San Antonio College Opens Mortuary on Campus

February 23, 2024

Office of Marketing & Strategic Communications

San Antonio College is now home to the nation’s first mortuary on a college campus.

The San Antonio College Mortuary will be a full-service customer-facing funeral mortuary open 3.jpghome, including a chapel with room for 60 seats, meeting rooms and offices, and a full array of burial and other mortuary services. The mortuary is located in the Ashby House on the SAC campus at 1819 N. Main Ave., according to Jennifer Floyd, director of mortuary operations SAC mortuary.   

Families using the chapel will be served by a licensed funeral director assisted by mortuary students.

SAC offers an associate of applied science in mortuary science, which includes funeral directing and embalming as well as a certification in funeral directing.

The mortuary was added to give SAC students experience with funeral directing. While students have an embalming facility in the Nail Technical Center, the addition of a mortuary gives them experience working directly with families in a funeral home setting under the supervision of program faculty members, who are all licensed funeral directors.

“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,” Floyd said. “We want to give the funeral directing students the same opportunities our embalming students have.”       

It’s another trailblazing moment for SAC’s mortuary sciences program. The new facility required a change in Texas law to allow funeral homes to be located on a college campus. Founded in 1961, SAC’s college-based funeral service education program was the first in Texas.

mortuary open 2.jpgPrior to the mortuary opening on campus, funeral directing students gained experience through internships at local mortuaries. While students may still participate in internships off campus, the SAC Mortuary provides more opportunities to get real world experience.

“We’re seeing the funeral home as a lab for our students,” Floyd said. “It’s a place where our students can practice how to present caskets to the public, to witness how we make arrangements for a grieving family, how we move the casket inside the chapel, all of those activities that they cannot do at other funeral homes.”

Prices for services and merchandise at the SAC Mortuary will be comparable to other funeral homes in the area, Floyd said. Clients will be able to choose from a full assortment of caskets, urns, and other options at the funeral home.

“Customers will have a lot of choices like they would at any other funeral home,” Floyd said.

There are currently 314 students in SAC’s mortuary sciences program, along with three full-time faculty members and one adjunct professor.

The first two semesters of the program focus on funeral directing, with the last two semesters dedicated to the science portion, including anatomy, embalming, microbiology and chemistry. Students who complete the program are eligible to take a national board exam that allows them to work in funeral homes and with additional experience, become fully licensed.