In response to student requests, DMACC began the Mortuary Science Program in 2004 in conjunction with the Iowa Funeral Directors Association. It was initially housed in Building 3E of the Ankeny campus and in 2009 moved to the current location in Building 17. The inaugural program chair was Kevin E. Patterson.
The purpose of the Mortuary Science program is to prepare students who have earned a minimum of an Associate's Degree to work within the funeral service profession. The Mortuary Science program is a field of human and community services that prepares an individual to become a funeral director.
The central aim of each graduate of the DMACC Mortuary Science program is to recognize that they are community members who are sensitive to their responsibility for public health, safety and welfare in caring for human remains. As members of the human services profession, graduates must be knowledgeable of and compliant with federal, state and local regulations, as they participate in the relationship between themselves and the bereaved families they serve.
In January 2006, Carol DeFiore was added as a second full-time faculty member. In 2007, Carol left to launch a new funeral home in Illinois and Travis Carrico was hired as a full-time faculty member. In 2014, the Program expanded again and added Dixie Evans as a third full-time faculty member.
The program began with 19 Iowans in the first class during the 2004-2005 academic year. During 2007, the program received numerous inquiries about an online option. An online program was piloted during the 2007-2008 academic year with a student in northern Minnesota. The Funeral Home-based option was officially launched the following year. Since that time, the Funeral Home-based option has attracted students in 20 states as well as Iowa. The Funeral Home-based option is now larger than the on-campus option as one of only nine programs of its kind in the country.
This program is unique since it is one of the only “advanced certificate” programs and has a prerequisite of an AAS or AA degree. The Mortuary Science program at DMACC is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE).