By ALYSSA SPANGLER
The Amarillo College mortuary science program is no longer accepting students after losing its accreditation from the American Board of Funeral Service Education July 1, 2020.
According to the program website, this was because of “failure to meet threshold for minimum accepted pass rates on the national licensing examination for two consecutive 3-year periods.”
Program officials said they hope the situation will be temporary.
“It is our hope that the administration of Amarillo College will allow us to reapply for accreditation at some point in the future,” said Patricia Garcia, the co-director and instructor for the program.
While the program has lost its accreditation, Garcia said that their current testing levels are where they should be and they just hope to get the chance to reapply.
“At the current time, our most recent graduates are at a 75% pass rate in associate degrees and 75% pass rate for certificates,” Garcia said.
Currently, the program is in a phase called “teach out,” meaning they are not accepting new students, but every student who was already enrolled will be “grandfathered” in as having graduated from an accredited program, she said.
“I’m just bummed out because I was looking forward to being able to study what I wanted in Amarillo,” said Leslie Roll, a high school student who planned to enroll in the program. Roll is currently attending Tascosa High School with the goal of majoring in mortuary science at AC.
Roll said he will now have to find the closest college to pursue the career he wants, which in Texas would be the Dallas Institute of Funeral Services.
“We want more than anything that the ‘powers- that-be’ at Amarillo College will allow us to reapply for accreditation based on our current, successful testing percentage,” Garcia said. “We amped up our efforts even more for the summer courses and these current fall courses.”
For some students who plan to attend AC, the loss of accreditation has caused them to change their majors.
¨I have decided to pursue a different career path because my scholarship is going to be at Amarillo College,” Patrick Cole, a student at Amarillo High School, said. “I may change my mind after I complete my basics and try to find an accredited college. Maybe Amarillo College will even be accredited again by then.¨
It is not yet known if or when the college will be able to reapply. Up-to-date information about the program’s status will be available on the American Board of Funeral Service Educations website.