Choosing the Right School at the Right Time for You

You have chosen just the right time to consider massage therapy as a profession. Offering many rewarding and creative employment opportunities, this dynamic field also allows practitioners to make a healthy difference in the lives of their clients. Choosing the right school to launch your career is about matching your deeply held values, professional goals, and logistical needs with a school program that fully prepares you to realize your vision.

Consider the Following

During your admissions interviews, compare how NIM and other schools address the following concerns. Then make a thoughtful, informed choice about your education and your future.

  • Review the school's history and accreditation. Is the school well established, stable and respected? Is the school specialized in massage therapy education or does it offer many different training programs? Will the school provide a professional education or does it view massage therapy as a trade? Is the school accredited by a federally-recognized accrediting body like the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET)?
  • Read the school's mission statement and consider the underlying philosophy about healing, relationships, education, and the role of massage therapy. Does the school recognize that massage therapy is both a profession and a healing art? Do the values expressed resonate with your values? Can you imagine yourself working with other professionals who respect the same principles?
  • Examine the qualifications and experience of the faculty. Will you be learning from individuals who are successful professionals in their respective fields? Are the teachers credentialed, licensed, and degreed as appropriate? Is the faculty passionate about teaching? About the field of massage therapy? About helping people?
  • Learn about the comprehensiveness of the curriculum. Will it give you a solid foundation in massage technique, science, professional communication skills, and business strategies? Is there a core technique with a coordinated approach to other modalities? Does the number of hours offered meet the requirements for the National Certification Exam and the local licensing laws of where you intend to practice? Are there onsite opportunities for supervised practice with clients from the general public?
  • Check out the level of career resources and support available to students and graduates. Is there a Career Services and Placement Office? Does the school offer extensive current job listings because employers seek out its graduates? Is a qualified staff person available for individual career counseling?
  • Ask about available student services. Does the school demonstrate a commitment to the quality of its students' overall experience? Are there books, tapes, and other resources available in a library for student use? Is tutoring available? Is there a Dean of Students who provides guidance, support, and individual help when needed? Do you sense that the school is committed to your success?
  • Consider the value of your tuition dollars. Are the advertised program hours inflated with activities like practicing massage and independent study? Does the tuition cover lifelong job placement and access to extensive job listings for graduates? Do you have the sense that your tuition will give you access to highly qualified faculty? Will the program prepare you to provide both therapeutic and relaxation massage allowing you work in a variety of settings and in private practice? Do you have the sense that you are investing in a high quality education and investing in a successful career?
  • Research the school's reputation and success of its graduates. Are test results and placement statistics available to you? How is the school involved in the ongoing evolution of the profession? Is the admissions process handled only by an admission's representative or do you have the opportunity in the process to speak with teachers, students, and graduates of the program?

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