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    San Antonio College
  Dec 08, 2023
San Antonio College Schedule/Catalog 2022-2023 
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San Antonio College Schedule/Catalog 2022-2023 [Archived Catalog]

Protective Services

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Martin Davila, Department Chair
Main Office:  OC 225
Office Phone:  210-486-1692

The Protective Services - Fire Science Department consists of these programs: Law Enforcement Academy, Fire Academy, Fire Science, Emergency Management/Homeland Security, and Mortuary Science. The various degree programs are designed towards the professional licensing of Texas firefighters, peace officers, and morticians. Courses are also geared towards the development and professional education of arson investigators, private investigators and emergency response managers.

Credit towards an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Fire Science, Emergency Management, and Mortuary Science may be awarded upon successful completion of the appropriate certification process as listed below. To be eligible for advanced standing credit, protective services majors must be currently enrolled at San Antonio College, in good academic standing (not on scholastic probation, enforced scholastic probation, etc.).

Fire Science

Martin Davila, Department Chair
OC 225, 210-486-1692

The Fire Science Program reflects the assessed needs of the community for careers in fire service and fire service management. The curricula are designed to prepare students for initial career preparation, career development, and for foundations leading to university transfer credit.  Fire science degrees and certificates are part of the Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP) certification process and certain academic credit can be awarded for specific types of certifications.

Students may receive academic credit for successful completion of TCFP-approved basic firefighter certification courses.  The courses listed below can be used to receive a Level I Certificate.

  • FIRS 1103 Firefighter Agility & Fitness Preparation, 3 semester hours.
  • FIRS 1301 Firefighter Certification I, 3 semester hours.
  • FIRS 1319 Firefighter Certification IV, 3 semester hours.
  • FIRS 1407 Firefighter Certification II, 4 semester hours.
  • FIRS 1413 Firefighter Certification III, 4 semester hours.
  • FIRS 1423 Firefighter Certification V, 4 semester hours.
  • FIRS 1429 Firefighter Certification VI, 4 semester hours.
  • FIRS 1433 Firefighter Certification VII, 4 semester hours.

Emergency Management

The Emergency Management Program reflects the assessed needs of the community for students seeking a career in disaster preparedness.

This program focuses on problem-solving, critical thinking, coordination, and leadership skills that are required to mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from a man-made or natural disaster.

Certificate Programs

For those individuals who would like to pursue a certificate in a given specialty in fire science and homeland security, the options are:

  • 1 Basic Firefighter
  • 1 Basic Peace Officer Course

1 These programs meet the basic standard of the Texas Commision on Fire Protection and the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. Successful certification of the student by the state is the student's responsibility and is not guaranteed by San Antonio College.

For more information on any of these programs contact the Protective Services Department in room 225 of the Oppenheimer Center (OC)..

Mortuary Science

Mary Mena, Program Coordinator
NTC 238A, 210-486-1136

The Mortuary Science Department is the first college-based funeral service education program to be offered in Texas. The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree Program at San Antonio College is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE), located at 992 Mantua Pike, Suite 108, Woodbury Heights, NJ 08097, (816) 233-3747,  Membership is maintained in the University Mortuary Science Education Association. Students achieving the standards for the curriculum are conferred the AAS Degree in Mortuary Science by the college and are eligible for examination by the Texas Funeral Service Commission (TFSC) and the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards (ICFSEB) and provisional licensure registration.  A student seeking licensure in the state of Texas should refer to the TFSC at
and confer with a faculty advisor.

The Mortuary Science Department at San Antonio College has as its central aim recognition of the importance of funeral service personnel as:

  • Members of a human services profession.
  • Members of the community in which they serve.
  • Participants in the relationship between bereaved families and those engaged in the funeral service profession.
  • Professionals knowledgeable of and compliant with federal, state, and local regulatory guidelines.
  • Professionals sensitive to the responsibility for public health, safety, and welfare in caring for human remains.

The Program’s objectives are to:

  • Enlarge the background and knowledge of students about the funeral service profession.
  • Educate students in every phase of funeral service and to help enable them to develop the proficiency and skills necessary for the profession.
  • Educate students concerning the responsibilities of the funeral service profession to the community at large.
  • Emphasize high standards of ethical conduct.
  • Provide a curriculum at the post-secondary level of instruction.
  • Encourage research in the field of funeral service.

The Mortuary Science Department also offers a Funeral Directing Certificate. This academic program is designed to meet specific state or professional needs. It is not accredited by the ABFSE owing to the fact that it does not include instruction in embalming, restorative art, microbiology, pathology, chemistry, and anatomy. Students graduating from this program are not eligible to take the National Board Examination (NBE) or any state board examination for which graduation from an ABFSE-accredited program is required. However, the certificate is recognized by the TFSC. The Commission will accept successful completion of the Texas State Board of Funeral Directing exam for registration as a provisional funeral director licensee.

Students enrolled in Mortuary Science courses which include internships and practicums are required to comply with the department dress code. A copy of this dress code will be provided during orientation.

Courses must be taken according to a degree plan or as indicated by a Mortuary Science faculty advisor. The Mortuary Science Program at San Antonio College requires any student seeking graduation to take the NBE within 30 - 45 days from the last official day of the semester or session in which course work is completed and satisfactorily passed for the associate degree to be posted in that semester. A student seeking licensure outside of the State of Texas,should consult with the licensing agency of the State in which they are seeking employment.

Effective Fall, 2010, a grade of C is established as the minimum grade in any course whose number and title are preceded by the letters MRTS. Any single examination score in any MRTS course lower than 78% is recorded as a zero. Additionally, a grade of C or higher is required for the following courses contained in the Associate in Applied Science in Mortuary Science degree:

  •     MDCA 1302
  •     BIOL 2404
  •     SPCH 1311
  •     PSYT 1325

Letter grades are based on percentage values as follow:

  •     A = 93-100%
  •     B = 89-92%
  •     C = 84-88%
  •     D = 78-83%
  •     F = 0-77%

No credit shall be allowed for any MRTS course that was attempted longer than five years prior to any current enrollment, irrespective of the grade earned. No credit shall be allowed for the courses listed in the preceding paragraph, irrespective of the grade earned. All students are expected to follow the degree plan provided to them during their initial advisement with the Mortuary Science Faculty Advisor. This process allows for the continuity of the degree plan and ensures the degree plan is being followed.

Effective Fall 2021, students will be required to complete all academic pre-requisites before being enrolledin any Mortuary Science courses. The academic pre-requisite courses include, but not limited to EDUC 1300, INRW 0420, Math 0410 and MATH 0105.

Any unsuccesful attempt-i.e,a failing grade, a course drop, or a course withdrawal from Mortuary Science class,is considered an usuccessful attempt. Students that have three unsuccessful attempts in any MRTS course will be dismissed from the program. The annual passage rate of first-time takers on the National Board Examination (NBE) for the most recent three-year period for this institution and all ABFSE accredited funeral service education programs is posted on the ABFSE web site:


Funeral Director Certificate Program: 32 Hour Certificate

This Level II Funeral Directing Certificate option is designed for those individuals who desire to practice only funeral directing in the State of Texas. If a student so desires, he or she may return to the Mortuary Science Program to earn the AAS degree in Mortuary Science.  This Level II Funeral Directing Certificate program is designed to meet specific state or professional needs.  The American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) does not accredit this certificate.  Students graduating from this program are not eligible to take the National Board Examination or any state board examination for which graduation from an ABFSE-accredited program is required.  For further information, please see the Level II Funeral Directing Certificate admission requirements. Those completing the Funeral Directing Certificate and seeking licensure in the State of Texas are eligible to take the State Board Exam (SBE) administered by the ICFSEB.  Please consult with the Texas Funeral Service Commission (TFSC) for licensure requirements.

Admissions Information

Students must do the following prior to the anticipated enrollment semster:

Submit a mortuary science application for admission to the program after being admitted to San Antonio College and provide proof of a complete Hepatitis B vaccination series. The Hepatitis B vaccination is a series of three shots and it is separate from the Meningitis vaccine required by the Alamo Colleges.  An official vaccination record must be provided at the initial advisement session.

Arrange for an admissions interview with the Mortuary Science program coordinator and/or Mortuary Science faculty advisor.

Provide proof of graduation from high school (or proof of GED). This is an Admissions and Records requirement.

Submit transcripts of previous college credits, if applicable.  This is an Admissions and Records requirement.

Present proof of entry-level competency scores established by an acceptable assessment (e.g., Accuplacer, TSI, or SAT scores). For detailed admissions information and deadlines, please visit


    Public Service Institute


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