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Fayetteville Technical Community College has partnered with Vance-Granville Community College to provide VGCC students the opportunity to train in FTCC’s funeral service education program.

2024 01 24 Ftcc President Dr Mark Sorrells And Vgcc President Dr Rachel Desmarais

Dr. Mark Sorrells of FTCC shakes hands with Dr. Rachel Desmarais of VGCC after Wednesday’s signing.

FTCC has the only funeral service program in North Carolina. The program is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education and the faculty are all licensed funeral professionals.

Vance-Granville is the fifth community college in North Carolina to partner with FTCC on the funeral service program. “This is extremely relevant to our area,” said VGCC President Dr. Rachel Desmarais. “We really want to open this up as a possibility.”

FTCC President Dr. Mark Sorrells said Fayetteville Tech is pleased to partner with VGCC. The two presidents met Wednesday at VGCC to sign the agreement between the two schools.

The agreement will allow VGCC students to take general education courses through that College. Those students can then apply to transfer into FTCC’s funeral service program. Much of the program’s instruction is offered online. Students must complete certain requirements in labs at FTCC or during work-based learning at a funeral home and they must visit FTCC in person a handful of times to demonstrate or learn key funeral service skills.

Sorrells said the program offers students the opportunity to accomplish much of their education without having to travel between their homes and FTCC. “We think that’s a tremendous advantage and it is a way that we, as the only funeral service program in the state, can extend that service out into the rural areas and the small to medium-sized colleges that have a lot of employment demand and need,” Sorrells said.

N.C. Rep. Frank Sossamon, who owns three funeral homes in Vance and Granville counties, was one of several funeral professionals attending Wednesday’s signing. “I’m so thankful this is happening here,” Sossamon said. “The more people locally we can get who consider going into this industry, the more likely funeral homes will stay family-owned. I think that’s a valuable thing.”

FTCC also partners with Randolph, Richmond, Robeson and Wayne community colleges to offer their students access to FTCC’s funeral service education program.

Founded in 1961, FTCC is the third-largest community college in North Carolina, serving nearly 30,000 students annually through a wide variety of face-to-face and online programs. For information about FTCC, please visit For more information about FTCC’s funeral service education program, please visit