needed to adapt and gain employment in the ever-expanding funeral service industry.


At the culmination of the program, students are required to take the Funeral Services National Board Exam, the national evaluation for licensure required for the field of funeral service.


If you have further questions or would like more information about the Funeral Services degree at North Shore Community College, please contact or call 781-477-2215.


And as always, the helpful and knowledgeable staff at Solimine Funeral Home are always available to answer any questions you may have and can be reached at 781-595-1492.

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