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Continuing Education Has Become One of Our Top Priorities!

When I earned licensure in 1976 continuing education didn’t formally exist. Many licensees were earning associate degrees, few had earned a bachelor’s degree, but most only had one year of Mortuary College or a funeral service program.

The Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice (APFSP) instituted the voluntary Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) program in 1976 to distinguish those who offer more than what is expected of them. That was the first time I had ever heard of or used the term “CEU”. I earned the CFSP designation in 1980 because I believed in continuing education then, but believe in it even more today!

Shortly after the Academy started to track CEUs many state regulatory agencies began to require continuing education for all licensees. Today, most licensees know and earn the required CEU’s annually to satisfy their state’s regulatory requirements. It has become a way of life.

So, how you choose what and where to learn becomes even more critical as we get deeper into the 21st century. The death care profession is changing faster than ever before. It seemed we were immune to change until we rolled into the 21st Century. Now, change is coming at such a rapid pace that dedicating yourself to a lifetime of learning is no longer optional – it is required. Gone are the days when you only needed an initial education to pass your board exams – lifetime learning is now a way of life.

Practitioners are now expected to customize and tailor every funeral service to meet the individual needs of each family served. Alkaline Hydrolysis is on the horizon, cremation has reached a national average of 50%, many contagious diseases are resistant to current drugs, drug overdoses are epidemic, risk and exposure to funeral homes and their employees are too numerous to list in one place.

That is why CCMS has made continuing education one of our main priorities. You need to know you can acquire and earn the continuing education credits you need and want from a professionally and regionally accredited death care education provider. You need to be able to turn to the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science as the expert for your educational needs.

For example, this July 19th - CCMS will be hosting the Cremation Association of North America’s (CANA) Crematory Operations Certification Program ™ to provide our students and licensees who chose to attend the best available training at the best price point. The class will run from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, attendees will receive certification from CANA and lunch will be provided all for the low price of $395.00. If the attendee is a member of the Cincinnati Foundation for Mortuary Education attendees will receive an additional $50 off the already low price. This class will satisfy the impending requirement for crematory certification about to become law in Ohio as early as this October!

Soon CCMS will be operating its own crematory on the premises and will be able to ensure students are certified via hands on training as part of the curriculum. CCMS had both the cremation training scheduled and plans to install a crematory long before word of the impending law change that will go into effect in October requiring crematory operators to be certified. We are looking forward to developing the training and education you want and need. Our CEU programs are designed with the student and licensee in mind.

When you decide on purchasing continuing education units, we want CCMS to be your first choice. We are educational institution, accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education and we are educational specialist accredited by the higher Learning Commission. We travel nationally to present CEU programs to death care professional – usually for free and without remuneration because we feel it is our obligation as an educational institution to present educational programs to our colleagues. And in many cases, we are your alma mater - so where better to invest your educational dollars!


GALA — November 18th — Save the Date

Your Board of Trustees is working hard to make the GALA this November 18th the success we all know it will be! All members have rolled up their sleeves and are supporting our efforts to honor Ken Cahall as he is installed as 12th President of the National Funeral Directors Association from the great state of Ohio. Ken is one of nine distinguished graduates of the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science to become President of NFDA and he is a Past President of the Ohio Funeral Directors Association.

We are looking for representatives from each graduating class who would like to serve on the GALA committee to reach out to fellow classmates to encourage attending. There will be a competition among classes to get the highest attendance.

The GALA will be held at Paul Brown Stadium on November 18th. There will be several others honored that evening at Cincinnati’s most sought-after venue. The East Lounge of the stadium boasts a 60-foot bar with a 62 foot glass backdrop overlooking the lights of the Queen City at night. The party begins at 6:00 PM and will continue to 11:00 PM with socializing, fun, music, and dancing. This formal black-tie affair will also be a major fund raiser for the college and is sure to invigorate the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science Alumni Base.

A silent auction is sure to excite the attendees and a gourmet meal planned to delight the taste buds. Guests can register for full stadium tours, photo opportunities with Cincinnati Ben-Gals (cheerleaders) and “Who-Dey” mascot.

SAVE THE DATE! Plan to come out and proudly support your Alma Mater.

On Friday November 17th, the day before the GALA, Todd Van Beck will be presenting a 3 CEU program on the History of Funeral Service and CCMS. This CEU opportunity will be a great time to come out and support the weekend events and enjoy a social hour afterwards at the College. Come back and tour the facility and meet with old friends and classmates.

Cincinnati Foundation for Mortuary Education

In light of the GALA scheduled for November 18, 2017; the Board of Trustees has selected November 17, 2017 to conduct the Annual Foundation Members Meeting. While this meeting is typically in or around May, it is appropriate to combine our efforts as we host the November GALA to acknowledge installation of CCMS alumnus, Ken Cahall, as President of NFDA. We hope that you will join us for the Annual Meeting during Gala weekend. We will send out an additional notice and proxy forms in advance of November 17th.


CCMS has three significant upcoming continuing education events scheduled. We appreciate your support for events so that we can continue to bring you the most current and relevant programs at a reasonable cost. Click event to register.

ICCFA Cremation Arranger Training
We need you to support your Alma Mater!
Tuesday, July 18th
8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
8 CEUs
Lunch included

645 W North Bend Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45224

CANA Cremation Operators Certification Program™
Perfect timing to satisfy impending Ohio requirement that all crematories be registered and certified by October! 22 states & growing now require this certification.
Wednesday July 19th
8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
8 CEUs
Lunch is included

645 W North Bend Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45224

History of Funeral Service and CCMS with Todd Van Beck
Friday November 17th
Times to be determined
3 CEUs – cost for this event to be determined
Followed by social hour at CCMS

See other upcoming CE offerings on the CCMS Continuing Education page


CCMS Faculty Melissa Kloss Completes Master Program

CCMS Faculty, Melissa Kloss, has completed her postgraduate studies through the University of Massachusetts-Boston, having been conferred a Master’s in Management of Aging Services. The program focused on working with an aging population from all perspectives - legal, social, psychological, physical, and economic – something she is very passionate about.

Faculty, Staff, Board, and students surprised her with a hooding ceremony to celebrate this outstanding accomplishment. Ms. Kloss completed her program with the highest of Latin Honors, Summa Cum Laude. Congratulations!

CCMS and Union Institute Sign Articulation Agreement

CCMS President Jack Lechner with Roger Sublett, Union Institute President, signed an articulation agreement between the two schools to assist transfer students with a seamless transition in the CCMS academic programs.

Upgrades and Renovations on Campus

We are renovating two classrooms over the summer break. New carpeting, new tables and most importantly new chairs! The update is expected to be complete when we welcome our new fall cohort.

The aged projector in the auditorium was recently replaced. This has come as a welcome relief to our faculty.

Department of Education Reauthorization And Financial Audit

We are submitting a request for institutional reauthorization from the Ohio Department of Higher Education. This will confirm our ability to continue to process state provided financial aid for our students.

Our fiscal year ends on June 30, 2017, so we are preparing for our annual audit. We expect it will go smoothly and we will receive another unmodified report.



Grief Resource Author Michele DeRosa Inspired By Own Grief

As a result of her personal experience with grief, Michele DeRosa, CCMS Alumna and Funeral Director, was inspired to author and publish Solace Through Writing – A Calendar Journal.

Nine years ago, Michelle lost her dear friend Mark Ebersole to suicide. That experience, coupled with the experiences of serving grieving families in Ohio and Pennsylvania for three decades, prompted Michelle to author this 197-page calendar journal focused on navigating long-term grief in four unique stages. Solace Through Writing is a keystone to the Enduring Care aftercare program at Groff Funeral Home.

Michelle will promote her book at this year’s National Convention in Philadelphia, booth #3343, where you can meet Michelle and purchase a copy. Read about Michelle and her journey to writing this unique and helpful resource tool for funeral professionals.



Ukraine Citizen Anna Davydyuk Earns U.S. Citizenship While at CCMS

From the Ukraine to the United States, Anna Davydyuk, a semester three student pursuing her B.M.S., proudly became a citizen of the United States of America in March.

In December 1994, Anna’s family moved to the U.S. for a better life and freedom rights. Her family arrived in New York and received their green cards. They ended up settling down in Cleveland, Ohio where the European population was growing.

Anna grew up within the Ukrainian culture and traditions and language. At an early age, she attended funerals of loves ones within her church family, spiking her interest of funeral service.

During the acceptance process to CCMS, Anna learned that U.S. citizenship was a requirement in order to obtain her Embalming and Funeral Directing licenses. She promptly began the processes of becoming a citizen, which took eighteen months, several meetings, written and verbal examinations, and payment of a fee.

Anna is pleased to have the privilege to serve families. She will bring a unique multi-lingual component to the families she serves, which allows her to assist those who speak English, Ukrainian, and Russian. Congratulations Anna, CCMS is proud of your accomplishment!

Student Wins Scholarship Award

Brandon Miller of the Spring 2018 class, is one of five scholarship recipients of The International Conference National Board Examination Award. The award covers the expense of both sections of the NBE examinations for Funeral Directing and Embalming. Congrats Brandon!

President Spotlight
Message From Board Chair
Continuing Education
College News


Student Recognitions
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Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science
Jan 9: New Student Orientation
Jan 9: Term Start
Jan 16: Holiday Closure


MARCH 2017
Mar 18: Open House (10am-Noon)

APRIL 2017
Apr 21: Term End
Apr 24-May 5: Term Break TBD: Professional Seminar Con. Ed.

MAY 2017
May 8: Term Start
May 16-17: OFDA Convention
May 23: Board Meeting
May 29: Closed
May 31: Foundation Member Renewal

JUNE 2017
Jun 6-9: FDAK Convention
Jun 15: Open House (4-6 p.m.)

JULY 2017
JulY 4: Closed
July 11: GCFSA Con. Ed.
July 18: ICCFA Arranger Con. Ed.
July 19: CANA Operator Con. Ed.

AUGUST 2017 Aug 10-11: Strategic Planning
Aug 11: Term End
Aug 12: Commencement
Aug 28: New Student Orientation
Aug 28: Term Start

Sept 4: Closed
Sept 20: OEA Embalming Con. Ed.

Oct 10: GCFSA Con. Ed. & Cookout
Oct 29-Nov 1: NFDA Convention (Boston)

Nov 17: CCMS Todd Van Beck Con. Ed. & Social
Nov 18: CCMS GALA – A Must Attend Event!
Nov 22-24: Closed

Dec 15: Term End
Dec 25-26: Closed
Dec 29: Closed
Frank Rosenacker, Chair
Mike Ryan, Vice Chair
Bill Smith, Treasurer
Jan Borgman, Secretary
Duane Hedrick
Chris Homer
Tim King
Arlene Lawrence
Mark Merz
Bill Peoples
Kenn Peterson
Kathleen Shaffer
Jerome Webster, PhD.
Nicole Wiedeman
Jack E. Lechner, Jr.
Jack E. Lechner, Jr., CFSP
Certified in Thanatology
Dr. Blanche Kabengele
Dr. Blanche Kabengele
Admissions Director and Registrar
Leslie Boehm
Leslie Boehm
Business Manager Bursar
Beth Williams
Beth Williams
Special Assistant to the President
Pamela Donlon
Pamela Donlon
Transfer Specialist
Molly Jones
Molly Jones
Library Director/I.T.
Karen Wolff
Karen Wolff
Administrative Assistant
Teresa Dutko
Teresa Dutko, FT
Academic Chair and Instructor
Wanda Lee
Wanda Lee, CFSP
Clinical Director and Instructor
Melissa Kloss
Melissa Kloss, CFSP
Clinical Instructor
John Vinnedge
John Vinnedge
Clinical Instructor
(not pictured)
Dr. Bob Campbell
Adam Dwyer
Senta Folds
Mike Gedert
Joe Getts
Mark Ivey
Pete Minges
Martin Molony
Holly Sauerbrunn
Tim Schmidt
Robert Shank
The Mortuary Science degree programs at the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science are accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE), 992 Mantua Pike, Suite 108, Woodbury Heights, NJ 08097, (816) 233-3747. Web: www.abfse.org
The Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604 (800) 621-7440 Web: www.hlcommission.org

Mortuary Science Minutes

Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science
645 West North Bend Rd
Cincinnati, Ohio 45224

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