Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Mortuary science programs: Examination of the external evaluation team
by Reinhard, D. Elaine, Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2010, 146; 3402466
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study is to expand the literature on mortuary science accreditation site visit teams. This study used a mixed methodology design to examine: (1) who serves on the American Board of Funeral Service Education accreditation external site visit teams; (2) reasons for involvement in accreditation; (3) perceptions of important site visit resources; and (4) team members’ perceptions of training. Three paper pencil instruments were used for data collection: (1) a modified form of the Participation Reasons Scale (Grotelueschen, 1985); (2) the Information Preference Scale (Bauer, 1986); and (3) a demographic data sheet. These data were supplemented by phone and electronic interviews. Subjects for the study consisted of all 39 external mortuary science evaluators who participated in accreditation site visits during the time period of 1999 to 2007. The total response rate was 100%.

The findings showed: (1) team members were mostly white males, 61-70 age range, coming from the Southeast and Central parts of the United States indicating there is not sufficient geographical diversity across team roles to ensure representation of the schools and funeral home stakeholders; (2) importance for involvement of the site team members overall is for collegial learning and interaction with some variance within roles; (3) perceptions of importance of resources for the site team visit varied with higher education educators preferring on-site documents and self-study report, mortuary science educators preferring on-site documents and practitioners preferring interviews with site personnel; and (4) training is limited and inconsistent for site team members.

Based on these findings, recommendations include: (1) more definitive recruitment and training for potential site team members as well as continuing education for current site team members; and (2) development of dissemination methods that encourage and reflect return of information to the team visitors’ own geographic area, and their home school program. Future research and practice should examine the role of different sources of information and how best to portray the data. Overall, more research is needed to further knowledge of mortuary science accreditation as very little exists in the field of accreditation and evaluation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Newman, Dianna
Commitee: Saddler, Bruce, Spaulding, Dean
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: Educational Psychology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 71/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Educational evaluation, Educational psychology, Vocational education
Keywords: Accreditation, Evaluation, External evaluation team, Mortuary science, Program accreditation, Self-study, Site team visits
Publication Number: 3402466
ISBN: 9781109745801