CCV has a plan to let Vermont funeral directors learn their trade in Vermont.

“Funeral director” is one of seven new certificate programs the Community College of Vermont will begin offering in the fall. Associate Academic Dean Candace Lewis said each certificate can serve as a stepping stone to a degree, an enhancement of an existing degree or a professional credential in its own right.

In the case of the funeral director certificate, Lewis said it was created in an effort to create a new professional training pathway in partnership with the Vermont Association of Funeral Directors.

“They needed to leave the state and find a residential academic program, which was going to cost them a fair amount of money and time,” she said.

Lewis said the funeral home employees in Vermont best poised to go on to become funeral directors frequently are unable to leave the state to get the academic degree they need. The CCV program covers the necessary coursework, she said, and allows the remainder of the education to take place in an apprenticeship-style format.

Four of the new certificates spring from CCV’s media studies program — digital media production, graphic design, media communications, and studio art.

“The certificates are a combination of focus-area courses and the core courses that would make a well-rounded package,” Lewis said.

Lewis said that a lot of high school students show interest in a couple classes in the program but feel unable to complete college.

“The certificate program gives them a path forward,” she said.

Lewis described the other two certificates — administrative medical assisting and clinical medical assisting — as a revamp of their medical assistant program. One is aimed more at office work and the other at patient care.

“There’s some overlap in the certificates so students could certainly do both,” she said. “We always encourage students to continue on and get a full degree, but certainly for medical assistance positions, the certificate is enough (to find work).”

Lewis said that while not all the course are available at every CCV location, the school will offer classes in a “hybrid” format aimed at limiting travel needs.

“We’ve tried to geographically sketch that out,” she said.

gordon.dritschilo @rutlandherald.com

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