Whitesburg KY
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SKCTC’s first Funeral Service Program class to graduate

Steve Miller plays a key role as an instructor while the growth of the Funeral Service Program at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College continues at a quick pace. The program began accepting students a year ago and is the only one of its kind within Kentucky. It offers a two-year curriculum leading to an associate’s degree, and is overseen by Denise Shumate, professor and administrator.

Miller and Shumate are working with 14 students with 10 on track to graduate in May. Students enrolled in the SKCTC program range in ages 18 to 45, and the program is a popular curriculum at the college. The Funeral Service Program is the only such program within Kentucky, with the closest being offered in Cincinnati and Jeffersonville, Ind.

Miller, who was reared in southern Illinois, worked 17 years in the coal mining industry in a slope mine near his home in El Dorado. He also drove a truck for several years before attending mortuary school. He enrolled at the John A. Gupton School of Mortuary Science in Nashville, graduating in 1994. He also was graduated from Southeastern Illinois College. He holds a master’s degree from Tusculum College in Tennessee.

Over the past 12 years, he worked for several mortuaries in Indiana and Tennessee going to Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, where he is a member of the fledgling program.

In the two-year program at Southeast, students are required to earn a total of 68 credits. Those who wish to be considered for entry into the program are required to submit an official application to SKCTC, official high school transcript as well as transcripts of all postsecondary education along with ACT or SAT or ASSET or COMPASS tests results.

Applicants are also required to have a pre-admission conference with the faculty.

A newly-completed facility, located on the lower level of Falkenstine Hall, features a preparation room with state- of- theart equipment, including two embalming tables and two Dodge embalming machines. The site also features a rail body lift structure as well as a revolutionary air ventilation system.

Construction of the teaching space is basically completed and will soon be in use upon inspection by state agencies. Additionally, there is a funeral merchandising room on the premises.

Students wishing to pursue a career in the SKCTC Funeral Service Program can contact Shumate or Miller at (606) 248-3141 or at denise.shumate@kctcs.edu or smiller0406@kctcs.edu.

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