The Massage Therapy Program is a 75.0 quarter credit hour program of study consisting of 1060 hours of training that prepares the student to become a professional massage therapist, capable of pursuing private practice or of seeking employment with a variety of health care providers. The curriculum stems from the philosophy of the College and the standards of the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Emphasis is placed on developing a variety of skills useful in the art of acute and chronic pain management. The course content exceeds the standards set forth by national certification and by most state and municipal education requirements for licensing. Courses throughout the program balance the technical skills required in the broadening profession of massage therapy with a strong grounding in personal growth and development. Students acquire an in-depth competency in fundamental skills necessary for the formation and development of professional therapeutic relationships. A comprehensive presentation of the science and art of massage therapy provides the student with the background necessary for enhancing communications with clients and supporting confident interaction with other health care providers.
Opportunities for learning through exercises, group processes, lectures, and discussions form the core of this unique program. Students learn massage therapy and techniques in Oriental, sports, orthopedic, deep tissue, spa, and Swedish therapies. In addition, students learn a wide range of allied therapeutic modalities, including therapeutic touch, so they can incorporate a holistic approach to the practice of massage and neuro-muscular therapy. A list of text books utilized in this training program is included within the supplement to this catalog.
Normal completion time for day students is 10 months and for night students, 13 months. Classes are conducted Monday through Thursday. Day students attend class six hours a day for forty weeks and night students attend class four hours per day for sixty weeks. In addition, students are required to complete 100 hours of clinical training scheduled on Fridays and/or Saturdays throughout the program in a supervised Student Therapy Clinic, during which they participate in actual therapy sessions with clients from the general public.
In addition, massage therapy students are encouraged to participate in community service outreach activities with the Red Cross, volunteer centers, schools, fire departments and police stations. Also, they are encouraged to spend time working with chiropractors, wellness centers, gyms, or athletic clubs on a volunteer basis to gain added practical experience and exposure to possible future employment opportunities.
Massage Therapy graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification examination offered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Body Work (NCBTMB). A drug screen and background check are also required. Massage Therapists must be licensed in the State of Alabama by the Alabama Board of Massage Therapy in order to practice as a massage therapist. Applicants must successfully pass the NCBMT exam as a prerequisite to filing for a state license. Licensing requirements vary by state. A diploma is awarded to graduates.